Home The Best GPS Pet Trackers in 2019

The Best GPS Pet Trackers in 2019

A good pet GPS tracker helps you find your dog if they ever escape. Now, you might think that your dog will never escape, but this just isn’t true. Dogs escape all the time. They run out the door, dig under the fence, or even jump over the fence.

It happens. A GPS tracker makes finding them so much easier. This article will cover some of the best GPS trackers available on the market.

What Are Pet Trackers?

Here is some basic information about a GPS tracker. Most dog owners do not even know that these exist.

How do GPS pet trackers work?
Basically, they are just a GPS transponder that is attached to a dog collar. Different collars have different functionality though.

best pet trackersSome work the same as the smartphone app “Find my Phone” and allow you to pinpoint the exact GPS coordinates of the transponder on an app. Others are entirely self-contained and do not rely on GPS or your cellphone network.

You do have to charge the transponder. The battery life just depends on the model. Most transponders have a battery life of a few days.

How much do pet trackers cost?
The cost of the transponder is probably not as high as you think. However, the ones that allow real-time tracking on an app will have a monthly subscription cost. The monthly cost is usually about $10 per month.

Where can trackers be used?
You can use them with your dog or other pet that wears a collar. Honestly, if you can put a collar on it, then you can track it with a GPS tracker. This obviously has legal consequences depending on what you track, so make sure to check local laws before attaching the collar to anything other than your pet.

What Pet Tracker Is Best For Me?

The type of pet tracker that you should choose depends on a few factors. These include your location, your budget, and the size and age of your dog.

  • Location
    Location is perhaps the most important thing to consider before purchasing a tracker. If you have a large backyard in a rural area with poor cell phone service, then a GPS tracker that relies on cell phone service is a bad choice. You can still use a GPS tracker, but it cannot be attached to cell phone service. A radio frequency tracker of some sort will most likely be your best option. Although they are more difficult to use.
    Now, if you live in an urban environment with good cell phone service and have a large dog that can travel far, then a GPS tracker that relies on cell phone service will work better. However, you do have to pay a subscription fee.
    Finally, if you have a small dog and just want to track them on an unleashed walk, then a Bluetooth tracker should work fine. Your dog can’t travel far and the Bluetooth tracker will make finding your dog easy.
  • Budget
    Budget is another thing to take into consideration. Some trackers have a monthly service fee that you must pay. This ranges from $6/month to about $15/month.
    Two types of trackers will have a subscription fee: GPS trackers that rely on a cell phone service and GPS trackers that rely on satellite.
    The right type of GPS tracker just depends on your location. The price difference between the two is negligible.
    No other type of tracker requires a monthly fee.
  • Size and Age of Your Dog
    Finally, the size and age of your dog is something that will impact your choice of the tracker. A young and large dog will be able to run very far distances. This means that they can easily escape the range of anything but a GPS tracker.
    A smaller dog just won’t be able to cover great distances, which means that a device with a 3-mile radius will usually work. This, of course, depends on how long your dog has been missing. Obviously, you should always choose the device with the largest range that you can afford.
  • Activity Tracker
    One other type of tracker we will cover is an activity tracker. These can track your dog’s walking, sleeping, and eating. They can help keep your dog healthy.
    However, an activity tracker cannot effectively locate your dog. You must purchase a location tracker if you want to track the location of your dog.

Quick Recommendations

All the trackers we reviewed work fine. We did list a lot of different trackers though. Here are our favorite trackers, by category.

Best No-Subscription Pet Tracker

If you want a pet tracker, but don’t want to pay for a subscription, then we recommend the MARCOPOLO by Eureka Technology. This tracker is a radio wave tracker, which does not require a subscription. Most pet trackers that do not require a subscription have a low range. The long range is what makes the MARCOPOLO different. It has a 2-mile range (ideal conditions).

