“By the age of 15, more than half of dogs will lose their memory.”
That’s right, dogs can suffer from cognitive decline just like humans. Dog dementia is known as Canine Cognitive Dysfunction (CCD). This is a cognitive disorder in dogs associated with effects similar to those of Alzheimer’s in humans.
One of the by-products of your dog starting to lose his memory is an increase in his tendency to wander off.
Luckily, there’s a simple solution: finding the best dog GPS tracker to ensure you know where your pup is at all times.
Of course, even if your dog is young, fit, and healthy, there’s still every chance you’ll need to keep your eye on him. Whether he chases butterflies on a grassy roadside and gets carried away, or he simply gets lost while out for a walk on his own, stop your furball from pulling a Houdini by taking the proper precautions.
Here are a few things to consider when you’re comparing dog GPS trackers…
- Service fees: Some pet GPS trackers force you to sign up for a monthly package in order to monitor your pet’s movements in-app. You should establish the nature of any service fees while assembling your shortlist. The advantage of doing this is whittling down your options before you get started on the buying trail
- Battery life: You need to establish that the GPS tracker you’re looking at gives you sufficient battery life for your needs. Every pet owner is different. If you live in the city and only take your dog for occasional short walks, you won’t need to place much priority on battery life. If, on the other hand, you frequently head out in the country with your pup, you’ll need a GPS that keeps going all day long
- Waterproofing: Do you live somewhere where it rains a lot? How about taking your dog for walkies by the beach? Does he tend to jump in the ocean? If your dog comes into contact with water, you should ensure that any GPS tracker you look at is adequately waterproofed for your requirements
- Geofencing: Anyone who wants to create no-go zones in the yard for their dog has more options than a wireless dog fence. You can utilize pet trackers with geofencing capability to build out areas you don’t want your pup to breach. Then, if he heads out of this zone, you’ll be alerted and you can subsequently track him for added safety
- Tracking: You should make certain you can track your dog in real time. If you have several pets at home, you should also ensure that any collar and GPS you’re looking at can support multiple dogs. If not, it will work out an expensive proposition to kit out each dog independently. You also need to look at how you will track your dog once you’re up and running. Do you use a web browser or is there a mobile app? Choose in line with your needs
- Price and ongoing running costs: When pricing up pet GPS trackers, you need to look beyond the bottom line. Work out any monthly costs and make sure you’re happy with this monthly commitment before proceeding to purchase
Right, with that simple groundwork in place, you should have a clear idea of what to look for when you’re hunting for dog GPS trackers.
We’ll dive right in now with our reviews so you can assess what’s on offer in this crowded market. Take your time, and you’ll never lose your dog again. Get this wrong and you’ll end up with an ineffective hunk of plastic.
I. The 9 Best Dog GPS Trackers
1. Our #1 Pick: Whistle GO Explore GPS Tracker
First up in our quest for the best dog GPS trackers is this classic model from Whistle GO Explore. Choose from 6 bright colorways and 3 distinct models. What makes the GO Explore stand out, then?
You harness the power of Google Maps and the sprawling AT&T network to keep tabs on your pooch in real time.
It’s not just location tracking you get with this nifty tool, though. You can also monitor a suite of heath metrics from licking and scratching through to how well your furball sleeps. All this is tied up in monthly reports so you can keep your pup at his very best.
The activity tracking portion of this GPS allows you to personalize fitness and health goals for your furry friend.
Also, if you act quickly and sign up for a subscription, you’ll also benefit from a bundled tele-vet service giving you even greater value for money.
When you want to keep an eye on various aspects of your dog’s life, from his location to his health to his overall activity, you can’t go wrong with Whistle.
2. Tractive LTE Dog Tracker
If you’re torn between the idea of a dog GPD tracker and a fitness tracker, why compromise? The Tractive Dog Tracker offers you the best of both worlds in one lightweight and compact collar.
Ideal for all life stages, you can keep tabs on Rover’s movements at all times. Whether it’s preventing him from escaping from the yard, running off when you’re out walking, or keeping him safe when you’re away from home, GPS trackers let you stay in charge.
Create a nifty virtual fence to build boundaries for your dog. If he slips outside this zone, you’ll receive an instant alert.
You’ll need a subscription plan to use the GPS capability of this collar, but it’s very reasonably priced and should fall well within any pet owner’s budgets. Compared to the cost of food, the price is negligible.
Managing the collar is super-simple in-app. You can take full advantage of this collar in over 150 countries worldwide, functionality you won’t find on all collars like this. Tractive connects to Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, or Viaero Wireless USA. This connection occurs independently of the wireless network you’re using with your smartphone.
