If you want to keep tabs on your dog yourself, you need a dog GPS tracker collar.
Even though microchips have gained in popularity in recent years, but their uses are very limited. Their information can only be accessed by someone (like your vet or animal control) who has a microchip scanner; the microchip itself doesn’t tell you where your dog is from one moment to the next.
Microchip scanner? I know I don't have one…so what's the solution? The solution is GPS dog tracker, not only can you check your dog’s location at any given moment (and find him if he wanders), you can also incorporate many other features that come with the GPS dog tracker system.
Today’s dog GPS tracker products are loaded with additional functions– from activity monitoring to calorie consumption to social networking—to suit your taste. Imagine a Fitbit with all its social media compatibility, and you have an idea of what a dog tracker GPS is capable of doing for you and your pet.
The only difficulty you might have in finding a GPS tracker for dog is the choice you face in selecting one– and that’s where this buyer’s guide comes in. Check out these reviews of some of the top GPS dog tracker products, and see what’s a best fit for you and your dog!
Page Contents For Quick Browsing
- 1 Pawtracker Dog GPS tracker
- 2 Whistle 3 Dog GPS tracker
- 3 Pod 3 Dog GPS tracker
- 4 Tractive Dog GPS tracker
- 5 KYON pet tracker
- 6 Nuzzle GPS tracker
- 7 Findster Duo Pet Tracker
Pawtracker Dog GPS tracker
The Pawtracker is a paw-shaped tracking device that attaches to your dog’s collar and communicates with a mobile app on your phone. You can track your dog’s activity history on your phone or tablet, and locate her at a glance.
Features of Paw Tracker
The PawTracker actually uses three different types of communication channels to locate your pet and alert you to her location.
- The GPS system provides precise location
- The GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) uses the same cellular frequencies as your mobile phone
- The WPS (Wifi Positioning System) can serve as a backup if the first two signals are blocked.
To use the PawTracker, you simply clip the paw-shaped device to your dog’s collar and then log into your mobile app on a tablet or phone.
Cons of Pawtracker GPS
- The paw-shaped collar attachment of this device is a little on the large side for small dogs. Although some pet owners do use it for smaller pets, others will find it too cumbersome, and some pets will find it a bothersome addition to their neck wear.
- The PawTracker currently only works in the U.S., in areas with Verizon cell service. You can check the coverage map on the company’s website to determine whether it will work in your area.
- Your phone doesn’t have to have Verizon service, but you do have to pay for a monthly plan for the cellular functionality of the PawTracker.
Pros of Pawtracker GPS
This GPS dog tracker can be clipped not only to your dog but to any other item or person you want to keep track of. Some people use them on their kids’ backpacks, or even on an elderly family member whom they are watching.
- With multiple systems for locating your dog, you will be able to find your pet even if you live in an area with spotty cell coverage or inadequate GPS signals.
- The PawTracker works with Verizon signals, but you do not have to be a Verizon customer yourself for your device to work.
- The PawTracker is waterproof as well as shockproof, comes in three color choices, and is ready to use straight out of the box.
- You can download the “ReachFar” app on any iPhone or Android device and find your dog or track her history to see where she likes to roam.
Whistle 3 Dog GPS tracker
Whistle is a small box-shaped device that attaches to your dog’s collar to track activity levels and location around the clock.
Features of whistle pet tracker
Whistle uses not only GPS, but also cellular technology to keep tabs on your dog. The cellular aspect allows for notifications by text or email or in-app to let you know when your pet is headed out of the boundaries you have set as safe.
Cons of whistle GPS pet tracker
- In part because the Whistle module is somewhat bulky, it is only recommended for pets that are eight pounds and over. Smaller dogs might be uncomfortable with the ungainly unit attached to their collars.
- Unlike the products that only require a one-time purchasing cost, Whistle requires a subscription to a cellular plan in order to function. Some pet owners would prefer not to incur an ongoing expense in order to enjoy their pet’s activity tracker.
- Additionally, you need a separate subscription for each additional pet if you have more than one, so the cost can climb pretty quickly.
- The Whistle 3 also needs a wifi connection in order to provide tracking information. When you set up your device you pair it with a wifi network at home, and it is that wifi connection that facilitates the uploading of information about your pet’s activities and location.
Pros of whistle gps pet tracker
The Whistle device comes with an attachment piece that enables you to secure it directly to the existing collar (up to one inch wide) that your pet already wears.
- You can remove the attachment and the device for charging without having to take the whole collar off.
- The Whistle battery lasts for about a week between charging, or less time if your pet ranges regularly out of reach of the wifi signal. The manufacturer recommends charging every few days to ensure your pet’s battery doesn’t run low at a critical juncture, like when you’re trying to find them.
- Pet owners enjoy the tracking functions, the ability to map their pets’ “trips” whenever they leave a designated home base, and the notification features that go directly to the paired smart phone.