Best Tracker For Small Dogs

A small dog will have different needs than a large dog. A Bluetooth tracker will probably be your best option for a smaller dog. Simply put, small dogs can’t really run very far, so they don’t generally need a long-range tracker. Now, if you need a further range, we recommend the Girafus RF finder. The range is 1,500 feet, which could be small if you live near a large forest. However, if you have a small dog that just gets lost in the shrubs or the neighborhood, then the Girafus will work fine.

Best Bluetooth Tracker

Bluetooth trackers are convenient and affordable. They just have a small range. Our favorite Bluetooth tracker is the DOTT dog tag. It’s affordable and has a radius of about one mile. We like that you can “crowdsource” tracking by having your neighbors download the app and turn on Bluetooth. Each device will add about a mile of tracking. The crowdsourcing feature of the DOTT tag is what makes it our favorite Bluetooth device.

Best Activity Tracker

Finally, if you want to track your dog’s activity, then the best option is the Poof Bean. We like the usability and design of the app compared to the other options on the list. The tag itself is small, which means you don’t have to worry about your dog chewing it off. It also has 60-day battery life. No worrying about it running out of charge. We also like the location feature. It’s only 30 feet, but it’s still a convenient feature to have. There just isn’t anything we don’t like about the Poof Bean.

Comparison Table

Product Name
Key Features
Editor´s Rating
Price
GPS Trackers For Pets
Eureka Technology MARCOPOLO Pet Tracking System Reliable radio-based system
$$$$
Runner-Up
Whistle 3 GPS Pet Tracker & Activity Monitor Real-time location updates
$$$
goTele GPS Tracker No Wi-Fi, SIM card needed
$$$
Bluetooth Pet Trackers
Girafus Pet Safety Tracking Device For small pets
$$$
Tile Pro Tracker Rings in response to a call
$$
DOTT The Smart Dog Tag - Bluetooth Tracker for Dogs Best budget choice
$$
Pet ID Tag Tracker
Dynotag Web Enabled Super Pet ID Smart Tag Uses QR code and U.S. law
$
Pet Activity Trackers
PETBLE Pet Smart Tag Activity Tracker Analyses pet's activity
$$
PitPat 2 - Dog Activity Monitor Manual syncing with phone
$$
Poof Bean Pet Activity Tracker Best for small dogs and cats
$$

Pet GPS Trackers Reviews

Here are our favorite dog GPS trackers. We have selected a range of options, so you should find something no matter your budget.

Our Favorite

Eureka Technology MARCOPOLO Advanced Pet Tracking and Locating SystemThe MARCOPOLO is our favorite transponder. This is a self-contained transponder, which means that it does not rely on GPS or your cellphone network. This is particularly useful if you live in an urban area with a lot of tall buildings (interferes with GPS) or a rural area (weak cell service).

Since this doesn’t use GPS or cell service, it uses radio waves. Basically, the MARCOPOLO emits a radio wave that the tracker can detect. The tracker will point you in the direction of your dog.

Anyway, we really like this tracker for a few reasons. First, the battery life is amazing. Reviewers have commented that the battery lasts over a month, which is normal. Emitting a radio wave does not use much battery life.

Eureka Technology MARCOPOLO Advanced Pet Monitoring SystemNext, the tracker has no monthly fee. You pay for the tracker once and that is all you pay. This makes the cost of ownership relatively low over a long period of time.

Finally, radio wave trackers are much more reliable than GPS or 2G trackers. This effectiveness is much more noticeable in areas with weak cell service. Plus, the MARCOPOLO has an effective range of up to two miles.

Overall, we really like this pet tracker and don’t have any issues with it. The only potential issue is that using the radio tracker can be difficult at first. This is because you have to walk around and walk closer to the signal. Other than that, we like this tracker and the extended battery life of it.

OUR RATING:

Whistle 3 GPS Pet Tracker & Activity MonitorThe Whistle 3 is a GPS pet tracker. You simply attach the transponder to your dog’s collar, pay the subscription fee, and you can then track your dog on the phone app. This transponder uses AT&T cellphone service, so make sure you live in an area with AT&T coverage.

