The criteria we used when rating these collars was based on the following. They’re listed in order of most important to less important aspects of the collar. Though, everything is taken into account for the final rating and should give you a good idea on what collar to choose.
Range: How far can the device track your dog? Is it limited to a specific region? Some devices only work in the US or on specific cellular networks, while others may be restricted by relative distance–for example, “4 miles from the tracking device.”
Tracking: How do you, the pet parent, actually see the tracking data for your dog? The vast majority use a free iOS or Android app, but some are completely self-contained systems. If you don’t own a smartphone, this is going to be particularly important, because some don’t have web functionality at all.
Battery Life: How long can the device track your dog on a single charge? It’s easy to overlook battery life, but is actually one of the most important pieces of the puzzle. Your GPS tracker can only work so long as it is up and running, so you need a device that won’t die when you need it most. It’s important to note that we’re looking at tracking time–not just the amount of time the device can technically be on and running.
Design: How do you attach the GPS to your dog? Many options clip or slide onto your dog’s existing collar, while others come already embedded in a full collar.
Size & Weight: Is it big and bulky, or lightweight? You don’t want a tracker that is too large for your dog or might hurt their neck. We’ve included measurements and weight to help you get the clearest picture of the full bulk of the device.
How GPS Pet Trackers Impact Your Dog’s Health
The moment your dog goes missing, the American Humane Association says that it is imperative to look for them immediately. Start by quickly going through the local area and then begin searching nearby shelters.
Tragically, the truth is that only 15.8% of pets who go into shelters are reunited with their owners. Fortunately, you can lessen your chances of becoming a statistic by investing in modern-day GPS pet tracker technology. With the right device for your unique situation, you can have peace of mind that your dog’s location is always at your fingertips.
Microchip vs GPS Tracker
Microchips are excellent for helping veterinarians or shelters identify your dog immediately–and we highly recommend getting one for each of your dogs. But, microchips do have their limits. They cannot tell you where your dog is and are even prone to shifting overtime. And even more unfortunately, sometimes shelters don’t have the technology to detect all microchip types.
This is why we believe in treating the microchip as your safety net, but relying on other means to keep your dog safe on a day-to-day basis, like a GPS tracker.
What to Keep in Mind
GPS trackers come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and types. There’s no universal right answer, so be sure to keep your specific needs in mind as you browse these reviews.
– Do you live in a rural or populated area? If cellular service is spotty, 100% self-contained GPS tracking systems will likely be more reliable.
– Would you like to set customized safety zones? Many devices allow you to designate specific areas as “safe” for your dog. When your dog wanders from these area, you receive an alert.
– Do you care about monitoring your dog’s location history? Devices keep different amounts of information over different periods of time. Are you only looking at the past 24 hours, or would you like more data to comb through?
– Are you looking for something simple, or all the bells and whistles? Often, GPS tracking devices come with technology very similar to fitness bands for humans. You can track your dog’s activity level, calories burned, exertion, and more.
– How long should your battery last? If you remove your dog’s collar every night, charging may not be an issue. But if time is limited, you likely want a device that can hold a charge across multiple days.
– Are you willing to pay a subscription fee? Many of these devices–notably, the ones connected to cellular networks–actually have their own SIM cards and require small monthly payments.
Now that you have a better sense of what you’re looking for, we hope you enjoy the following reviews.
Keeping your dog safe is what GPS trackers are all about. The technology in this field is ever evolving, but when it comes down to it, what matters most is accuracy: can you find your pup quickly in an emergency?
There are a lot of duds out there, but there are also just as many devices that take full-advantage of our globe’s incredible network of GPS satellites, WiFi, and cellular service. And if you choose carefully, you may just walk away with some awesome bells and whistles.
We hope these reviews gave you some peace of mind with your GPS dog tracker search! Please let us know which one you decided to go with and what you think–we’re always looking for more data to improve our reviews.