3. Budget Pick: Tracki 2021 Pet GPS
Whether you’re looking to keep tabs on a pet, a child, or an elderly loved one, why not consider the Tracki 2020? This is our best budget pick for dog GPS trackers and well within most people’s budget. What do you get for your money, then?
Using this thing is a cinch even if you’re not the greatest tech fan. The mobile app is swift, responsive, and easy to navigate.
The tracker itself is small and lightweight weighing just 1.4oz and measuring up at 1.8 x 1.6 x 0.7 inches. Just clip the tracker to your dog’s collar and you’ll never lose him again.
You’ll need to commit to a contract but fees are much lower than much of the competition.
As if all this wasn’t enough, you’re covered by a limited lifetime warranty. You really can’t ask for much more, especially at this price point.
If pushed to find fault with this GPS, we’d point to reports from a few disgruntled users suggesting that long-range tracking is deficient. Think carefully about your intended usage and whether or not this would be problematic.
4. BARTUN Pet GPS Tracker
The BARTUN tracker comes with the ability to track your dog over as great a range as you need. This is one of the strongest performers in that area when it comes to pet GPS trackers.
Another outstanding element of this tracker is the global functionality. This thing works in pretty much all countries worldwide.
Fully waterproof, you’ll have no concerns if you’re out in the rain or walking down by the water. The tracker is rated IP67.
You can manage your tracker from a web browser or in the responsive mobile app.
The collar comes in either mini or small sizes. This is not designed for larger dogs. It’s small and compact so your small breed pet can wear the collar all day without feeling uncomfortable.
Giving this tracker a full burst of charge takes just 5 hours.
As with most of these pet GPS trackers, you’ll need to sign up for a subscription. You should ensure this fits with your budget before committing to purchase.
5. FitBark GPS Dog Tracker
As we edge to the end of our dog GPS trackers, we have the FitBark. What does this tracker deliver?
As the name hints, you can track multiple health and fitness metrics as well as the location of your pooch.
You’ll need a WiFi connection, Verizon LTE coverage, and an in-app plan to get going. You should, as with all trackers, do your budgeting before you brandish your credit card. Make sure you’re clear on all charges and you’re happy to pay the ongoing monthly fee. Establish, too, that you’re comfortable with the contract length.
With all that in place, you can take full advantage of a vet-backed system that allows you to monitor vital metrics at a glance and to ensure that your pet is safe, healthy, and happy at all times.
6. Garmin T5 GPS Dog Collar
Last but not least, an entry from the mighty Garmin, a company with a stranglehold on the GPS vertical. Is their pet-centered model as strong as their auto GPS systems?
It certainly is! Off the bat, you get an incredible 9-mile range. Unless your dog plans on running a marathon, he won’t evade you even if he’s prone to wandering off.
For pet owners who spend a lot of time in wet conditions, the waterproofing on the collar ensures you won’t end up with your hardware ruined every time it rains or your dog take a dip.
The drawback with this GPS is the fact it’s substantially heavier and bulkier than most competiting models.
This collar is designed to work with either the Garmin Alpha 100 or the Astro 320.
7. Dogtra Pathfinder GPS Tracking Collar
Dogtra’s Pathfinder is one of the more expensive GPS dog collars, but is it worth the stiff price tag?
As with all dog products, that depends on the needs of you and your dog as well as your budget. If you have multiple dogs at home, for instance, the expandable nature of this collar allows you to monitor up to 21 dogs. This feature alone acts as a considerable money saver, increasing value for multi-pet households.
The batteries are quick to charge in around 3 hours. You’ll then get rock-solid performance from the lithium polymer batteries.
Range is impressive at 9 miles, and should cater for most reasonable needs.
Choose from 100 different levels of stimulation on this collar depending on the temperament of your furball.
The collar is completely waterproof, so ideal if you often take Fido out for walks in the rain, or if you walk down by the ocean.
Perfect for dogs weighing 35 pounds and over, this is one of the best dog GPS trackers out there for medium-sized breeds. It’s not cheap, but you’ll enjoy enviable flexibility, outstanding coverage, and complete accuracy with tracking: what’s not to love?
8. Link AKC Smart Dog Collar
Next up comes a GPS smart collar that looks more like a traditional dumb collar. The Italian leather adds a touch of class to what is usually a plain and functional device. Is it a case of form over function, though?
Certainly not! As well as looking great round your furball’s neck, the leather collar is surprisingly durable, and it’s also waterproof and weatherproof.
Choose from a wide variety of sizes to suit. This is the Medium collar, adjustable from 14 to 17.5 inches. This should be a smooth fit for most medium breeds.
You’ll require a service plan for tracking with the AT&T cellular network. As with all these trackers, the monthly subscription is pretty reasonable, and it definitely won’t feature among your most noticeable pet expenses.
