Top-6 GPS-enabled dog tracker models in 2018: a new in-depth review.

 

A dog is rightfully considered one of the cleverest creatures on the planet. Four-legged human friends work as leaders of the blind; they easily distinguish their master from thousands of others and have an extremely keen nose. Unfortunately, sometimes they get lost. A pup can get scared in the crowd, he can foil the scent of his master; finally, he can get injured or stolen. If you are concerned about the beloved canine’s safety, there is a smart solution – a GPS dog tracker. Keep reading our unbiased review to find out what top GPS dog collar models of 2018 are.

The Top-Choice GPS Dog Tracker: Whistle 3

Best Overall
GPS Dog Tracker Whistle 3
GPS Dog Tracker Whistle 3
Durable GPS Dog Tracker with Activity Monitor

This really smart GPS tracker for dogs combines high effectiveness, excellent capabilities, an extremely long-lasting battery, sleek design, and ease of use. With the weight of less than one ounce, it is easily attached to the canine’s collar. As soon as the pet leaves the “safe zone”, you receive a relevant notification. The device effectively tracks and records the dog’s location. A nice extra feature is an activity monitor that shows detailed statistics on the dog’s activity throughout the day. The most amazing things about the tracker are the battery that lasts up to 7 days and a waterproof design.

Whistle 3 operates in the US cellular network AT&T. It is managed via a mobile app (iOS, Android) and requires a monthly fee of $6.95. On the good side, it works everywhere in the US. On the bad side, it doesn’t work in other countries.

Key features:

  • Durable and waterproof.
  • Battery life up to 7 days.
  • Compact and lightweight.
  • Easy to set up and use.
  • Tracks and records location.

The Runner-Up: Find My Pet GPS Dog Tracker

Runner Up
Find My Pet GPS Dog Tracker
Find My Pet GPS Dog Tracker
GPS Dog Tracker that Works All Around the World

This fantastic dog tracker is nearly as effective as Whistle 4 with just some subtle differences. Find My Pet lacks an activity monitor, and its battery life reaches 4 days instead of 7. But the numerous advantages of the device easily overweigh these minor downsides. The GPS pet tracker tracks and memorizes the location of your four-legged friend. Unlike many other devices, it stores the data for a year! It means that one may check where his or her dog was a year ago. It also notifies a dog’s owner of his dog leaving the safe zone.

This pet GPS tracker can be managed both via a mobile and a web app, which adds flexibility, as some people still don’t have smartphones. The subscription fee is only $4.99 per month, and the device works everywhere in the world, not just the US.

Key features:

  • Worldwide coverage.
  • Tracking via Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and GPS channels.
  • Battery life up to 4 days.
  • An SOS button for the location broadcasting.
  • Keeps the data for a year.

The Best Budget Pick: Dynotag Web/GPS Enabled QR Code Smart Pet Tag

Best Budget Choice
Dynotag Web/GPS Smart Pet Tag
Dynotag Web/GPS Smart Pet Tag
Simple Affordable Solution That Also Looks Beautiful

This is a simple, elegant, and low-budget solution for those who care about their pets’ safety, but don’t want to bother with apps, smartphones, monthly fees, and battery charging. The Dynotag is a steel waterproof GPS dog tag that has a unique QR-code. By scanning this code, anyone who’ll find the dog will be directed to a special web-page containing detailed information about the pet and its master. Also, every tag has a message engraved on its surface, for example, “Help Me Get Home Safely” (there are 4 variations).

The best thing about such GPS tags is that they don’t need regular recharging or funding, which is great for oblivious people. This is a sort of a set-and-forget solution without monthly fees that will last for years. Oh, yes, it is fantastically cheap – less than $20 on Amazon.

Key features:

  • Cheap, lightweight and easy to use.
  • Waterproof and durable.
  • No batteries required.
  • No fees included.

The Best GPS Dog Collar: Garmin Alpha 100 TT

Best GPS Dog Collar
Garmin Alpha 100 TT Dog Collar
Garmin Alpha 100 TT Dog Collar
Powerful GPS Dog Tracker for the Owners of Many Pets

Garmin Alpha is a top pick for the owners of larger dog breeds, especially those living outdoors – on the farms, in the camps, and so on. This dog GPS collar doesn’t require installation of any software. Actually, it doesn’t require a cellular phone at all. This independently operating two-piece set includes a collar with a built-in GPS transmitter and a receiver. Its range is impressive – up to 9 miles, which lets you track your dog on a vast open territory during walking or training. This pet tracker doesn’t require any subscription fees and allows controlling up to 20 dogs simultaneously!

Like other trackers, the GPS dog collar notifies you of the dog leaving the safe zone. The device needs recharging every 20-40 hours, which is a decent result. On the minus side, it is a bit heavy, so it is for larger breeds only.

Key features:

  • Doesn’t depend on any cellular network.
  • GLONASS support & preloaded maps.
  • Battery life 20-40 hours.
  • No subscription fees.
  • Up to 20 dogs simultaneously.

The Best Dog Camera Ball: PlayDate

Best Dog Camera Ball
PlayDate Dog Camera Ball
PlayDate Dog Camera Ball
Dog Camera Ball to Always Remain Close to Your Pup

Some people want to track their pets not only during walking. People who stay away all day long may want to know what their four-legged friends do when they are alone at home. The PlayDate camera ball is a smart solution that lets you track your canine and interact with it remotely. The dog tracker is controlled via a mobile or a web app on a smartphone and uses Wi-Fi channel for the data transfer.

Thanks to the innovative pet tracker, you’ll be able to talk to your canine, play to it by moving the ball, take pictures and even stream videos remotely.

