The 18 Best GPS Trackers for Dogs to Buy in 2020
Say whatever you might about the canine love for freedom, but it’s still outright heartbreaking you’re your dog goes wandering as if you don’t exist. Yes, dogs venture out occasionally and so do cats, even though most felines prefer to stay within the limits of their territory. Nothing would stop your whelp from going on a self-initiated hunt or trailing a peculiar scent, though. If you don’t know it already, simply believe me: living in a rural area with a fast-running breed is just a typical recipe for disaster.
Pet location systems offer you a possibility to track the animal thanks to a miniature device wearable on the collar. You monitor the dog’s routes of movement using a smartphone, iPad, tablet or PC. Some slightly outdated yet still available models operate with a handheld receiving unit.
There are as few as three things to look for in a pet tracker:
- correct size matching your dog/cat dimensions;
- waterproofness to allow tracking in rain/high humidity;
- active tracking feature.
Real Time GPS Trackers for Dogs
While the points above are pretty self-explainable, I’d like to say a couple words about “safezoning”. This one gets you a chance to set a pre-determined geo-zone and notifies you when the pet leaves it. Be aware, however, that safezoning is somewhat similar to active tracking, and therefore consumes a great deal of the battery charge. As useful as it is for escape artists, most pet owners end up not using it or prefer switching manually to the active tracking mode.
- High location accuracy with a precision of about 10 to 15 feet
- Automatic smart switching from GPS to Wi-Fi and back
- Power-saving mode to enhance the battery time
- Perfect for hunting dogs due to being waterproof
The tracker’s physical unit is very small – just one and a half inches in length – and weighs up to an ounce. It suits most collars up to one inch in width wide and attaches quite easily and reliably. GPS and 3G are of the highest importance for determining the location of your quadruped friend – no SIM card is ever required for this model.
|+ Wi-Fi security fence with an alert/email||– Faulty collar strap, always double-check|
|+ Exercise mode to show your pet’s daily activity|
|+ Battery charge indicator/alert|
- Minimal GPS positioning error of about 5-15 meters
- Cost-saving with an average of 30 Mb data per month
- Waterproof level IP6 to counteract the effect of wet/rainy environments
- Permanent technical support with warranty and keys
If you live in the mountains or any other distant regions with a headache of a wide roaming pet, this Pemorn will greatly help you keep your dog put and safe. This device is believed to be one of the best pet tracker models that are also suitable for use with elderly people or children, as well as other family valuables.
|+ Standby time around 5 days||– Uses 2G network which is not ubiquitous in the US|
|+ DO NOT DISTURB function|
|+ Reaches for very long distances|
- LED feature to help you see your dog at night
- Ambient temperature measuring
- Compactness to fit smaller breeds
- Adventures plus medical records
A competent tracker that will also give you hand with training your dog. The Link AKC promptly reports on the activity of your furry family member; you can discourage the dog from certain unwanted behaviors (like dining in a dump) with your voice via the audio monitor.
|+ Great for accurately locating your pet ASAP||– Slow activity synching due to the low GPS refresh rate|
|+ A durable collar included|
|+ The collar link unit is easy to detach/reattach|
- Sleek and tiny GPS tracker
- 5+ days on the battery power
- IP68 certified water resistance
- Tethered with a well-supported official app
This one, actually, doesn’t require cell phone tethering to be found. Use the app to position the tracker via 4G network and GPS. Its live tracking option expires in 10 minutes and then needs to be turned on again, which increases the battery run time.
|+ Automatic notification alerts||– App performance could use some tweaks|
|+ Power saving mode|
|+ LTE-based monitoring|
- Five-tier positioning system that includes WIFI/GPS/AGPS/LBS
- Voice Monitor
- Security fence feature to set a permitted area
- Live tracking with a high update rate
It is quite surprising to see a digital fence alarm trigger in an item this cheap. Still, it works and allows you to determine a permitted area for your dog, outdoor cat, and similar medium sized pets. While imposing no distance limits, the SZFY-TAIOW enables multiple people to monitor and search for the pet with a single account.
|+ No monthly fee||– There may be issues with activation, contact the support|
|+ Very cheap|
- Global security GPS tracker
- Speed and shake sensitive
- Real-time listening
- Resistant to water and dust
Another simple-to-use and fast-to-adjust collar tracker. Important! The company sends you the black collar by default; you’ll need to pay extra $2 USD to get to choose a color. Otherwise, it’s very nice – you can tell it’s IPX6 waterproof thanks to the rubber plug used to cover the USB charger port.