- The main focus of the Whistle is the location function, but pet health is also improved when pet owners can track patterns (and changes) in their pets’ sleep and activities.
Pod 3 Dog GPS tracker
The Pod 3 is a GPS tracker that was not specifically designed for pets, but can easily be used on them. Billed as a tracker for your “bike, boat, pet, and more,” the Pod 3 is a cylindrical device that can be attached with straps to your dog’s collar.
Features of Pod 3 GPS tracker
The Pod 3 and its paired app allow you to locate your pet, monitor his movement, receive alerts when he leaves a designated safe zone, and record his walks or wandering on a digital map. If you are looking for a device that focuses on locating your dog, and not necessarily monitoring heartbeat or environmental temperature or other health metrics, this sturdy and durable GPS tracker might just fit the bill!
Cons of Pod 3 tracker
- Because it is not specifically designed for pet use, the Pod 3 does not have some of the “extra” features that are uniquely tailored to pets and their people. It doesn’t include activity monitoring or reading of vital signs or other dog-specific monitoring capabilities.
- Essentially, it is strictly a locator device. Even the modular add-ons, though they would have their uses with your dog, are not specifically designed for dogs.
- The Pod 3 is not as streamlined as some pet-specific devices when it comes to attaching it to your dog’s collar. It is similar to the size and shape of a film canister (if you remember the days when cameras used film), or rather longer if you add an accessory module like the sound module or light module, or the longer-life battery.
Pros of Pod tracker 3
The Pod 3 unit itself is sturdy and impact resistant, and entirely waterproof. Its unusual modular system allows you to add an accessory of your choice, simply by attaching it to the end of the cylindrical base unit.
The accessories include:
- a larger (longer life) battery
- a light that you can set to stay steadily shining or keep flashing
- a sound module that beeps
- an ultrasonic module that can be activated to emit a high frequency sound that is only audible to animals. (That last device is designed to keep animals away from the module-protected item, but it could conceivably be used as a deterrent stimulus in training your dog.)
The battery on the Pod 3 lasts for as long as five days before needing a recharge, and you can purchase a second interchangeable battery for less than twenty dollars. That means you can just switch out the battery rather than having to go for a stretch of time with your pet untagged because of the device being on a charger.
Tractive Dog GPS tracker
Tractive is a location tracker for your active outdoor pet, utilizing GPS technology to allow you to track your dog wherever he goes. The Tractive company invests in pet wearables as well as a variety of pet apps, so you can find specifically what you’re looking for, whether it’s dog training, health monitoring, hunting, or other specific applications to use with your dog. There’s even a special edition set with crystals for the pampered pet who likes to dress up.
Features of Tractive pet tracker
Tractive is a company that not only manufactures a great pet activity tracker, it also has created a variety of apps available for different uses with different pets. Apps include the location tracking, an activity tracker, a pet remote for use in training, and even an app that allows you to speak through your pet’s collar with a recording.
In addition to the tracker unit itself, Tractive offers a variety of accessories, collars, visibility vests, and other items for your dog.
Cons of Tractive Dog GPS
- Some pet owners dislike the fact that the unit needs to be charged regularly.
- Different adapters are available for travel, or for charging by USB, but the fact remains that the unit must be charged regularly in order to maintain its functionality.
- It is worth noting that the various tracking capabilities (such as motion/activity tracking, GPS tracking, and the pet remote for training) are separate devices rather than multiple functions of a single device. There are lots of options with Tractive, but you would need to load up your pet’s collar with devices if you wanted to use all the offered options.
Pros of Tractive GPS 2
Tractive focuses on the larger picture of pet ownership, producing not only the pet wearable accessories, but also a variety of mobile apps and the Tractive Photos social media platform where pet owners can interact with one another and post pet photos.
- The location tracking allows you to locate your dog at any given moment, or look at her tracks to see where she has been wandering, or to map your walks and hikes with her.
- The Motion detector monitors your dog’s activities and sends information to your smart phone. And the Pet Remote allows you to send vibrations to your pet’s collar as a stimulus to use in training.
- If you are a pet owner of multiple pets, you can adopt the system for your dogs (and even cats), and make use of the dog training applications along with tracking technology.
KYON pet tracker
The KYON tracker is capable of tracking your pet’s temperature and activity, and even communicates your pet’s moods to you via the app on your smart phone.
Features of Kyon GPS collar
Not many pet wearables promise to enlighten you on the topic of your dog’s moods, but that’s exactly what the KYON tracker promises to deliver. Based on activity, posture, temperature, and other metrics, the collar will tell you if your pet is happy, restless, sleepy, moody, overheated, or various other moods and conditions.
Cons of Kyon Collar
- If you have a favorite collar or harness system and hope to clip your pet tracker to that collar, KYON may not fit the bill. The technology in this tracker is built into the collar itself, so you’ll have to either add this collar to the existing one, or replace the collar you’ve been accustomed to using.
