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Every dog parent’s worst fear is their dog getting lost. After all, you can’t just phone your dog if he escapes the yard or gets off his leash. Fortunately, with today’s technology, you can outfit your pup with a GPS or tracking collar.
Are these collars higher on the price end? Yes, but you’re paying for peace of mind and your dog’s safety. That’s a worthy investment.
Even if they’re microchipped, finding a lost dog can be incredibly difficult. An effective GPS or tracking dog collar can help you locate an escape artist pup before it’s too late.
FAQs About GPS and Tracking Collars
How does the collar locate my dog?
Most of these collars connect to an app so you can receive information about your dog’s position. How you receive that information depends on the type of tracking collar you choose. GPS collars rely on satellites to send signals and work independently of cell service. Other tracking collars use cellular networks for low-power, long-distance communications. Some use Bluetooth/radio wave short-range capabilities.
Are all GPS and tracking collars basically the same?
No! What you need depends on many factors, including where you live, what breed of dog you have, and what you’re willing to spend. Some tracking systems use cellular networks to find your dog’s location, and others use satellites and radio signals. Some are primarily designed to warn you if your indoor pup found a hole in the backyard fence, and some are designed to locate a hunting dog that strayed too far. Depending on the collar you pick, you may or may not need to pay a subscription fee.
Will the device bother my dog?
Attachable GPS and tracking devices are small and unobtrusive, designed to be comfortably worn. Others are sturdy collars with the device embedded inside. Your dog likely won’t even notice it.
Selecting The Right GPS/Tracking Collar For Your Dog
Since there are so many options for GPS and tracking collars for dogs, here are some things to think about before you shop:
- Tracking Accuracy: When you’re investing in a tracking collar to keep tabs on your best pal, you want the most accurate readings possible. It’s important to note that some of these trackers update location information more frequently. Not all offer live tracking, which could be important if you’re dealing with an escape attempt.
- Range: Look for the collar’s range capabilities and whether or not it functions best in rural areas or city spaces. Some can detect your dog’s location from farther distances than others.
- Battery life: Depending on their communication technology, some collars/trackers may last longer than others before needing to be recharged. For a longer-lasting battery, you might also end up paying more.
- Activity and health monitoring: Many of these collars/attachments also monitor your dog’s health data in addition to location features. This isn’t essential, but it’s a nice option with several of these devices.
- Subscriptions: For trackers that use cellular networks, you’ll have to pay a monthly, annual, or multiple-year subscription fee. This is in addition to the cost of the device. Purely GPS/Bluetooth devices that don’t operate on cell networks won’t typically require this fee.
Considering all these factors, here are our picks for the best GPS and tracking collars for dogs and their most notable benefits.
Most Accurate Tracking
- High sensitivity GPS with 9 mile range
- Tracks even in areas with poor cell service
- Includes extended range antenna
- Water-resistant design
Garmin is a highly trusted brand known for its navigation systems. While it skews higher on the price range, the Garmin TT 15 Dog Device is one of few trackers that doesn’t require a smartphone/an app or even internet access. It also has a wide tracking range of 9 miles.
- Provides live location tracking
- Weekly health report indicates your pet’s licking, scratching, and sleeping habits
- Battery life can last up to 20 days
- Small device compatible with a wider variety of collars
The Whistle GO Explore consistently tops the lists of the best tracking collars and devices for dogs. It’s highly user-friendly, and it can be set up so that multiple people (additional family members, dog walkers, etc.) receive important alerts. Activating the Whistle GO Explore requires a subscription plan, and the three options will cost you between $6.95 and $9.95 per month.
Fastest Escape Alerts
- Track your dog in over 150 countries with an app for iOS and Android (or any web browser)
- Mark safe spaces with a virtual fence capability
- View your dog’s daily travel history
- Monthly, 1 year, 2 year and 5 year plans available starting at $4.99 per month
The Tractive LTE GPS Dog Tracker uses AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile networks to track your dog. In addition to showing you where your dog is, it also lets you know where they’ve been since the tracker was booted up. That way, you can see if they’ve gone anywhere they shouldn’t have when you weren’t looking. Like many trackers, Tractive requires a subscription plan.
Best Advanced Features
- Subscription plans are either monthly, 1, 2, or 3 years
- Tracks health info like sleep quality, calorie balance, and skin condition
- Compatible with any flat collar up to 1.5 inches wide
If you’re interested in a device that monitors your dog’s health data, the FitBark has what you need. Beyond serving as a GPS tracker, it will monitor your dog’s sleep patterns, skin condition, activity levels, and more. The biggest drawback is its relatively low battery life, but it’s great for providing health information in addition to location.
Most Durable Tracking Collar
- Includes rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, lasting 24 hours per charge
- DryTek technology makes the device submersible up to 5 feet and the collar waterproof
- No subscription required
The SportDOG TEK Series 1.5 is highly durable, designed for your outdoorsy dog to wander in all types of weather and terrain. This system uses GPS satellites, not cell service, to track your dog up to 7 miles away. It could be the right choice for hikes or camping trips.
Best Battery Life
- Collar sizes range from Small to XL
- Tracks your dog’s activity level as well as their location
- Battery can last up to 3 months between charges
- Customizable LED light on the collar
The Fi Series 2 Collar is a tracking device that requires infrequent charging. It has a few other nice features, like LED lights that illuminate your dog’s path at night and health activity monitoring.
Best Collar Alternative
- Connects to cellular networks, so it requires a monthly subscription
- Get alerts about location changes, speed increases, and low battery
- Rechargeable battery lasts 10 to 60 days
- Cube offers customer service and tech support
The Cube Real-Time GPS Tracker can be used to track more than just furry family members, but it works great for that purpose too. The company also provides tech support if you run into any issues. Because it connects to cellular networks, you’ll have to pay a subscription to use the Cube.