By Helen Miller/ December 5, 2022 December 18, 2022 / 17 minutes of reading
The 10 Best Dog Trackers of 2023
Have you ever been out with your dog and misplaced sight of them? The worst nightmare of a dog owner is losing their pet and even worse, not finding them. A GPS tracker for dogs is a device that you can attach to your dog’s collar or harness to track their location and movement. These devices use satellite technology to determine the location of your dog and transmit this information to a handheld device or smartphone app. This can be useful for a variety of purposes, such as finding a lost dog, keeping track of your dog’s activity levels, and monitoring their safety while they are outdoors. Some GPS trackers for dogs also have additional features, such as the ability to set up virtual fences, send alerts if your dog leaves a designated area, or even allow you to communicate with your dog remotely using a built-in speaker. Pet Top 10 has researched the best dog trackers on the market.
Take your time before making a purchasing decision and consider the following features. This is important or you may end up with a tracker that is not useful to you. Many basic dog collars do the job, but you may miss out on many important features. Even worse, some dog trackers on the market don’t even work properly.
1. Reliability & Accuracy
First, it’s important to understand how GPS dog collars work. The GPS chip from your dog’s collar sends signals to your GPS tracking unit or a mobile app via GSM technology. The device must be connected to the internet in order for it to work. If you can’t get a signal or have a weak signal then a GPS dog tracker device won’t be able to track your dog accurately in real time. This is why the best dog trackers don’t rely on GPS alone and use more advanced technologies too. This allows your dog to be located even in the most remote areas. There are a few dog trackers that are not reliant on an internet connection at all, such as the Petfon GPS tracker that combines GPS, WiFi, Bluetooth, and long-distance wireless technologies.
Bluetooth trackers such as Apple AirTag or TileMate work best to locate items rather than pets. If you lose your pet you need to go on the app and click find. This will then make the bluetooth tracker in your dog’s collar ring. Not exactly useful if your pet is miles away. Even worse, if your dog is in an area with bad network coverage then you need to tap “Notify When Found” and hope for the best.
2. Subscription fees
The majority of GPS dog trackers require you to buy a monthly subscription plan. The plans start from $3.75/month. If you purchase plans for 12 or 24 months, the deals are often cheaper. $3.75/month is not a lot for your peace of mind. There are a few non-subscription GPS dog trackers. If you are not happy to pay any monthly fees consider getting a Bluetooth tracker (Apple AirTag or TileMate for instance) instead.
3. Battery life
Many GPS dog trackers have a battery life of between 2 – 5 days. The battery runs out faster in active use and lasts longer in standby mode. There are a few options with a battery life of 20 days and our top choice, the Fi Dog Collar has an impressive battery life of up to 3 months.
4. Tracker type
Do you need a location only or a location & health tracker?
As the name suggests, this type of tracker doesn’t do anything else but track your dog’s location. You just need to purchase a tracking collar and then download an app on your phone. There are a few options that work with a handheld device rather than an app.
Location & Health tracker
Location and health dog trackers work the same way as a GPS location-only tracker but you have the option to monitor your dog’s health, sleep and meals too. Just let the tracker know you are taking your dog out for a walk or a run and it will record your dog’s activity. Additionally, it will show you how active your dog is when you’re not home. You can then easily check your dog’s activity on your phone.
This depends on the network the device uses. For instance, the Whistle Health & GPS+ connects to the AT&T service which is mainly available in the US. If you try to use such device outside the AT&T network it will obviously not work very well, if at all. Some GPS dog trackers like the Tractive GPS Tracker for Dogs can track your dog anywhere in the world as they are able to connect to different networks. Devices that work without a subscription service often have a limited range, usually between 3 to 11 miles.
6. Collar weight
Some dog trackers are rather heavy and therefore not suitable for smaller dogs. Remember to check the weight and dimensions before buying. Your dog won’t appreciate a heavy, bulky item around its neck.
7. Is it waterproof?
While most dog trackers are waterproof, not all of them are suitable for swimming.
8. Is it chew proof?
This is important if your dog is a chewer. Many dog trackers are made of plastic. The Fi Series 3 tracker is chew proof since it’s made of stainless steel. They also claim that Apple advices your dog could swallow an AirTag where as their tracker is safer for chewers.
Microchip vs. GPS Tracker
What is the difference between a pet GPS tracker and a microchip? Wonderful question! A microchip and a GPS pet tracker can occasionally be confused with one another. The two technological components, though, serve quite distinct functions.