- This collar comes in just a handful of colors (red, black, brown and white) so you have a limited range of choices.
- The KYON tracker is sturdy and includes a loop to which you can link a leash, but you may still want to avoid strain on this high-tech collar and use a second collar or harness for walking if your large dog tends to pull at the leash.
Pros of Kyon dog collar
- In addition to mood monitoring, the Kyon unit even includes pacifier technology that can help deter your dog from engaging in dangerous fights, sending out a high frequency sound when you press a “Peace” button on your phone’s app.
- It can be used as a bark collar as well, emitting ultrasound deterrent noise when your dog barks.
- The battery lasts for up to thirty days between recharging, and the collar itself is the thinnest on the market, bypassing the clunkier clip-on devices that are commonly attached to existing collars.
- Especially if you have a very small dog, this might be a great fit, because your dog won’t be lugging around a boxy attachment on his collar; the collar itself serves the technological functions.
- The collar communicates wirelessly with a Base station, which in turn communicates with your mobile app as well as the KYON central server.
- Embedded GPS technology allows you to locate and track your dog, while other sensors give you qualitative information about your pet’s activities and mood.
Nuzzle GPS tracker
Nuzzle is an integrated collar and tracking device that comes in multiple sizes to fit a variety of dog breeds. The collar uses GPS as well as cellular connectivity to keep tabs on your pet when paired with the app on your mobile phone.
Features of Nuzzle GPS
The app on your phone allows you to see what type of activity your pet is engaging in, like playing, exploring, or resting, and how much time during the day your pet has been doing each of those things.
It also monitors location with GPS and cellular data, tracks temperature, detects impacts, and allows for geofencing (setting boundaries with alerts if your pet crosses those “virtual fences”). The unit comes with an LED light, charger, base station, and two interchangeable rechargeable batteries.
Cons of Nuzzle app
- The tracking device on the front of the collar is bulky enough that it might not wear easily on a very small dog.
- If you’re a dog-dresser, you might be disappointed that the collar only comes in three colors (purple, black, and orange)
- If your large dog tends to pull on his leash, you might want to use a separate harness or collar when you attach the leash, rather than risking having him break the high-tech Nuzzle collar.
Pros of Nuzzle GPS app
For people who are looking for a combination of durability and lightweight, streamlined design, the Nuzzle is a great choice.
- It’s not a bulky clip-on and works well even for the smallest dogs.
- With interchangeable batteries, you never have to worry about leaving your pet unmonitoried while the batteries charge; you can simply switch out a charged battery for the one that needs charging.
- This is one of the few models that uses cellular data but does not require an ongoing subscription or plan. It’s just a one-time fee to purchase the equipment, and the app is free.
- Beginning in 2017, you can also purchase Nuzzle’s pet insurance when you buy your Nuzzle device, and manage all the information for both pet activity and pet insurance from your smart phone.
Findster Duo Pet Tracker
Findster Duo is a geolocator with no subscription or monthly fees required, and no cellular coverage necessary, thanks to the integration of proprietary Radio Frequency technology.
Features of Findster pet tracker
The Findster incorporates live tracking via GPS and RF, in addition to health monitoring of your pet’s activities. The Duo, as its name suggests, comes in a pair of modules, one of which attaches to your pet, and the other for you. The two modules communicate with one another wirelessly, with a range of as much as two miles, depending on the terrain. The devices also come with a docking station that charges both the pet’s unit and the guardian’s paired unit.
The battery is rechargeable and lasts for up to five days between charges, and the unit includes an LED light that can be activated for visibility at night.
Cons of Findster Duo GPS
Right now you can pre-order the Findster Duo, but you’ll have to wait just a bit to enjoy it upon its release in July of 2017.
- The Findster is not always functional indoors, being designed and targeted for outdoor use.
- It doesn’t track some of the additional metrics that some other devices monitor (like temperature and vitals), but it is among the easiest units to use for determining location and keeping tabs on your dog’s whereabouts.
Pros of Findster Duo Dog GPS
- The Findster Duo doesn’t rely on Sim cards or cellular service to function, so you can take it entirely off the grid.
- Hunters and hikers and outdoorsy folks particularly appreciate this functionality, since they can go farther afield and still keep tabs on their dogs.
- The unit also pairs with a free smartphone app that is available in both the Apple and Android stores.
- Using the app, you can see your pet’s location on a map, or see where he is relative to you, in both direction and distance. You can record walks or hikes and view them later on a map.
- Another suggested use of the Findster is to utilize it with children as well as with pets, because it’s easy to clip the unit to a child’s belt or clothing and keep track of them on a trip to the store or a hike in the woods.
- As many as four pets can be paired with a single “Guardian” device, and more than one smart phone can connect with a single pet’s device. That means that your handheld Guardian unit can track multiple pets, and more than one person can check location with the app.