There is an activity tracking feature baked in. We found some scattered complaints from consumers. Some call the accuracy of this tracker into question when it’s measuring your pet’s activity. You should do you own due diligence if you’re buying the tracker primarily for charting your pup’s fitness levels.
Overall, this is a GPS collar that looks a lot more attractive than most of the opposition without stiffing you in terms of performance.
9. Fi Series 2 GPS Smart Collar
The Fi Series 2 GPS smart collar is a great tracker that helps you stay on top of Rex’s movements even if he’s not right by your side.
Choose from 4 sizes and 4 colorways to suit the breed and temperament of your furball. This is the small collar finished in gray.
Harnessing the LTE-M cellular network, you can easily check up on your dog’s location remotely. In the event of an outright emergency, activate Lost Dog Mode and you’ll enjoy real-time updates showing you exactly where your pup is padding along.
You’ll also benefit from alerts pinged to your smartphone if your dog slips away unnoticed.
With the activity monitoring feature, you’ll stay abreast of your hound’s activity step-by-step. This is ideal if you’re looking to manage your dog’s weight – exercise is just as important as choosing the right low-calorie dog food.
Waterproof and packing a battery designed to deliver 3 months of use, this is among the best GPS trackers for dogs you can find from a household name you can rely on.
Most user testimony concerning the Fi is positive, but we found some reports of dog’s slipping out of the collar rather too easily.
With our reviews put to bed, it’s time to round out in our usual style. We’ve collected answers to the most frequently asked questions about pet GPS trackers. That way, you have all the information you need in one place.
1) Can an item finder replace a dog GPS tracker?
No. You need a dedicated pet tracker so you can be confident the collar will stay in place. While an item finder would work in principle, the chances are high your pup would lose the device itself. When pet GPS trackers are so cheap, why take the chance?
2) Can I only track my dog’s location?
Some trackers act as a pure GPS unit. Others offer the ability to chart a range of metrics from health to fitness to sleep.
3) Is it possible to get a waterproof dog GPS tracker?
Absolutely. Most of the models we review today are fully waterproofed, some rated IP67 and good to a depth of 30 feet. While your dog obviously won’t be diving that deep, it’s reassuring to have a completely waterproofed unit, especially if you live somewhere with a rainy climate.
4) How does a dog GPS tracker work?
Dog tracking collars come with a GPS module baked in. This continuously calculates the location of the device relative to GPS satellites. Many of the more modern trackers also boast Bluetooth connectivity alongside cellular connectivity. This helps you always see the most precise location information for your pet.
5) Is it worth looking for a dog GPS tracker with a fitness tracker built in?
More than half of all dogs are overweight or obese, and this leads to a whole host of health conditions in dogs from diabetes to joint problems and heart issues. Now, feeding your dog the right type of canine weight-loss food is crucial, but you also need to ensure your hound gets plenty of vigorous exercise. Weight management, despite what the diet industry wants you to believe is super-simple: if calories consumed do not exceed energy expended, your dog will lose weight. A GPS tracker allows you to monitor exactly how much activity your pup is getting so you can keep him within a healthy weight.
6) What are the benefits of a dog GPS tracker
If you’re taking your pet to a new area where he doesn’t know his way around, a GPS tracker gives you a valuable extra layer of protection. When you’re walking Rover in an open area like a field, it’s natural for him to tear off chasing other dogs. It doesn’t take much to distract dogs, though, and there’s always the risk he will get lost. With a tracker, this is no concern. Other dogs dig under dog fences and flee the yard. This might seem like fun and games for Fido until he gets lost. With a GPS collar, you’ll soon have him located. Last but not least, there is also a very real chance your dog could be stolen by dognappers. Animal theft is a growing problem in the United States, especially in the case of pedigree dogs and rare, valuable breeds.
With more than 10 million cats and dogs going missing each year, according to the American Humane Association, you can easily make sure your precious pet is not among those statistics.
All you need to do to achieve this is to invest in the best dog GPS tracker, and you’ll easily pin down your dog even if he slips the leash and heads off on an adventure.
You should be clear on what to look for when you’re shopping for these tracking devices. Also, if you want to monitor the health, fitness, and sleeping habits of your pooch, many of these trackers also allow for that functionality. That said, you should only buy in line with what you actually need. Don’t seek out the most feature-rich tracker just for the sake of it. Owning a pet is costly enough without any unnecessary expenditure.
Before you pop out for a walk with your dog, bookmark BarkVA. Be sure to come back any time you need guidance on any area of dog ownership. We’ve got you covered. We have lots of content lined up for the coming months so come back soon!