Whistle 3 GPS Pet Tracker & Activity Monitor
Garmin Alpha 100 TT 15 Dog GPS Bundle
Bartun Aibeile Personal Mini Micro Gps Tracker Locator
We’ve all been there. One minute you’re walking along with your four-legged friend and the next? They’ve seen something shiny and/or small and they’re off over the hills and out of your eye-line.
These days, with the internet surrounding us, there are certainly a lot less worries like this. Why? Because now we have GPS dog trackers. Thanks to these innovative little gadgets, not only do we have microchips and image sharing sites but GPS dog collars and pet GPS trackers to tell us exactly where man’s best friend has run off to.
Keeping all of these factors in mind, we have compiled a list of the best GPS dog trackers for you. Here, you’ll find a nice, neat list of the best pet trackers we could find that are likely to suit most dog breeds and pet owners.
The Best GPS Tracker for Dogs:
With over 3,500 reviews (and counting!) we were definitely intrigued as to what could possibly make such a simple device so popular. And yet, looking through all the added features that the Whistle 3 surprised us with, it’s not hard to see why pet lovers everywhere seem to have become enamoured with this pet tracker (and activity monitor).
One of the most unique selling points of the Whistle, is the ability to monitor more than just where your dog is. Once the app is downloaded, you can easily see whether your dog is exercising regularly enough, how much sleep they’re managing through the day and even if they are at a healthy weight for their size. This is the FitBit of the dog world and it even comes at a surprisingly low price (currently, just under $80).
The Whistle 3 boasts a waterproof device that stays airtight, even when swimming and is regularly praised via their reviews about how well such a relatively small gadget can hold up against even the most active families. Added to this, one of it’s biggest selling points is the battery life. With up to 7 days of consistent usage, the Whistle easily makes it into our top 10 best GPS dog trackers available.
Proactive alerts – allows you to find your dog before they get too far away
Activity Monitor – follow the last 24 hours of your dog’s routine by using the app
Durable and waterproof
Small unit – your dog won’t notice it
- Weight0.96 oz
Standing out as the most of our options is the Garmin Alpha expensive (currently standing at around $800). Looking like something out of an 80’s idea of futuristic collars this is a dog tracker designed for the pros. Not only does this radio-format pet GPS collar let owners know when your pet is going off on their own, but the collar itself actually creates what is referred to as a “recall”. This is essentially a signal that tells your dog to return to their owner, of their own accord (once trained). The Alpha 100 claims that this feature is available to use on up to 20 dogs at any one time, across a distance of up to 9 miles!
This is a dog tracker that is designed for professionals, with each Garmin bundle able to connect to another Alpha 100. Not to mention that this dog tracker mentions holding the ability to “correct” individual dogs, while simultaneously being able to see where the other members of the pack have got to. While this tracking collar is certainly not suitable for smaller dogs, it can be great fr medium and larger pets. If you need to manage multiple dogs at any one time, this is the best dog tracker for you.
Ability to track and train up to 20 dogs
Preloaded maps – indicating specifics of where you and your dog are
Rescue mode – allows your dog to know that they have gone off-course and need to return
No ongoing costs – operates via radio waves, there are no subscriptions to pay and no cellular service required
- Weight1.17 lbs
Another activity monitor with a rather fashionable look is the Link AKC (currently around $100). This pet tracker comes in two different styles and some great customer service features, including free collar exchanges if your pup grows and Amazon Alexa integration. As another cellular GPS dog tracker, this tracking collar requires a subscription- but does offer some bundle packs which includes a few free months of cellular subscription, after being activated.
Even with it’s simple yet classy look, it’s the features that set the Smart Dog Collar apart from a lot of the competition. These include a waterproof design (specifically, up to 3ft for 30 minutes) and activity monitor. The collar even includes a temperature recording device and notifies you if your dog is in an environment that may be too warm or too cold for them to handle. Brilliant for those who live in more extreme climates.
This is the best dog tracker for those who want to enjoy the ability of purely adding a collar to their four-legged friend and downloading an app, before enjoying the security that having a pet tracker can bring.
Activity monitor – check on your dog at any time with your app
Record data – keep records of vet visits and save data on your phone
Link up to 10 dogs on your app – separate collars for each dog required, up to 10 pets can be added to your app
- BrandLink AKC
- Weight5.5 lbs
Ideal for smaller dogs and puppies, the Tractive pet tracker holds a middle spot with its pleasant looks and simple-but-effective capabilities. With the ability to create a ringfence around your pets safe area, this tracking device and app notifies owners when your dog is looking to take a wander. It also shows owners where their pet is at any moment (and where they have been) using their cellular subscriptions, yet they look just like any other collar.