Key features:

  • A 2-in-1 toy & camera device.
  • Easy remote tracking.
  • High-quality video streaming.
  • Microphone and speakers for voice communication.

Best GPS Dog Tag: PawPrintsID GPS Dog Collar Rescue and Recovery ID Dog Tag

Best GPS Dog Tag
PawPrintsID GPS Dog Tag
PawPrintsID GPS Dog Tag
Simple and Durable Solution to Help Your Dog Get Back Home

In fact, there’s no need to spend a fortune on your dog’s safety. PawPrintsID is an incredibly simple and still effective solution in the form of a thin plate that is attached to a canine’s collar. On the plate, there is a QR-code that contains all the information about your pet – from the owner’s contacts to medical records. Anyone who scans the code gets an access to this information can contact to you, while you get a notification every time somebody scans it.

The GPS dog tag doesn’t require any fees. It also doesn’t need recharging, which makes it a universal and easy-to-use option. Due to its lightweight and ergonomic design, it suits all breeds.

Key features:

  • No subscription fees charged.
  • All the vital data is encrypted in the QR-code.
  • No batteries required.
  • The system of free unlimited notifications.
  • Durable and water-resistant.

Who Should Buy a GPS Dog Tracker

Lost French BulldogIn fact, a pet tracker is an extremely useful gadget for everyone having a dog, and even for some cat owners. Even if you have an indoor dog, you have to walk it, take it to the vet, or take it out for some other reasons. There are known cases when dogs were scared with loud music, men, or other dog and escaped from their harness. A dog can tear up a leash or a collar; it can escape right from the car; finally, it can be stolen. In most cases, this is a GPS dog collar or another type of pet tracker that helps you to find your pup as quickly as possible.

It goes without saying that a GPS pet tracker is a must-have for all hunting and sporting dogs, patrol dogs, living on farms, and cadaver dogs. Modern dog tracker devices have a range of up to 10 miles and last up to several days on a single charge, which makes it possible to use them under extreme conditions.

Important Features to Consider

Dog Wearing a GPS TrackerNowadays, there’s no lack of dog trackers on sale, and many of them are just packed with features. That is why choosing the best GPS dog collar can be quite a challenge. While some of the frills added by the manufacturers are excessive, there are some crucial characteristics that everyone buying a dog GPS device must consider.

  1. Battery life. This is one of the core parameters for those who go hiking or hunting with their dogs for more than one day. Normally, a GPS dog collar can last up to 24 hours. For longer trips, choose a more powerful pet tracker, such as Whistle 3 that can work up to a week on a single charge.
  2. Water-resistant construction is another crucial characteristic of the best GPS dog collar. You never know for sure where your dog walks when it is far from you. Surely, you want to know that the GPS pet tracker will survive not just a small rain, but the dog’s swimming in a lake or in a river as well.
  3. Networks supported and coverage. It is important to understand whether a dog tracker is based on a cellular network, or has its own GPS receiver. If a GPS dog tracker works only in a particular cellular network, it is limited by the coverage of this network, and the dog’s owner needs to have a compatible phone to install an app. A GPS collar with a separate receiver doesn’t depend on cellular networks, but it is a sort of cumbersome and heavy.
  4. A monthly fee. Cellular-based dog trackers usually have a small subscription fee – 4-6 dollars per month. It can seem annoying to some of you, but taking into account the effectiveness and convenience of these devices it often makes sense to pay. Moreover, some providers offer good discounts when you buy a yearly plan.
  5. Activity monitoring. If exercising is a part of your canine’s life, opt for a pet tracker with a feature of activity monitor. It will measure the level of the dog’s activity and even give recommendations. You will always know whether your pet is underexercised or overexercised.
  6. Weight and size. Logically enough, a pet tracker that is ideal for a Labrador retriever, will not do for a toy terrier. Keep in mind that the device must not cause discomfort to a pet. The best GPS dog collar is the one that fits your dog perfectly.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a GPS dog tracker, and what is its mechanism of action?
Broadly speaking, any dog tracker is a device that helps to detect a dog’s location remotely. GPS-enabled trackers work by connecting to satellites: a transmitter, which is attached to a collar or built into it, sends a signal that is received by your phone or a special receiver. You see the location of your pet on the screen of your device.
What is the difference between microchips and dog trackers?
Microchips for pets are gaining popularity too, but they are not the analogs of trackers. Basically, a microchip is an animal’s ID – it sores all the information that you want to be stored: a pet’s name, age, its owner’s contacts, medical records, etc. This data can be scanned if necessary, and sometimes this also helps to find a lost pet. However, unlike a GPS dog tracker, microchips don’t support GPS and can’t be used for tracking.
Is it mandatory to have a smartphone to manage a GPS pet collar?
There exist different types of dog trackers. Some of them require downloading a special program on a phone. Other can be controlled via a web-based client right from a PC. Finally, there are trackers that come with stand-alone receivers and preloaded maps. So you can use a dog tracking collar even if you don’t have a smartphone.
Will I have to pay a subscription fee for using dog trackers?
It depends on the type of a GPS dog collar. Some of the dog trackers require a fee, while others don’t. However, the service is not completely free anyway, as you’ll have to pay for the data processed by a cellular services provider, for notifications, and for the cards updating. But usually, the fee is too small to be seriously bothered about it.
What is the difference between a GPS pet collar and a GPS dog tag?
Unlike a GPS pet collar, an ID tag doesn’t have an active GPS module, so it doesn’t allow tracking the movements of the pet in an online mode. Instead, it has a QR code that contains info about the dog. When the code is scanned, the location is detected and sent to the pet’s master. In the construction of a dog collar GPS can be used for a continuous tracking.
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