Wondering what the best Dog GPS tracker is? Me too! So I tried pretty much everything that’s on the market today.
Yeah haha, I’ve been working through all the available options on the market at the moment so that I can recommend to you, comfortably, the best dog trackers on the market.
I’ve been working on this list for about two years now, and it’s finally starting to fall into place.
So, let’s start with the basic info…
What Is A Dog GPS Tracker?
Also called a GPS Dog Collar, or GPS pet tracker, they’re essentially the same as any GPS Tracker.
GPS is a “Global Positioning Satellite”, and works the same as finding yourself on your google maps – but instead it gives your dogs location.
But these ones have typically been tailored for your pet in terms of size, and attach to your pet’s collar or harness. Other than offering attachment to your dog’s collar, some trackers offer other pet focused things, even down to the needs of pet parents in the app most of them use.
Most include a few other metrics! Like a step count, a distance travelled, activity monitoring, sleep monitoring, or even health monitoring which is pretty cool.
Why Would I Use A Dog GPS Tracker?
There’s a lot of reasons to use a GPS tracker – if you’re like me it’s because your hounds like to leave your fence when deer break in, and aren’t reliable to come back when chasing a deer for a few miles — so they’re great for an escape artist and prevention of a lost pet.
Alternatively, you may just want back up if you’re going hiking, or if your dog is out with a dog walker, friend or family to ensure that they’re just not going to get lost.
And, not to mention that most of them have additional features like activity tracker. So, if you’re trying to help your dog maintain a healthy weight understanding your dog’s activity levels can be some great information.
These collars are essentially peace of mind.
How These Were Tested
In order to figure out the best GPS tracker for dogs these devices were all tested for an extended period of time on the collars of at least one of my dogs, tested within their safezone, on walks, and hikes and – when it happened – they were tested if my dogs left the fence unexpectedly. The last one is something typically out of my control, but it’s not something I can just risk.
We do however mock up a ‘loose dog’ situation where one of us will leave with one of the dogs (Bluetooth and attachment off) to try and ensure that they’re easy enough to locate on the instance they do leave.
These were all tested on dogs weighing 75-90lbs, including two coonhounds and a german shepherd, they were attached as described by the manufacturer with the aim of testing them as truly as possible.
Best Dog GPS Trackers & Smart Tags
Fi Series 2 GPS Dog Tracking Collar
- Great app
- AT&T Service
This is my favourite tracker that we've used, and even whilst I'm testing the other trackers, I ensure to keep this one on my dogs incase the other ones fail - which is pretty sizeable.
I mean, yes, they do have more kinks than other trackers? For example, I've never gotten a "Lucy left home" and a panicked call from my husband from other devices, but this one really is my failsafe because it's proven itself to work reliably, and consistently and have a good battery life that reminds me appropriately when it needs to be charged, etc.
There've very little room for improvement with this, to be honest.
Whistle Switch Smart Dog Collar
- Great health tracking
- Good GPS tracker
- Great app
- Exchangeable battery
- Charges on a standard cable
This one is a great collar, and gives some really great info, but it is (to me!) a health monitor over a tracker.
It works really nicely at what it does, but my favourite things are that you don't need a special charging cable or base to charge this. It charges off a micro USB, and the batteries are exchangeable.
Major Drawbacks: Cannot change collar, Chunky device.
- most real time tracker
- multiple geofence
Because Jiobit is designed for human use as well as pet use, it does limit its functionality. It doesn't have some of the bells and whistles that other trackers offer, such as health monitoring, distance monitoring or similar.
Major Drawback: I've had it ping off of collars and land on the floor during play.
- Adapts to any collar
- On/Off button
- Great app
I have to say, this one really surprised me. I really like Tractive. It's not only adaptable to any collar, but it's super easy to do.
Major Drawbacks: It does take a very specific cable to charge. It also has a tone that my dogs do not appreciate! It does also get quite grubby being white.
Pebblebee GPS Tracker for Dogs
- Easy Charge
This one is currently in testing, so I can't give a full opinion yet, but it's looking pretty good so far - and it's definitely a pet tracker as opposed to some of these!
- Easy to attach
It's super cheap and super low maintenance, which I very much appreciate. It integrates with my life really easily (I'm an iPhone user, so, yeah), but it's just not designed for pet use. So, yes, it may help you locate your dog in a city or populated town, but it's not useful beyond that.
Major Drawbacks: signal is "Crowdsources" so it's not actually a "GPS" tracker
So, Which Is The Best Dog Tracker For You?
For me it was the fi, but here are a few questions you can ask yourself to see which one is going to be best for you and your
1 – Make a shortlist of what you want to achieve
Do you need to track their activity? What about understanding your dog’s location? How far away are they likely to get? Do they have a reliable recall? Are you going to be travelling a lot? How waterproof does it need to be? Does it need a long battery life? Do you need a safe area? Or areas? Do you want to pay a monthly subscription fee? how real-time do you need the real-time location tracking?
The features offered by each device are different. Which is why you’re likely reading this comparison. Just make sure you know what you want from your tracker.
2 – Where Do You Live?
If you live, work or walk in remote areas, you may want to look at the cell service for what these trackers use. If not? You may have to do a bit more of an upgrade and go for something like a Garmin device.
3 – How big is your dog?
For smaller dogs, it’s a good idea to consider the size of your furry friend when looking at these devices. The smaller your dog, the more you want to focus on smaller devices, because you don’t necessarily want a huge device. Simply put… Small dogs need light devices.
The Nerdy Comparison Bit
Dog Tracker FAQ
For me, Fi is the best option. It’s overall the best GPS dog tracker and the most practical to use when trying to find your pet’s location. The device size is small, and we can change the collars easily enough – and they’re really robust. To me, they’re the best tracking device we’ve tried.
I love our GPS Collars, and I really do hope that this has answered your questions about them! If not, feel free to comment below, or hit me up on Instagram and Ill be happy to point you in the right direction!
That said? If you’re looking for more of a smart collar (like a health and activity monitor?) you may prefer the whistle switch.
If you’re looking for any further info on dog gear or trackers, head to the Gear Reviews page to check out more!
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Author, Ali Smith
Ali Smith is the Positive Puppy Expert, dog trainer and is the founder of Rebarkable. She is passionate about helping puppy parents get things right, right from the start. To help create a puppy capable of being a confident and adaptable family member and keep puppies out of shelters.
Ali has won multiple awards for her dog training, and has had her blog (this blog!) rated as 2021 & 2022 worlds’ best pet blog!
Thanks to depositphotos.com for the images!