You might want to consider a GPS tracker for your pet. After all, according to a survey of 1015 households that had cared for a dog or cat within the past five years from The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, 15 percent of households lost a dog or a cat in the past five years.
So, while the number of pets lost is small, it could still happen to you. This is why you should consider one of the best GPS pet trackers. But what GPS tracker should you buy? What offers the best bang for your buck? Is the battery life substantial? Is there real-time tracking? Can you detect your furry friend's location from your cell phone?
Hence, this guide to what we feel are the best pet GPS trackers around. Inside this article, we've reviewed and evaluated the top five GPS trackers for pets out of the 100+ products in the market. From there, we offer our expert advice on what things you need to consider before making the purchase.
A pet GPS tracker can give you peace of mind and is a more humane way of keeping track of your compared to a microchip implant.
Our Top Picks
The Paw Tracker Review
- Supports 3G, 2G, Wifi
- Three different colors to select from
- Five mode positioning
- Cannot support smaller animals (under 15 pounds)
- Instructions are poor
- Coverage may not be great in rural/mountainous areas
Not only is the Cy 3G Pet GPS Tracker adorable for your pet, but also useful. This mini waterproof pet locator features WCDMA 3G, 2G GSM, GPS and Wifi global locating. However, that means that you need to purchase a Micro-SIM card, otherwise the GPS tracker will not work.
With this tracker, which comes in three colors - black, blue, and gold - you'll receive five mode positioning. You'll have access to GPS+AGPS+Wifi+LBS+intertial global 0-50 feet positioning accuracy, virtual fence alerts, and low battery alarm immediately. Furthermore, you'll be able to take advantage of smart LED lights, which will turn on automatically in the dark, making it easy to find your pets at night.
Additionally, you'll receive real-time tracking thanks to the app. However, if you want access to the app, you'll need to select a GSM network-based Micro-SIM card, like AT&T. Unfortunately, this tracker is not suitable for pets that weigh under 15 pounds.
This product, however, has been highly recommended by consumers, praising its ability to track their pets. However, if you happen to live in a more rural area, you'll want to be careful. It would get fantastic coverage in cities, but in more rural and mountainous areas, you may run into issues. You may lose signal in those areas, after all, which would not be any good when you're searching for your furry friend.
Additionally, if you're one to use instructions, then you could end up frustrated. Some reports state that the instructions are poor to follow.
Gibi Pet Location GPS Review
- Custom Safe Zones
- 30-second tracking frequency
- Short battery life
- Erratic notifications
- May receive inaccurate locations
This Pet Location GPS Service Unit is a durable, waterproof, and lightweight GPS tracking device for your dog. The main feature of this GPS tracking device is the tie-in with the Gibi online-browser app, which makes it accessible from almost anywhere an internet connection is available. Unfortunately, according to Gibi, the app is not compatible with the newer OS that debuted with the iPhone 7 or 7 Plus.
Better yet is that the browser app works with Google Maps to help track your dog's location. The app also allows for safe zones, meaning that if your dog leaves your preset safe zones, then you'll receive alerts via email and or text. Furthermore, you'll be able to check your dog's location with real time updates, location information, and directions using Gibi's one-click button.
And as the cherry on top, the pet locator is able to be securely attached to just about any dog collar, so you won't need to purchase a special dog collar for the tracker.
Unfortunately, the battery life of the GPS tracking device is a tad lacking. Consumers have reported that it has to charge daily if you want to track your dog hourly. Additionally, the GPS may provide inaccurate locations or erratic notifications. Another disadvantage? No activity tracking.
Nuzzle Pet Activity and GPS Tracker Review
- No monthly fees
- Activity tracking
- Collision detection, temperature, and geo-fencing alerts
- App can be glitchy
- Battery life is incredibly short
- Could receive false breach notifications
Need a dog tracking collar? Then you may want to consider purchasing the Nuzzle Pet Activity and GPS Tracker. Born from a successful IndieGoGo campaign, this advanced GPS smart collar locates your pet and tracks your pet's activity and habits relying on nationwide cellular coverage (without any additional cost). This collar relies on real time 3G connectivity to accurately pinpoint your pet's location to within 10 feet so that if they happen to escape one day, you'll be able to find them without issue.
This pet tracking collar features temperature, collision detection, and geo-fencing alerts. Furthermore, this pet tracking collar comes with two rechargeable batteries for seamless charging.
Best of all, you can manage your pet's exact location, activity, and more thanks to a smartphone app. You can also use the Nuzzle smartphone app on walks to track your route, distance traveled, and pace, and set up geo-fencing around your house so you can get instant alerts on your mobile phone.
And no, you won't have to pay a monthly fee for the activity tracker's cellular coverage. So no worries there.
While this all sounds great on paper and there have been quite a few consumers who praise the collar, there have also been many complaints regarding the collar's functionality. Unfortunately, consumers have reported that the activity tracker simply pops off during usage, the app is a tad glitchy, the battery life is incredibly short (doesn't last even eight hours, according to some consumers), there are false breach notifications and more. While the collar sounds fantastic on paper, and while some absolutely love the collar, there is a risk that you will have to take when purchasing this. It can either work extremely well or extremely poorly.
Tractive GPS Pet Tracker Review
- Lightweight (35 grams)
- Water Resistant
- Wide range of supported devices
- Relies on 2G and 2.5G technology
- There is a monthly fee of $5
This pet GPS pet tracker, which also works for people, cars, suitcases, and more, is lightweight and waterproof and features an integrated SIM card. Not only that, but it features live positioning for dogs, cats, horses, and other animals weighing more than nine pounds, as it weighs only 35 grams. You'll be able to check the location of your pet with a browser or by using one of the free mobile apps for iPhone, Android, or Windows Phone.