Live tracking – updates every 2-3 seconds that allows the owner to see where their pet is at any time
- Weight1.28 oz
The Pod Tracker is popular across the globe- and it’s not hard to see why. Being small enough to add to even the tiniest dog while still tracking your pet and monitoring their activity, the GPS Plus boasts up to 6 days of battery life. Similar to many of our cellular tracking devices mentioned here, the Pod allows pet owners to check on their dog regularly (albeit based on the push of a button from yourself, rather than auto-updates).
One of the most impressive feats of the Pod Tracker is its ability to work across over 170 countries. Being so small and so versatile, this is the best dog tracker for travellers. Having the ability to bring man’s best friend along on adventures and always feel safe that they will never go missing is one of the reasons why the Pod is in our top selection.
Global range – the perfect pet tracker for world-wanderers
Activity monitoring – allows owners to view their dog’s general fitness and health
- BrandPod Trackers
- Weight2.08 oz
As a mixed pet tracker, the Find My Pet uses radio, GPS and cellular signals to help find your pet. This means that the likelihood of ever losing connectivity is second-to-none (at least on this list). That said, there have been some complaints that this dog tracker can be difficult to set up, despite using a free app (available on all devices) and coming with a manual. Complaints stem from the difficulty in understanding the manual itself, although many users have commented that, once up-and-running, this is one of the best devices a dog-lover could want.
The Find My Pet GPS tracker gives one-month free service with any purchase and – because the gadget uses multiple formats to find your pet- the locator’s ability is available worldwide.
Geo-Fencing – alerts for any dog leaving their safe zone
- BrandFind My Pet GPS
- Weight0.64 oz
The ideal off-grid pet tracker, this is the perfect dog tracker for those who love to go out into the wide world, where no-one else can pester them! The goTele requires no cell service or wifi to connect you with your pet and comes with design awards aplenty. Despite being a little pricier than some of the others at around $200, this pet tracker claims to have it all.
Being waterproof, dustproof and shatterproof means that this is the best pet tracker for those who lead an active lifestyle- and want to bring their dog along for the journey. Buying multiple goTele devices allows users to interact with each other via chat and users praise the highly accurate GPS abilities. Each device links to an app on your phone and features such as geo-fencing are included- all with no monthly fees.
Robust – waterproof, dustproof, shatterproof and “fall-proof”
All-terrain usage – allowing users to track each other and their pet even without cell service
- Weight15.2 oz
This funky little doo-dad is perfect for small and large dogs alike. The Bartun Aibeile looks just like any other dog tag- yet for such a small device, it is incredibly powerful. Marketed as more than just a pet tracker, the Personal Mini Micro GPS tracker allows you to speak to your dog over long distances, thanks to the multi-speaker function.
Using a cellular connection, the Bartun links to your phone via an app and allows three different modes of location tracking. Allowing you to monitor your dog over an extended period of time and using the “quick tracking” function, giving you the ability to see where your pet is at any moment. Users are quick to praise the battery life of this tiny gadget, despite the product not boasting of any particulars, although many have mentioned that set-up can be a little confusing at times
Small but mighty
Two-way speakers – allows you to speak to your pet should they get a little too far
Long battery life
- Weight4.8 oz
Best GPS Tracker for Dogs Buying Guide & FAQ
For those who live in relatively open spaces, if the worst should happen and someone decides to take your beloved family member, you know that you can find your pet using a dog tracking collar. Imagine having that safety net of being able to turn up, with the police, knowing exactly where your dog has been taken and how to get them back.
That said, like all things in the digital era, the market is becoming saturated with options. You obviously want the best for your pup. So where do you start? Below, we break down the essentials for you. From what you should be looking for, how much you’re likely to spend and even what size is suitable for your canine companion- so that you can find the best GPS tracker for your dog.
Types of Dog Trackers
- Cellular pet trackers
First, there are cellular pet trackers; the most common type of GPS tracker for dogs. These work in the same way as your own cell, in that they triangulate signals in order to get a precise location sent to your phone. Essentially, the GPS collar uses a SIM card to send this data, meaning that your dog can only be found in areas with phone signal. They also require you to pay a fee to keep the cellular side active and available, which is usually taken through a monthly or yearly payment- although some providers include the first year with the upfront payment price.
Bear in mind, that for this type of technology you will be using two types of technology. The SIM card, for sending you the information, and the GPS itself, which is what finds your pet's location. One can’t work without the other, so do make sure to install and set up your device properly.
- Radio pet trackers
For radio GPS trackers, you will need to add the transmitter to your dog’s collar, while you hold the transceiver. These work in a very similar way to radar, in that a signal is emitted from the transmitter and received by... well, the transceiver. The location is then shown on-screen via a map of the area. For non-GPS trackers, you will likely hear a tone that indicates how close or far your dog is from you- leading to quite the guessing game.
