A GPS tracker could be one of the most useful devices you could purchase for your pet. These devices help you track your dog’s location and may even track their activity like a FitBit. Here are our team's picks for the best dog GPS trackers in 2021.
How to Choose the Best Pet GPS Tracker for Your Dog
Lots of gadgets have been introduced in the 21st-century, such as GPS trackers for dogs. This is wearable technology, in the form of a collar, that lets you track your dog’s location, which is helpful if your dog runs off or gets lost. The family dog is not only a pet but a member of the family, and millions of dogs are lost or stolen every year. However, these trackers reduce the anxiety and fear of losing your beloved dog. The GPS technology, typically placed in your dog’s collar or attached to the collar, locates your pet’s position and sends the information to your smartphone via Android or iOS. Keep in mind that this technology is not the same as a microchip. A microchip is a small device embedded just under your dog’s skin and is a permanent electronic identification device. Dog tracker collars, on the other hand, can be removed daily if you wish.
When shopping for a GPS tracker, you need to consider the tracking range first and foremost. You need to be able to monitor the location of your pet within a reasonably large area. This is especially important for pets that consistently wander off.
A particularly helpful feature is one that enables you to designate a “safe zone” and alerts you whenever your pet strays out of that area. This will enable you to go after your pet quickly and retrieve him before he gets lost for good.
There are lots of these trackers on the market, but the best trackers are pet-specific, which means that they aren’t general trackers and are designed to fit onto a collar or are embedded within a collar. The best GPS trackers for dogs are also obtained from reputable manufacturers and not companies with no websites or contact information. When you work with a reputable manufacturer, if something goes wrong with the tracker, you know you can contact the manufacturer for help. Here are specific things to look for when researching a GPS tracker for dogs.
Collar size considerations are important when it comes to a tracker for your dog. If the collar with the tracker attached or embedded is too big, it can be an uncomfortable option for your dog, causing neck or back pain for your pet. Also, if your dog is active and enjoys getting into bushes and digging under things, a loose-fitting tracker can get dislodged. Determine the size of your dog and then follow the manufacturers recommendations on what size collar/tracker you should purchase. For example, a tiny dog may do well with a collar that is no more than nine inches whereas a large dog may do well with a collar that is 25 inches.
How accurate is your dog tracker? If it fails to do what it is intended to do, it’s not a reliable device that you can count on. There will be a safe zone that you indicate with a tracker. If the dog leaves that zone, the app associated with your tracker should immediately notify you. Then, on the app’s map, you should be able to locate and follow your pet’s position with live tracking. A decent tracker app will have a decent refresh rate so that you remain in real time when trying to track your dog. Look for all of these features when researching a tracker.
Decent tracking is great. However, a GPS tracker is associated with battery life. So the best trackers respect battery life while providing you the most updated information. What is the battery life like for the GPS Tracker for dogs? If the tracker runs out of battery frequently, you’ll soon find that the tracker isn’t of much use when you need it. Therefore, choose a tracker that last long between charges. For example, a tracker that last seven days between charges may be more beneficial than one that lasts three days between charges. Your goal is to work with a device that is there when you need it.
Web Application Interface
The vast majority of GPS tracker for dogs use apps for iOS or Android. There are a few that provide a web application interface or the ability to track on your computer, but most don’t. Also, those that do offer a web application interface still require you to have a smartphone for some of the features. Therefore, if a web application interface is important to you, you’ll need to do your research to find a GPS tracker that provides one and what it entails.
Range and Signal Strength
For a GPS tracker to be beneficial for you and your pet, you need to be able to rely on finding a signal because most trackers run off cellular signals. If you live in an area where finding a signal is not a problem, such as in the city, range and signal strength should not be an issue. However, many pet owners live in rural areas. Therefore, you want to find a tracker that uses multiple signals and that will work well in rural areas. A dog tracking manufacturer that provides both cellular signals and satellite signals works well for dog owners who live in rural areas.
What To Do In Poor Reception Areas
A GPS dog tracker is a superior way to track your dog. However, if you live “out in the middle of nowhere” a GPS tracker may not be your best option due to poor reception. Your other option, in this case, is a radio frequency pet tracker which works like a wireless walkie-talkie. These devices do not give you the exact location of your dog like a GPS dog tracker does, instead, they let you know the direction of where your dog is headed. However, if cellular and satellite coverage is weak, a radio frequency pet tracker is an option and has a good battery life over a GPS tracker that has to be frequently recharged.
Follow these tips for finding the best GPS tracker for your dog. This technology eliminates the fear and anxiety associated with losing your dog and not being able to find it. Keep in mind that many GPS dog tracker apps require a monthly subscription fee. The best place to research these trackers is online, where you will find all of the information you need to determine the best tracker for your needs.
By Jarett Gilpin
Jarett and his vapor wake dog, Toxi, help keep the students and public safe on the University of Notre Dame’s campus. Jarett knows what equipment, food and toys to keep Toxi safe, productive and still able to have fun.