With some technological advances for dogs, even the most devoted owner would be forgiven for asking, ‘Do we really need that?’ But with GPS dog trackers everyone can see the sense.
If you are living without a dog tracker, get on it. Once you have one, you will wonder why you did without it for so long and will start to wonder how on earth people in the last century used to find their lost or mischievous dogs.
The reasons behind a dog tracker are fairly straightforward; to track your dog. These items are there for peace of mind in that if your dog gets out you will be able to find him again.
Because they can track location so easily and succinctly, you can also use them in situations where your dog is not lost, but just off-lead. If you are playing in a large dog park you can figure out what direction he has headed off in. Many people with hunting or working dogs find them useful just to know where they are.
The Features of GPS Dog Trackers
The basic thing you want them all to do is track your dog. Beyond that, there are a pretty surprising number and array of features to these little beauties. The sky is really the limit with what they can do, and with this there seems to be no limit to the price either.
But you don’t need to sell your dog to be able to afford a tracker for him (fortunately, because that would be a tad counter-intuitive), and good basic models are available for a reasonable price.
But if you were looking for what they can do, here are some options:
- Live, real-time tracking
- Syncing with your smart device, or a base handset, with location on a map
- Two-way communication so you can talk to the finder/tracker
- Ability to set up a geo-fence or safe zone, and then be alerted when he moves outside this area
- Ability to track up to 20 dogs on one system
- Not just restricted to dogs, you can track pretty much anything including cats, horses, people, luggage and more.
What Should You be Looking for as a Minimum?
You obviously don’t need all of the possible features, but it is important to take the following into consideration in your choice:
- Look for something in a reliable brand and supported by a decent warranty. As with everything online, there are cheap knock-offs but you might be left in the dark as to your refund options if the tracker is faulty.
- If you have a dog with a tendency to randomly splash in any water he can find, get one that is waterproof. This is a good idea because your dog could easily be lost in the rain as well.
- Get something with good battery life, as well as good tracking range. The last thing you want is to be hot on his tail (literally) and then have the feed go dead.
- Get something that your dog will be happy to wear. Look for something not heavy, uncomfortable or bulky, and something that will be less likely to annoy him. You don’t want him trying to get it off.
- Perhaps something with a set-up and ongoing use that you can understand might be a good idea. Extra features are fantastic, but if you need a degree in electronic engineering to be able to use it, maybe go for one more on your level.
The products in this article – a collection of high-quality and practical GPS trackers – have been researched by ‘bowwowtech.co.uk’ and the results listed are in no particular order, however, they all fall into the class of ‘GPS Tracker for Dogs’ based on their Best Selling or Highly Rated factors. Clicking on any of the images or links will take you to an external site where you have the opportunity to purchase or learn more about the product – Enjoy!
Comparing the Best GPS Dog Trackers
Mini GPS Tracker for Dogs from Winnes
- GPS tracking with 2G SIM card
- Lightweight and waterproof (IP65)
- Real time and accurate positioning
- Works with free app
- Safe Zone / Electronic Fence – Receive alerts
- Rechargeable battery lasts 2-5 days
This Mini GPS tracker from Winnes, is one of the smallest devices which is both, lightweight and waterproof. It requires a 2G sim card (recommended ones are: Giffgaff, Tesco, Vodafone, EE, O2) to use and provides accurate real-time positioning. It works through the 2G network, which gives it the ability to be picked up by any phone tower, same as a phone. It is easy to set up and use.
Small and attractive, most dogs won’t be agitated by wearing this unit. It is easy to set up and reasonably priced.
Excellent customer service.
No monthly fees other than keeping the SIM card topped up
SIM card not included
Tractive GPS Pet Tracker
This is a solid brand and an excellent system, and the best-selling pet tracker on Amazon. It is more technologically advanced than the previous unit, and one of the most up to date systems available.
It is one of the smallest devices, lightweight and waterproof. It requires a smart device to use and provides accurate real-time positioning. It works through a monthly subscription, which gives it the ability to be picked up by any phone tower, same as a phone. It is easy to set up and use.