- Bluetooth pet trackers
Bluetooth has the fundamental flaw that Bluetooth dog trackers have a limited range. That said, these trackers tend to work well for those in smaller areas. All you need to do is pair your phone with your pet’s Bluetooth collar and their signal/location will be sent to your phone. One of the benefits of Bluetooth trackers is that multiple people can pair to one pet tracking system. They also tend to be considerably cheaper, due to their limited range and therefore value as a pet tracker.
- Mixed pet trackers
The clue with these dog trackers is in the name. Mixed trackers use a combination of the above systems, which usually means there are considerably more “failsafe” protocols than a standard pet tracking device. The most common form of mixed dog trackers is of GPS, cellular and radio types, which allow you to see the location of your pets in real-time. Some of these trackers are known to use their own version of a cellular network, thereby cutting out the added cost of paying for a cell service.
Features to Consider when Buying a GPS Tracker for Dogs
Is the dog tracker easy to set up?
This is something that can easily slip the mind of any new technology used. It can take a little time to get to grips with new tech but, ideally, you want something that can start up and go. This takes all the pressure away since you can simply begin tracking your dog's location whenever you need to, without spending minutes or even hours trying to research how to get your new dog tracker up-and-running.
As discussed, there are many different ways to connect your device to your “home” system. That said, all of the different types of dog trackers can be judged based on their connectivity. Meaning, not only will it connect and stay connected but how fast it updates and how well it works outside. After all, you won’t be using your dog tracker for the inside of your house.
- Method of alerts
While some users may prefer to have summaries of where their dog has been and why (those who live on larger estates or farms, for example), it can be easier to have your dog tracker send you emails on a regular basis. Then there are those who only need to receive alerts when their dog is away from a specific location and as such won’t need to spend huge amounts of data via their tracking app. Finally, we have a more traditional method of tracking your pet, whereby you are given a map and a location of your pet is shown on that map.
These are all great options to have- but not all of them are necessary depending on your usage. We’ll get into this a little more as we discuss our favourites.
- Battery life
If you’re likely to take long trips, frequently (such as regular campers or holidaymakers) it can be really helpful to ensure you buy a dog tracking GPS that has excellent battery longevity. Naturally, larger batteries usually also include a bulkier frame, to cater for the extra size. Getting the right balance of this- along with the best price for your dog GPS- can be essential for dog walkers, everywhere.
This may not be a huge factor for some- but looking into how tough your pet GPS will be can make a huge difference in your pet trackers’ lifespan. If you take long walks along rough paths you will want something that can handle a few bumps in the road, while checking if your dog tracker is waterproof can be essential if you live near, or take walks near, water. On the flip side of this, you want to be sure that the size of the pet tracking device won’t hinder or annoy your dog- or you may find it in less-than-perfect condition, not long after you pop it on!
While this can seem rather self-explanatory, there is still the chance that folk is likely to forget to check this, when buying a new GPS pet tracker. The last thing any pet owner wants is to chase a signal all day, worrying about their four-legged friend, only to arrive at the entirely wrong destination. Be sure to check reviews and guides for the accuracy of your pet tracker before you buy!
If you aren’t looking to pay monthly fees, or pay upfront for a cellular connection, then be sure to check into what format your pet GPS/tracker uses. Some of these can be completely cost-free, while others offer deals or will show you upfront what your cost will be per month/year.
- Customer Service
With such intricate bits of tech and, therefore, so many different things that can go wrong, it is always a good idea to make sure someone is ready to help on the other end of the phone. The best way to check these over is to take a look at the reviews of each product. A bad review does not always mean their customer service is poor! If you see a bad review, be sure to watch out for the responses- if their team has gotten in contact, it’s very likely that this is a company that is more likely to try and help out their customers.
The Benefit of Using a GPS Tracker for Dogs
The biggest and most compelling reason for most buyers to purchase a pet GPS tracker is simply the fact that the idea of losing your best friend and, possibly, your most vulnerable family member is too much to bear. We naturally want our dogs to feel safe, secure and happy- and we want to know that they are safe, secure and happy! While there are currently some amazing and innovative solutions for returning our dogs to us, should they be found (from the humble dog tag to the incredible microchip), there are very few that help us to find them before something bad should happen.
The American Society for Protection Against Cruelty to Animals estimates that 3.3million dogs enter shelters each year, across the nation. Of those, only 670,000 are returned to their owners, with 620,000 euthanised each year. It’s hard to believe that this number could be reduced significantly if owners can reunite with their pets before being taken to a shelter. By using a GPS tracker for dogs, it could literally mean the difference between life and death.