Our absolute favorite part of this pet tracker is that it gives you real-time updates on the exact location of your dog. All you have to do is check the app and look at where the marker is located. Your dog should be at that location.

Whistle 3 GPS Pet TrackerYou can even set up a boundary area, which means that you will receive an alert when your pet leaves the boundary.

This tracker is waterproof, so you don’t have to worry about your dog swimming in the water and destroying the transponder. It might not work as well in the water though, but once your dog exits the water it should pick up the signal again.

Our only problem with the Whistle 3, and most GPS trackers is that they only work if they can receive cell service. This isn’t an issue in most of the country. It can be a problem in rural areas.

goTele GPS TrackergoTele is actually a slightly different GPS tracker. This GPS tracker does not require a SIM card, cellular service, a monthly subscription, or a WiFi connection.

It works by using two devices (one for you and one for your dog) and triangulating the location of your dog based on the location of the different devices. This reduces the effective tracking range to one to five miles (depends on terrain), but you don’t have to worry about cellular service.

All you have to do is download the app and then download the maps for the area that you will use the device. The tracking software can then figure out the location.

We don’t have any complaints about this device. The range is about 3 miles, which we find small. However, if you live in a rural area and want exact tracking on your phone, then it is an excellent option at a great price.

Just keep in mind that it works best when you purchase trackers for both you and your pet.

OUR RATING:

Girafus Pet TrackerThis is a radio frequency (RF) finder. It does not have a map or any corresponding app.

This works by attaching a transmitter that emits radio waves to your dog’s collar. The tracking device then beeps louder the closer that you get to the device. It has an effective range of about 1,500 feet. Though this range decreases in the woods since trees have a tendency to obscure the radio waves.

The unit uses AAA batteries, which we find slightly annoying. Radio waves don’t use that much battery, so it does last a decent amount of time.

Overall, we recommend this if you have a small dog and live in an open area. It is especially useful if you walk your dog without a leash. You can easily track them as long as they stay near. We don’t recommend this if you have a big dog or live in a heavily wooded area. It just isn’t nearly as effective as some of the other choices.

OUR RATING:

Tile Pro TrackerTile Pro is a Bluetooth tracker, which means it is extremely affordable. A Bluetooth tracker works very differently than the other type of trackers on the list. You attach the Tile Pro to your dog’s collar. You can call the Tile Pro and it will ring and the location will also appear on the app.

Since this is a Bluetooth tracker, it does not require any monthly fees. The battery will also last you about a year without needing to be charged.

Unfortunately, a Bluetooth tracker has a very limited range. This tracker has an effective range of 300 feet, which makes it useful if you have a small yard. However, you can increase this range by recruiting other smartphone users in the neighborhood to use the app and scan for your pet.

All in all, we do not recommend this tracker if you have a big dog or must track your dog across great distances. It just isn’t that effective for that particular use case.

OUR RATING:

DOTT The Smart Dog Tag - Bluetooth Tracker for DogsThe DOTT Smart Dog Tag is the most affordable option on our list. Once again, this is a Bluetooth tracker. It works very similarly to the Tile Pro. It has a six- to nine-month battery life, which means you don’t have to worry about running out of battery.

The range is rather small since it’s a Bluetooth tracker. Remember that anyone with the smartphone app can pick up the signal and the app will automatically report the location to you. This means the more people using the app in your vicinity; the more effective the tracker.

Once again, this is a Bluetooth tracker. We only recommend this if you expect to use it in a smaller area or if you have a small dog. It certainly has its place on our trackers list. You just have to know what type of track would work best for you and if that is a Bluetooth tracker.

OUR RATING:

Is There a GPS Tracker Microchip?

No. A GPS tracker microchip does not exist. A GPS tracker requires a battery to operate and you can’t place a rechargeable battery inside your dog. That just won’t work.