- GPS tracking with integrated SIM card
- Lightweight and waterproof
- Live positioning in real-time
- Monthly service fee
- Allows you to program a Safe Zone into it, that you can get alerted when your pet leaves this area.
- Works with free app
- Rechargeable battery lasts 2-5 days
- Integrated light
This is small, good looking and dogs don’t mind wearing it at all. It is a good price (although it does have a monthly fee attached). It is very effective and reliable and is easy for anyone with a smartphone to use.
The monthly fee might detract some people, but it is a minor con. This really is a good product and will do what you want it to do.
Tractive also offer an Activity Monitor which combines a GPS tracker with activity monitoring.
TKSTAR GPS Pet Tracker
This is a more basic model and not as sleek as others on this list, but still sturdy and reliable. Not all dogs will find it comfortable as it is a bit bulkier. It can run on a SIM for use just when you need it (SIM is not included), or you can hook it up to ongoing GPS if you like for a higher price.
You can set up a safe zone, or geo-fence, for alerts when your pet has left a designated area. It also has two-way radio to communicate with someone finding your dog.
- GPS tracking through an app or the website
- Available in a variety of colours
- Real time tracking
- Up to 300 hours battery life
- Comes with collar
Coming with its own collar, instead of attaching your dog’s one like the others on this list, means that it is less likely to fall off (provided the collar it comes with fits your dog). It is a good basic model, will track your dog just fine and doesn’t require a subscription plan to support it.
Bulkier looking than some of the others, and doesn’t have as many features. However, this is a good reliable basic product for owners with simple needs.
Weenect Dogs 2 – The smallest GPS tracker for dogs
- Real time GPS tracking
- SIM card included
- 2-4 days battery life depending on usage
- Waterproof up to 1 metre deep (IP67)
- Worldwide Coverage – more than 120 countries
- Safe Zone/Electronic Fence
The Weenect Dogs 2 claims to be the smallest and lightest dog GPS tracker in the world (58x23x10mm – 25 grams).
It features a ringer and vibrator, meaning you can train your four-legged friend to return by using just the tracker. Handy if your pooch is out and about in the garden and you need him to come inside for his meal! You can train him to associate the ringer with dinner time.
The pet tracking device alerts you if your dog leaves a defined geofence (sent directly to your phone). A dog locator that combines GPS tracking and helps find your runaway/lost/stolen dog.
There is no need to create multiple accounts or limit yourself to a single dog GPS tracker, you can very easily keep multiple dogs safe at the same time.
A small, lightweight and good-looking GPS device that dogs won’t object to wearing. It is a good price (although it does have a monthly fee attached). It is very effective and reliable and is easy for anyone with a smartphone to use.
The monthly fee might detract some people, but it is a minor one as there are 3 different plans available. This is a good product and will do what you want it to do.
Full details of price plans can be found on their website.
DYNOTAG® Web Enabled QR Code Smart Deluxe Coated Steel Pet Tag
Although this device is not actually a GPS tracker and no special app is needed, Dynotags work on any smartphone or computer with a web browser. Just scan the QR code or visit the private web address printed on every tag.
- Worldwide access via the internet
- Waterproof, shatterproof and durable
- Lifetime Warranty
- No special software or app needed
- Designed in cooperation with Emergency Response
This simple device is straight forward to use: set up a free account at the dynotag.com website, sign in, then click ‘activate tag’ at the top. Only the tag owner has access to the account due to the secure activation process.
A tough and waterproof dog tag, there are no electronics to break, nor batteries to fail at an inopportune time. All functionalities are available for life and can be accessed from anywhere in the world; details of your pet can be updated as and when necessary.
The Dynotag can be loaded with all the information necessary – which can be viewed from any smartphone:
- Owner contact information
- Pet’s licensing information
- Pet’s specific allergies, behaviours and mannerisms
- Pet’s medical insurance information – should immediate attention is needed
Anyone finding your lost pet, can scan the QR code on their smartphone and see the basic contact information, enabling fast return of your pooch. You will be sent an email each time the tag is scanned with the location via a google maps link.