Need more features? Well, there is a Safe Zone feature too, so if your dog, cat, horse, or any other type of pet leaves the area, you'll be alerted via your smartphone. And no, the alert won't cost you anything extra. The tracker also features integrated light, which helps you find missing pets in the dark but also increases the visibility of your pet when it walks close to roads when lost or simply venturing. However, this pet tracker absolutely requires T-Mobile coverage and a monthly service fee starting at $5.
So, just how does it work? According to the official Amazon page, the "Tractive GPS device leverages infrastructure to communicate with the Tractive apps. In order for this to work, Tractive has agreements with many cell phone operators and carriers all over the world. In the US, Tractive uses - amongst others - the T-Mobile network. As long as one of the networks is available, the Tractive GPS Tracker will work."
As stated on the page, the supported devices are:
iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPhone 5C, iPhone 5S, iPhone 6, iPhone 6S+, iPhone 6S, iPhone 7; iPad2 or newer (iOS8), Android 4.1 or newer, or Windows 8.1 or newer. However, you can use the Tractive GPS device without a smartphone.
Some consumers have claimed that it's the best product for their needs, being of high quality and precise. Not only that, but the device is 100 percent water resistant However, others have complained about its short battery life, and the fact that it only uses 2G and 2.5G, which is considered obsolete in many areas. So if you do not have 2G or 2.5G coverage in your area, you may want to reconsider this product.
Dynotag QR Code Smart Pet Tag Review
- Water Resistant
- Epoxy coating isn't the most durable
- GPS tracking is not true GPS tracking
Need something really small? You should consider the inexpensive Dynotag web/GPS-enabled QR code smart metal tag and ring.
As mentioned, this tag is web-powered, meaning that every QR smart Dynotag has a private web page that works from anywhere with an internet connection. No smartphone is required here - just set up or view your pet's vital information with the web browser. Of course, the QR code exists as a shortcut for your mobile phone or another mobile device that can use a QR code scanner.
Not only that, but the product is maintenance free: it's durable, waterproof, impact-proof, "battery proof" (no batteries are required), and it does not include electronics whatsoever. It's made of tough steel and coated with a protective layer that acts as a silencer. It relies on passive GPS tech to track when the tag is viewed, meaning manual GPS tracking, but for its price, you can't go wrong with it.
According to consumers, they found the Dynotag to be very useful and easy to set up. However, the GPS is a tad misleading. Only when the tag is scanned by the smartphone will the GPS information be revealed to the owner. In other words, the GPS is tied to the phone and not the tag, so if someone who might have malicious intent finds your furry friend, you won't know where your friend would be. Nevertheless, the tag is more convenient and easier to update than the microchip implant.
So if you want a true GPS tracker, then it's best to avoid this product.
Key Considerations Before Buying a GPS Pet Tracker
As a pet owner and when selecting the best GPS pet tracker, you'll want to take the following aspects into consideration:
The design of the pet tracker is one of the most important factors to take into account.
As a pet owner, you're concerned for the well-being of your friend. What you should take into account, then, is the weight of the tracker. How heavy is the tracker? Is it too big for your cat? If you're a dog owner, is it simply too large for your dog? Can it attach easily to the collar of the pet? Is the tracker water resistant and durable?
These are the questions you'll want to ask yourself when selecting a GPS pet tracker.
The features are just as important as the design of the tracker. What features are embedded inside the tracker? Is it passive or active GPS? Will you be able to find your furry friend easily? Does the tracker feature a QR code to track your pet? Are you able to pinpoint the exact location of your pet with the device? Does the tracker require cellular service and/or a monthly fee? If so, what is the cellular service like? Does the tracker feature a virtual fence or even a fitness tracker?
After all, a fitness tracker can help you determine how much exercise your pet receives daily. As a cat, horse, or dog owner, you should have peace of mind when having a GPS pet tracker.
Compatibility is another factor that should be pondered over in your search of your favorite GPS pet tracker. What is the GPS pet tracker compatible with? Is it compatible with all available smartphones and/or browsers? Is the app browser-based? Is it only chained to specific versions of smartphones? For instance, does the product come equipped with only an iPhone app or are there both an Android and iPhone app for the device?
Compatibility, after all, determines whether or not you're even able to use the device.
Related: GPS Tracker SIM Cards
Here is how we conjured up our top five GPS pet trackers:
1. First, we pored over the best brands of GPS pet trackers available. The best GPS pet tracker brands were determined by reputation and professional reviews of particular products.
2. Second, we then scoured for the best GPS pet trackers from these brands. We've read through both professional and consumer reviews to determine the best GPS pet trackers.
3. From there, we've downsized to our top five based on the key considerations. We looked at the value of the product, the usefulness, compatibility, design, and more.
Overall, you should look for a GPS tracker that suits your needs best. But if you don't rely on our top five picks, you should at least refer to the consumer and professional reviews of the GPS pet tracker before you decide on one. The above picks hopefully will help you decide the type of GPS tracker you would like, at the very least.
Looking for human GPS trackers? Then you should refer to our buyer's guides to GPS trackers for kids. Perhaps you're looking for kid's smartwatch alongside a GPS tracker. In that case, you should instead read our buyer's guide to kids' smartwatches.