|+ Many color schemes available||– Poor batteries in some models, ask for replacement|
|+ Sturdily made|
|+ No payment plans|
- GPRS/GPS location with the accuracy of up to 5 m
- Real-time tracking on/off
- Geolocation fence
- Up to 6 months of web-history
More of a key finder than something else; still, you can go with it further than a purse, phone or key ring, and attach the thing to your pet’s collar or your child’s backpack. The tracker ensures the safety of the monitored animal/person by either giving you their coordinates on request or maintaining a security zone.
|+ Discreet and precise||– No 3G support|
|+ SOS panic button|
|+ Can be worn on a keychain|
- Unlimited tracking range with 2G
- Speedtalk and T-mobile card compatible
- Perfectly lightweight (50 g only)
- Reliable collar lock
For those who like to access their pet’s activity history, this Hangang device will be of great service in keeping the pet safe and healthy. To be honest, 50 g of weight is not exactly ultra-light in my book, so I wouldn’t recommend using it with small breeds. This model offers several subscription plans, the price starting from $5 a month.
|+ Suitable for various pets||– Does not support Wi-Fi|
|+ Remote voice monitor|
|+ Chargeable and changeable battery|
- Wide coverage with GPRS support
- Precisely adjustable safety fence
- Quick charging
- Sound and light signaling
Beafup promises to turn your pet’s schedule in a precise science. In addition to measuring the distance your pet makes over the day, it also calculates the calorie consumption. The dog GPS collar boasts a quick charging technology, providing you with up to 5 days in the power saving mode with just one hour of getting completely charged.
|+ Waterproof level IP67||– May be difficult to set up|
|+ Automatically links the WiFi nearby|
|+ Feeding reminder|
- GPS location without SIM cards
- Possibility of tracking 3 pets at once
- Instant tracking alerts
- Perfect for off-grid areas
Here we have real-time monitoring of your dog’s location plus mapping out of their walk routes. It helps you gather the necessary activity information; bear in mind, though, that it’s mostly optimized for walks and not that much for indoor tracking. The pieces get easily adjusted to your good boy/girl’s collar, with the Guardian unit being small enough to accommodate in your pocket.
|+ Good performance even in wooded areas||– Position info updates quite sluggishly|
|+ No-monthly-fee operation|
|+ Requires no cell carrier|
- GSM/GPRS/GPS/3G and Wi-Fi tracking
- Working temperature range from -20 °C to +70 °C
- Trajectory playback feature
- Enabled with smart LED light
Rather than aim at finding each and every small thing, this 3G/GPS tracker comes for pets only. Its loveable paw-shaped design is water-resistant at the IP66 level. Its geo-fence feature is handily adjustable in that you can set up tracking by time intervals.
|+ Small and light||– Greedy on the battery sometimes|
|+ Available in three colors|
|+ Life-time support|
- Convenient weight
- Two mode tracking alarm
- iTrack device with a camera remote function
- Comes with a variety of ringtones
Despite its rather weird name, this tracker device does a good job of finding your wandering canine/feline friends. An even more useful function of the locator is called the separation mode. With its help, you’ll get a notification each time your keys/wallet get too far apart from your phone with the locator app.
|+ Noticeably louder than most competitors||– Bluetooth drains the battery quite fast|
|+ Simple to use|
|+ Quality construction|
- Combines visual and audio cues to pinpoint the pet’s position
- Splashproof design
- Up to 400ft working range
- Micro-beeper to train your animal
In case of the TabCat, today’s favorite RF-based location technology receives an improvement. As opposed to other non-GPS trackers, this product is enabled with an enhanced range; it also has a peculiar color-coded system that changes the light from red through yellow to green to indicate the distance to your lost pet/belongings.
|+ Accurate RF-based frequency technology||– Sometimes comes with dead batteries|
|+ Accommodates 2 extra tags (4 in total)|
|+ Small device does not bother the pet|
- Four light pieces for your things and pets
- Compactly sized to fit your dog’s collar
- Remote control for selfies
- Includes four carabiners for free
The 4 Pack Smart is one of those short-range trackers that particularly come in handy if your dog fancies straying away during walks, becoming unresponsive to calls. Indoors and outdoors, the device tracks as far as 33 ft and 75 ft, respectively. The tracing app tethers with up to eight key finders at once, which is sure great for wiring up your entire house.
