As a pet parent, there’s really no worse feeling than suddenly noticing your dog is nowhere to be found. Even the best-behaved canines can get spooked by a loud noise or another animal and run off. If you’ve ever experienced this, even for the briefest of seconds, you’ll want to do everything you can to avoid it happening again. Even though you may want to, keeping your pup on a leash every time you leave the house might not be the answer. But getting them the best GPS dog collar could be.
Here are 10 great dog tracking collars in 2021, so you can have peace of mind and know your pup is safe.
What are GPS Dog Collars?
A GPS dog collar is basically a pet tracker. Should they run off, you can use their collar to locate them quickly – taking the stress out of the situation for you and ensuring that they’re not scared and haven’t come into any harm.
Most GPS collars for dogs are small devices attached to your pup’s collar which send out a tracking signal which you can trace with your cellphone, tablet, or computer. As long as the collar can connect to three satellites you should be able to track them from anywhere. Generally speaking, you’ll need to download the app and register your dog’s collar.
Some GPS dog collars come with easy-to-use battery packs and can have a really long battery life (which is an added bonus if you’re a bit forgetful)! Some even regulate your dog’s activity, heartbeat, fitness, and temperature – kind of like a Fitbit.
Whilst a GPS dog collar can be a really useful thing to have to keep your pup safe, it’s shouldn’t be used instead of a chip. It’s possible for them to fall off or get damaged (though unlikely with good-quality ones). Nearly all vets and shelters have a chip reader and it’s the best way for you to be reunited with your dog.
What to think about before buying a dog tracking collar?
Like with any accessory for your pup, there are a few things you need to consider before you purchase.
- Battery life. There would be nothing worse than the battery dying before you’ve had time to find your dog. With most GPS collars, the more you track your pet the quicker the battery runs out. Ensuring you buy a high-quality collar should give you enough battery life.
- Size. Not all GPS collars are made for all dogs. Some might be too big, too heavy, or too small for your pup.
- Is it waterproof? All dog owners know that walking in the rain is inevitable. You can also guarantee that your pup will run off just as the clouds are forming. Ensuring they have a waterproof collar allows you to find them whatever the weather.
- Durability. Your dog is wearing a collar just in case something happens but that means they should be wearing it most of the time. You need to make sure they have a collar that can withstand boisterous games of chase in the park or them rummaging through bushes for their ball.
- Paid subscription? This is really important when thinking about the best GPS dog collar for your pup. Some charge a yearly or monthly fee which might not be worth it for you.
- Power down collar? Some devices power down when your dog isn’t moving. This can be a really useful feature – especially if the battery life isn’t as long.
So, taking everything into account, which is the best dog tracker? Here’s a list of the ones that came out on top.
Whistle Go Explore
- You get alerted the moment your dog leaves the safe area.
- You can see where your dog has been in the last 24 hours.
- You get a weekly health report that monitors their activity levels, scratching, and licking.
- 3-day battery life in “lost pet” mode.
- Multiple owners can access the app and receive alerts.
- There’s a yearly subscription of almost $100.
- A 3-day battery life may sound like a lot, but it might not be long enough in some situations.
PetFon GPS Pet Tracker
- You can upload voice commands which means you can ‘speak’ to your dog when they leave the safe area.
- Compact size.
- Doesn’t require a monthly subscription.
- Can be illuminated at night to make it easier to find them in the dark.
- The dog tracker coverage could be improved. It offers a 0.65-mile range of coverage in dense spaces and up to a 3.5-mile range in open spaces.
FI Smart Dog Collar
- Monthlong battery life. Really!
- You can set up different safe zones and have multiple owners.
- Comes in 4 different sizes and colors.
- Water-resistant and can even withstand salty water.
- It requires a base station to charge and set up the designated safe areas (but you may only have to charge it once per month)!
LINK AKC Smart Collar
- You receive an alert when your pup leaves the safety area.
- The battery can last up to 3 days.
- Very sleek design which is less bulky than other pet trackers.
- Has a light that can be turned on remotely.
- You can test it out for 30 days and if you’re not totally happy you can get your money back.
- It’s water-resistant rather than waterproof. It should be OK in up to 3 feet of water.
- Some users say that their dog’s location could be more accurate.
- Yearly subscription.
Tractive LTE GPS Dog Tracker
- It has a battery that can last up to 5 days.
- It’s good value for money compared to other dog GPS trackers. The monthly subscription starts at $4.99.
- You can set up an invisible fence and you’ll be notified the second your pup leaves that area.
- In some cases, 5 days isn’t a long enough battery life for this GPS device.
- You have to get a subscription in addition to the price of the collar. It’s cheaper than most, but may not be for everyone.
SportDOG GPS Tracking System
- It can track your dog up to 7 miles away and isn’t reliant on cell service – so can even work in more remote areas.
- You can buy individual collars if you have more than one dog and use the same tracking system from the handheld device. You can track up to 12 dogs if you have that many!
- Uses Hoptek technology to accurately monitor your dog’s location.
- Some users have noted that the maps are a bit basic and can be hard to read.
- The battery only lasts 24 hours.
Findster Duo GPS Tracker
- Can locate your dog’s location within a 3-mile range without the need for a sim card or cell service.
- Acts as an activity monitor too.
- You can define the safety parameters and you’ll be notified when your pup leaves.
- Comes with a handheld device as well as an app for your mobile device.
- Battery life is up to 12 hours (but this is with the GPS constantly on).
- Some users mention that it doesn’t work 3 miles away as it claims to do.
FitBark GPS Dog Tracker
- It’s waterproof, so ideal for muddy games or swim sessions!
- The battery can last between 10 and 20 days.
- The GPS device can track health issues, such as sleep, calories burned, or any particular skin allergies.
- Durable and less invasive for your pup because you just add it to their current collar.
- You need to pay a monthly subscription – but they start at $5.95 so aren’t too bad.
- Some users note that it doesn’t truly track your pet’s actions in real-time but rather takes a while to catch up.
Pet trackers are a great way to make sure your pup is safe and give you peace of mind. As well as knowing where they are, with some, you can also monitor their activity levels and health.
Do you have a GPS pet tracker? How have you found it?
I’m Charlotte, a content and copywriter from the North of England and currently living in Berlin. Animals have always been a huge part of my life, so writing about dogs is a total pleasure! I love all kinds of dogs and their cheeky personalities, but I’d have to say Weimaraners are my favourite!