Microchips can be used with a GPS tracker. This is because every veterinarian and animal shelter will scan for a microchip when they find a dog. The microchip will have all your contact information and the contact information for your veterinarian.

Microchips are expensive though. If you don’t want a microchip, then a good alternative is a smart tag.

Dynotag Web Enabled Super Pet ID Smart TagThe Dynotag Pet ID smart tag is an effective and budget-friendly way to passively track your pet. You might wonder how it works without electronics on the device. It’s actually very simple. Here’s how it works.

First, the smart tag has a unique URL on it and a QR code. The URL and QR code are connected to an account that you create when you purchase the smart tag. You can place all your contact information on the tag and even add the medical records of your dog.

Now, this device does not rely on electronics. So you cannot actually track your pet in real time. However, first responders in the United States are required by law to contact the owner when they see a device like this on a dog.

Dynotag on a dog collarThis law makes a device like this especially useful if you live in the city. If the police or dog catcher finds your dog, then they will scan the QR code and contact you. You don’t have to worry about searching the animal shelter for your dog.

All in all, we really like the Dynotag. It’s our favorite passive pet tracker. The only real downside is that it does not have real-time tracking. However, if your pet is at low risk of escaping, then the Dynotag is a great option and does not cost much more than a traditional dog tag.

OUR RATING:

Pet Activity Trackers

There are different types of trackers: location trackers and activity trackers. Activity trackers will track all the activity that your dog does in a day, which is useful to keep your dog fit and healthy. You can also use this information to ensure that your dog walker actually walks your dog. A common concern for pet owners, right?

PETBLE Dog Cat Pet Smart Tag Activity Tracker

PETBLE Dog Cat Pet Smart Tag Activity TrackerThis is our recommended activity tracker. It’s affordable, easy to install, and can track all the activity your dog does in one day. Activity is even tracked when your dog gets out of range of your cell phone, which is super convenient.

Setup is easy. All you have to do is scan a QR code and download an app. That’s it.

It tracks all kinds of activity too. This includes walking, sleeping, and even food consumption (manual input). While the tracking is useful, the ability to analyze the data is truly what makes this useful. The analysis will send you an alert if your dog does not eat or does not sleep. Both of those could indicate some sort of illness with your dog.

OUR RATING:

PitPat 2 - Dog Activity MonitorThe PitPat 2 is similar to the PETBLE. You can track walking, sleeping, and food intake. It also collects this information while out of range of your cell phone, so you can track activity while at work or away from the house.

It has analytics and an easy QR code setup as well.

The one annoying thing about the PitPat 2 is that it does not automatically sync data to your cell phone. You must press a button on the collar to sync data to your cell phone. This does increase the battery life and is not that big of an inconvenience.

Overall, we prefer this model to the PETBLE because of the manual syncing that saves some battery life. However, you cannot go wrong with either option.

OUR RATING:

Poof Bean Pet Activity TrackerThe Poof Bean is another activity tracker. This one is most similar to the other activity trackers listed. However, it is considerably smaller than the PitPat 2 and the PETBLE, which makes it especially useful if you have a smaller dog. It is also good if you have a pup that enjoys biting off anything on its collar. Some dogs are like that.

Anyway, the Poof Bean provides everything that you need in an activity tracker: Walking, sleeping, and food intake. It even provides location tracking, but only up to 30 feet.

Poof Bean Pet Activity TrackerThe battery will last approximately 60 days. This just depends on how frequently it syncs and the climate.

All in all, it’s a decent activity tracker. The location feature, while low range, is a nice touch for an activity tracker. The Poof Bean is our recommended activity tracker due to the location tracking ability, great price, and 60-day battery life. We really can’t find anything negative to say about this activity tracker.

OUR RATING:

Conclusion

The wide range of pet trackers available on the market can mislead an average furbabies’ owners. To choose the best option for their needs, every pet parent should define the purpose of using the device, environment, lifestyle and other conditions. Quite tedious! However, the right choice pays off – serving for the dog’s safety and pet owner’s confidence.

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