Works to help find lost pets as well as monitor the pet's activity during the day. Provides apps for both Apple and Android smartphones. Will send you notifications if the pet leaves a particular area. Also allows you to monitor the pet's activity for a 24-hour period.
Requires a monthly subscription plan, so you have some ongoing costs. Must be recharged.
Real-time GPS tracking with no subscription fee. Will track pets up to three miles away in optimum conditions; actively archives your pet’s activity on its companion app. Will immediately notify its owner if a pet leaves a designated safe area.
Sports a much better tracking range for rural areas than urban spaces, and it was ultimately designed for tracking a dog during a walk. It is not a remote monitoring device.
No subscription fee. Impressive battery life of six to nine months between charges. DOTT is also an activity tracker that logs the duration of your dog’s walks and features a community of DOTT owners to look for missing pets.
The DOTT companion app is only compatible with Apple products. (Android app is currently in beta.) Not a GPS tracker.
Works like a human fitness tracker that monitors your pet's activities, including rest and distance traveled. Has built-in GPS. App is easy to use and trim design fits nicely on most collars. Set-up instructions are easy to follow.
Operates on a 2G network, which is likely to provide limited coverage in some areas.
Device has a long battery life that will last a few weeks before needing recharging. Tracking tags can be used in water for dogs who like to swim. Device will give you an alert if the pet leaves the area you've designated as safe.
Doesn't have GPS tracking technology included, so it has a limited range of accuracy.
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Your dog or cat is part of the family, and it’s hard to imagine a worse feeling than being unable to find Rover or Fluffy. If your puppy or kitten is an accomplished escape artist, and you’re worried about the safety of your furry friend, it might be time to clip a pet tracker to his collar.
There are many different pet trackers from multiple brands, and each one has model-specific features that you may or may not need. Are you willing to pay a monthly subscription fee for extremely accurate GPS tracking? Do you really need to monitor how much sleep your cat gets every day when what you need is a way to find her when she hides? Which pet tracker is the best option if your dog is lost in your neighborhood?
It’s ultimately up to you to decide which pet tracker is best for your situation, but we can help. We’ve tested a number of solid devices, and our shopping guide provides some tips on exactly what to look for in a pet tracker. If you’re ready to buy, check out our top recommended products, too.
Anyone considering buying a pet tracker should carefully consider the maximum tracking range of each device, and how factors such as environmental conditions and cellular or WiFi coverage may affect the search for your pet. Some trackers utilize a combination of WiFi, GPS, and GSM technologies to locate a missing pet within ten meters of its location, while others rely on a handheld remote for locating lost pets within two miles of the device.
If you’re afraid that your cat or dog might roam far from home, you’ll want a pet tracker with precision GPS or cellular tracking technology. However, many pet trackers offer this premium service for a monthly subscription fee of $5 to $10, depending on the brand. Although a pet tracking subscription will certainly add up over time, it’s difficult to put a price tag on the ability to effortlessly pinpoint the exact location of a lost or stolen pet with the aid of your smartphone.
If you’re considering a device that uses cellular data or GPS technology to track your pet, be prepared to recharge the pet tracker’s battery for a few hours each week or you’ve wasted your money on a high-tech piece of doggie bling. Note that devices that incorporate a handheld tracker for close-range pet tracking usually have far better battery life, some lasting as long as six weeks between charges.
High-tech peace of mind
The Whistle 3 delivers a top-of-the-line pet tracking service that is unmatched by its competitors. This lightweight tracker is designed to stay within your home’s WiFi, but the moment your pet leaves its range (still within the U.S.) you’ll be notified and reunited with your animal buddy with the aid of the cellular, GPS, and WiFi technologies.
No two pet trackers will have exactly the same features, tracking coverage, and pet monitoring options, and it’s up to you to compare and contrast models to find the one that is best for your dog or cat. Here are a few key features to look for:
Waterproof design: Every manufacturer should note that its pet tracker is waterproof because if the device can’t survive a little mud, rain, or moisture, it isn’t very useful.
Durability: Choose a tracker that can stand up to your fur baby’s wild adventures.
GPS and cellular technology: Although many pet trackers need to be set up in a “safe” or “home” location via local WiFi, advanced devices use GPS and cellular signals to monitor your pet’s location. While it’s clearly the superior method for locating a missing pet, this feature is often linked to a subscription fee.
Companion app: Plenty of pet trackers sport a companion app so that concerned pet owners can easily keep tabs on their animals with a glance at their smartphone. Make sure that the companion app is compatible with your device before purchasing a pet tracker.
A good-quality pet tracker should be waterproof. You could put your pet at risk if you use a cheap device that can’t stand up to the elements.
The battery on any pet tracker needs to be recharged regularly for the device to function as intended. Write reminders on your calendar to make sure the tracker stays fully charged.
Most pet owners won’t often need to use the location tracking feature, but the activity tracker is a nice way to keep tabs on your pet’s health and get more bang for your buck at the same time.
Because there is such a wide selection of pet trackers out there, prices can range from around $20 on the low end to upwards of $250.
With that said, a device’s set of features and ability to clearly monitor your pet when it matters the most are far more important than the pet tracker’s ultimate price.
Helpful features such as cellular tracking, activity monitoring, long battery life, and user-friendly companion app may drive up the cost of a pet tracker, but if you’re already looking for one, it’s worth spending a little more to make sure that your cat or dog is covered by that extra layer of protection.
Be sure to regularly charge the pet tracker. The battery life of devices that utilize GPS or cellular tracking usually varies from ten days to a week between charges. If you don’t keep it charged, it won’t be able to help reunite you with your beloved pet when you need it most.
Opt for a pet tracker with a temperature alert. A temperature alert feature could save the life of your pet. An animal can die of heatstroke if left in a hot car for only 15 minutes!
Microchip your pet. While buying a pet tracker will help to put your mind at ease, we highly recommend getting your pet microchipped by your veterinarian as well. This procedure will ensure that anyone who finds your pet can take it to a veterinarian or animal shelter and access your contact information.
There are many pet trackers on the market, and each has its own model-specific features and perks, but a few others caught our attention. The Findster Duo+ Pet Tracker is a small clip-on device that works best in open outdoor areas for up to three miles (or more under optimum conditions), sports real-time GPS tracking via a companion app (available for iOS and Android devices), and is free of subscription fees. Created from a successful Kickstarter project, the DOTT Bluetooth Tracker weighs an impressively light one-quarter ounce, has a tracking range of 350 feet, and automatically connects your pet to the community of animal owners using DOTT, alerting others if your dog or cat is spotted wandering in their area. Note that the DOTT companion app is currently exclusive to Apple devices.
Q. Will I have to pay a monthly subscription to use a pet tracker?
A. It depends on the brand. Although some pet trackers are fully functional without a subscription, others require a subscription fee up to about $10 per month.
Q. Will a pet tracker fit my pet’s collar?
Q. Do I need a pet tracker that also monitors my pet’s daily activity?
A. No, but it’s a nice bonus for animal lovers. You probably have no idea what your puppy or kitten is up to when you leave home for the day, and keeping tabs on the average sleep patterns, calories burned, and distance traveled of your pet will give you some invaluable insight into your animal’s overall health.
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