|+ Standby mode for up to 5 months||– Strictly Bluetooth-based|
|+ Fast and easy tethering|
|+ Compatible with rechargeable batteries|
- Miniature pet finder
- Location feature uses a built-in map
- Works with Android/iOS/iPhone/iPod/iPad
- Modern and unique design
When you tend to have a lot of precious things missing, including your wallet, dog or kid, this is the anti-lost device just for you. It won’t help with tracking on great distances since 100-150 feet is its absolute maximum. However, this could be more than enough for your house and backyard, whereas the location record feature will allow you to create your own (treasure) map of your whole household.
|+ Fits your purse, wallet, and key rings||– Not water-resistant|
|+ Wide device compatibility|
|+ Best for indoor use|
- Remotely controlled headlight
- Clearly audible signal
- Remote comes with a re-charge cradle
- Ideal for dog training
A multifunctional collar compatible with the PRO 70 and PRO 550 handhelds. It offers you the full dog-training package with its BarkLimiter, remote-operated LED beacon, and audio control. Not exactly a GPS collar for dogs, though; anyway, you’re welcome to find your dog by the audio/visual indicator. You can also turn the shock feature off when you don’t need it.
|+ Long-range operation||– The collar charge lasts just two days|
|+ Durable make|
|+ Solid battery life|
- Activity&Sleep tracking
- Up to one meter waterproof
- Guaranteed 5 months of battery life
- Comes with pea tracker, tag ring, and rubber holster
Do you actually know if your pet eats enough? How much jumping, running, and playing around does he/she do during the day? The Poof Pea Pet keeps you updated on the number of calories burnt; you’ll have a choice between the tracking pea and tag to ensure the best fit with your pet’s collar/belt.
|+ Simple setting up||– No GPS location|
|+ App is great for inexperienced smartphone users|
|+ Replaceable coin cell battery|
- Fast and reliable T-mobile response
- Home zone function
- Comes with two clips for a low profile and standard collar
- Remote light feature
This product by Tractive combines GPS with the light beacon/beeper features to pinpoint the whereabouts of your pet in an open area. It may not show your escapee very precisely on a greater distance but still, it will locate it reliably with the immense coverage. You’ll also get a log file with the locations visited.
|+ Tracking history with live updates||– No warning on low battery charge|
|+ Ubiquitous cellular coverage|
|+ Excellent customer service|
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a GPS tracker for dog and how does it work?
A GPS tracker is a miniature electronic device that allows you to keep your dog under continuous observation as long as it stays in the area covered by GPS, which includes almost all inhabited localities and a large percent of wild areas. A GPS chip periodically communicates with the nearest satellites, acquiring positioning data and comparing it with the predetermined control parameters. Not only can you track your pet whenever you want but also get visual/audio alarm signals once it leaves the chosen safe area. It employs a small battery, as a rule, and therefore requires replacement occasionally.
Is dog microchip tracker safe?
Chipping is 100% harmless. The insertion procedure is fast and painless, with no risks of transmitting a disease or causing inflammation. The chips are sterile, non-sensitizing and very small (it is actually smaller than a thumbnail), so they aren’t likely to cause any discomfort. The skin in the area may be swollen for a couple of days; that’d be pretty much all the negative outcomes of the operation. Overall, microchipping your pet is no more dangerous than trimming his/her toenails.
How to put a dog tracker on a phone?
Most monitoring devices come with applications suitable for iPhone/ iPad or Android phone. When the tracking system has been activated, find and install the appropriate app (usually, links leading to specialized online stores can be found in the instruction). Next, check your system requirements in order to make sure the software is fully compatible with your phone. Check whether you grant it access to all the functions, including alerts (signals or email notifications), maps or even health monitors.
How do dog chips work?
Microchips are small magnetic chips that are inserted right under the dog’s skin and stay there forever. A chip like this contains information about your pet so that it can be easily identified in case he/she runs away. It’s similar to a standard identification tag except that it cannot be lost or stripped off by thieves. Almost all veterinarian clinics have scanners and perform routine checks of all their furry patients. In a manner like this, a lost dog can be identified in mere minutes and returned to its rightful owner.
As you can see, the number of pet tracking devices available on the market really makes you spoilt for choice. Selecting one is not difficult as long as you keep your dog’s behavior in mind. Don’t go for anything too fancy or too heavy for a hyperactive runner/chaser/swimmer because you might end up losing both the device and your pet.
Finally, remember that nothing can protect your canine friend better than your genuine attention and care.