Password protection of the tag’s information and uploaded files are controlled only by the owner
No batteries or electronics required, the Dynotag pet tag is tough, light, waterproof and maintenance free for life
Superior to other dog tags due to the capability of being able to locate your pooch over the internet
No monthly subscription
Not a GPS tracking system; however, worldwide coverage is available using the cloud service account; unique to each Dynotag
The clip that attaches to the collar is noted to be weak. We would recommend replacing it with a stronger one
How Does a GPS Tracker Work?
GPS (Global Positioning Systems) Trackers have been around for some time now. Originally designed for use in vehicles, it allows you to precisely locate your vehicle. This technology has now been incorporated into devices to be able to track lost or stolen pets.
A GPS pet tracker uses satellites through a Global Positioning System (GPS) to locate your pet, no matter where it is the world. The GPS pet locator will attach to the collar or it may well come as part of his collar. However, you can attach it anywhere on your pooch that won’t bother him; a harness or a pack, for example.
GPS Dog Trackers use satellites to pinpoint the location of a pet. Information regarding its location is then transmitted via the internet to a mobile phone or an appropriate device. This happens around the clock, keeping track of your pet 24/7. The information transmits by either radio waves or cell phones; however, using radio waves for transmitting can be problematic where there is little to no signal. Cell phones, obviously have the same problem where coverage is limited.
The built-in transmitter of a GPS tracker attaches to the pet’s collar. Some GPS pet locators have other features in addition to tracking where the pet is at any one time:
- Safe Zones / Electronic Fence – this allows the pet parent to set virtual boundaries; should the dog leave the safe zone, a text or email is sent to the owner immediately
- Battery Low Indicator – Informing the owner when the battery requires recharging
- Real-time updates throughout the day
- Activity Tracking – a pet’s movements is tracked and recorded, offering historical information to keep track of activity, which can be useful in the case of a poorly pup recovering from illness, or one with diabetes etc.
- Directions – to enable the owner to get to the lost / stolen pet
- Recovery Centre – some GPS pet locators are affiliated with such centres and provide a consolidation of combined efforts to quickly locate a missing pet.
Do You Need a Subscription to Use a GPS Pet Locator?
No, a subscription is not required for all GPS Dog Trackers. However, even if you buy a GPS locator without a monthly subscription, you will find that you may have to pay for any extra data and text usage of your cell phone. Modern cell phone providers, however, usually offer packages with plenty of data and text capacity, so further charges may not apply.
Monthly subscriptions for GPS pet locators normally provide outstanding customer service and all good brands will give you great value and peace of mind for your money.
The Dynotag pet tag listed above needs no subscription and although it isn’t a GPS dog tracker, it does give you the ability to locate your pet over the internet as well as storing vital information about your pooch.
Why Use a GPS Pet Tracker?
You can use a dog GPS tracker to locate your dog for any number of reasons; if he’s lost, stolen, or simply can’t get home; he may be trapped or hurt. And of course, you may just be curious what he’s up to! A GPS tracking system will give you peace of mind for a fur baby that gets stuck somewhere or is hurt and can’t let you know.
You can check the GPS through several methods; most trackers make use of our smart phones and have apps or websites for you to check.
Summary – GPS Dog Trackers
As you can see from the products we reviewed, each of them has different qualities that makes them unique, some of them are activity monitors as well as being a GPS tracker. Some need a monthly subscription; others only need an active 2G SIM card. All of them will allow you to keep an eye on the location of your pooch.
As a pet owner, nothing is more important than the safety of your four-legged friend. Being lost, you pooch is vulnerable to accidents or theft. The faster you can track your beloved pet, the sooner you will be reunited. A prudent dog owner will invest in a GPS dog tracker as early as possible after welcoming their new pooch into their family.
All products in this article can be found on amazon, any links which are clicked and subsequently purchased may provide us (bowwowtech.co.uk) with a small commission. Any commissions earned are reinvested to enable us to produce more articles and provide educational material to visitors to our site.
Bowwowtech.co.uk does not provide veterinary advice. Our aim is to provide the reader with information to enable them to make a good decision when making a purchase. All content is therefore for informational purposes only.