Not only this but if somebody should come across your dog and decide to take them in as a stray (which is how 6% of dog owners came across their dog according to the ASPCA), it means you can use your dog’s GPS collar to track down and find your dog, first. Not to mention that it can stop anybody from taking your dog for more sinister reasons.
With some dog trackers, you can even create an invisible “fence”. Meaning that, should your dog leave a specific boundary, you will receive a real-time message, notifying you that your canine companion has gone walkabouts. So, should you accidentally leave the gate unlocked, or discover that Rex has pulled a Great Escape, you will immediately be aware- before they can get too far for you to find.
Choosing the Correct Size of GPS Tracker for Your Dog
When searching for the best GPS tracker for your pet, it’s important to keep your pet in mind. That is, all dogs are different, and this is most notable in each dog’s size. A small dog will not appreciate having a large pet tracker added to his or her collar- meaning that you’ll be much more likely to find it chewed off and across the floor (while you dog probably frolics in the background, feeling very proud of themselves). Likewise, a very large dog with a very small tracker will be much more likely to damage the device. Neither of these options is particularly favourable, so it’s best to keep to the following advice; your pet tracker should sit comfortably across a suitable collar, which, in itself, is designed to fit well around your dog’s neck.
Best GPS Tracker for Dogs FAQ:
Q: Can you track your pet with a microchip?
A: In short, no. This is because your dog’s microchip is designed for the sole purpose of holding the essential information that you pass to your chip provider. These include your dog’s name, their owners (you), where you live and what number to best contact you on.
When your dog is found and passed to a vet or similar, the professional will use a microchip scanner that brings up all this information and contacts you to let you know your dog is being held at their surgery. It is now a legal requirement in the UK to have your dog microchipped so, if you haven’t had this done already, head down to your local vets and get your pet chipped ASAP!
Likewise, if you don’t keep your pet’s information up-to-date, the scanner will bring up incorrect information. Meaning that it is likely your dog may be found but nobody will able to contact you and let them know your dog (or cat) is safe and sound. So do keep on top of this, for you and for your furry friend.
Q: What is a GPS dog tracker and how does it work?
A: GPS stands for Global Positioning System. Thus, a GPS collar is simply a collar that shows where and when your dog was in a particular place. In much the same way as we use sat-navs in our day-to-day lives, a dog GPS can help you locate your dog, anywhere in the world. Even then, within the market of dog tracking collars, there are many different variations. Scroll down to see our explanations of different types of dog trackers for specifics on how each type works.
Q: Do I need to download an app to use a dog tracker?
A: Not necessarily. It would depend on what type of GPS tracker you prefer, and ultimately buy. For example, for some, you can track your dog’s whereabouts online, via your PC in the same way that you can find your phone when it’s lost. That said, the easiest way to manage your dog’s whereabouts- especially when out and about, is indeed via an app.
This is the best way to track down your dog, since having a dog GPS that sends you emails may not be the simplest option when you’re out calling their name in the hopes of them coming back. Ultimately, it would negate the use of the GPS pet tracker, altogether. Of course, this is all entirely up to you, and what you feel most comfortable with.
Q: Can I use a GPS pet tracker on multiple pets?
A: In the majority of cases, you can’t. There are, however, a few options available that allow you to track your pets- with some dog trackers boasting up to ten pets being available via their pet GPS with the same “base station”. Essentially, you would require multiple trackers- or a bundle- all under the same brand name and type, and you would input these into your main device.
Bear in mind that, as with all technology, adding so many pets onto one device may cause the system to slow a little, due to the sheer amount of incoming information that would be constantly updating.
Q: Are GPS trackers waterproof?
A: It depends entirely on the brand! Some dog trackers are happy to state that their pet trackers are fully waterproof, while others stand with a more modest “weatherproof”. This means it won’t be submersible but can definitely handle a good few splashes. Naturally, although waterproof dog GPS’s cost more, it’s understandable that most dog owners will be looking for the toughest available pet tracker. This is especially true for those who go for walks near local spots of water (reservoirs, rivers etc.) since dogs certainly seem to enjoy getting themselves wet and running around with the “zoomies” from time-to-time!
Our Top Pick
It’s no secret that, while these are all great options, having the ability to do so much and at such a small price, leaves the Whistle 3 GPS Pet Tracker & Activity Monitor as our top pick. This is the pet tracker that doubles up as an activity monitor and is hailed as being easy-to-use by hundreds of reviewers. The small unit is perfect for many different sizes of dogs and subscription fees to the cellular service remain low, despite increasing in popularity.
Being a proactive unit that is both robust, accurate and easy on the wallet, means the Whistle is- in our humble opinion- the best GPS dog tracker out there. And with the collective voices of nearly 4000 reviews on Amazon alone behind us, we’re sure you’ll agree!
- Pet Statistics, ASPCA