Because they are smaller than a grain of rice, microchips can be safely inserted under the skin. Microchips contain no GPS localization or tracking technologies. After a missing dog or cat has already been located and brought to a shelter or veterinarian, they are utilized to identify the pet’s owner.
GPS trackers for dogs or cats use satellites to continuously calculate your pet’s location, allowing you to observe their locations via an app or a handheld device. They enable you to locate your pet quickly and easily if they become missing. GPS pet trackers contain a battery pack, GPS antenna, GSM module, and other components, and weigh roughly 30 grams.
Fi is the first tracking collar to make use of the low-power, long-distance LTE-M cellular network. LTE-M signals travel approximately 30% further than traditional cellular networks. Fi Series 3 increases signal sensitivity by 100% to ensure that your dogs can be located even in the most remote areas.
The speed with which you are notified of a dog’s escape is critical to their recovery. Fi detects when your dog escapes using proprietary algorithms and is the quickest, most accurate way to be notified and safely recover your dog.
In the US, 4 GPS satellite constellations can be tracked. This device has an amazing battery life, up to 3 months (1.5 – 2 months in most conditions). The body is made of stainless steel to prevent chewing and prevent a dog from puncturing the battery.
No device cost, you pay for the subscription only
Excellent battery life
Unlimited warranty replacements on active memberships
Lost dog mode
GPS and LTE cellular network tracking
Each new Fi Series 3 plan comes with a 30-day trial
30-day money-back guarantee
400lbs+ resistance (suitable for pullers and chewers)
This dog tracker allows you to track your dog in real-time. You get location updates every 2-3 seconds with the live mode. You can also set a virtual fence, such as your garden – you decide how far your dog is allowed to go. Received alerts in case they leave the virtual fence zone or return to it. You can also check the location history and see where your dog has been.
The Tractive dog collar is also 100% waterproof and built for adventurous dogs. The design is dog-friendly. At barely 1.2oz, it is tiny and incredibly light (35g). To get the most out of your battery at home, set up a power-saving zone. In less than two hours, you can fully recharge and get moving.
Real-time GPS tracking
Unlimited range and worldwide coverage
Works in over 150 countries
Suitable for small and large dogs
Up to 7 days of battery life
LED light helps your dog to be seen in the dark
Great support team
Requires subscription (plans start from $5/month)
Annual subscription plan can’t be cancelled (Buy a monthly plan first if you want to test the device)
The Whistle TM Health & GPS+ ensures that you never miss a beat. This smart collar has leading-edge health AI, GPS tracking, interchangeable styles, and two rechargeable battery packs. As a result, you can monitor your dog’s health and location around the clock.
Track your pet’s health, nutrition, and activity levels. You can also keep an eye on potential health problems, track activity levels, calories, distance, and activity, as well as behaviours like licking, scratching, and sleeping. Get food portion recommendations based on your dog’s activity level, breed, age, and weight. Send your veterinarian a 30-day report via email. Built-in 20-day battery.
You need to purchase a subscription plan to use this device. Plans start from $8.25/month and include GPS location tracking, health and fitness monitoring, proactive notifications, alerts, health reports and more. Set up alerts to quickly find your pet, whether they’ve snuck away or are 3000 miles away. Receive notifications if your pet departs from a predefined safe zone. This collar can track your dog’s location with 15-second updates using AT&T’s nationwide network and Google maps. A Wi-Fi connection is required.
Free return, 30 days risk-free & free shipping on Whistle.com
Free access to Ask a vet chat, video, call or email
Detailed breakdown of their 24-hour activity
Find my pet feature (know your pet’s exact location)
Requires subscription ($80/year with automatic renewal)
Bulky – yet lightweight
Does not work well in the UK even though Amazon UK sells it (this device connects to the AT&T network)
Get notified every time your dog leaves a Wi-Fi safe zone. In an emergency, you can track them across the country on Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile networks. Switches seamlessly between Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile, ensuring you always have the best US coverage.
FitBark GPS, with its 24/7 activity and sleep monitoring, is a new way to motivate you and your dog to be active, explain behavioural changes, and make better decisions about mobility, anxiety, and skin conditions. Wi-Fi and mobile app location permissions are required.
GPS live tracking on multi carriers nationwide
FREE shipping & returns on FitBark.com
24/7 health monitoring
Long battery life
Works in the United States only
Requires subscription (from $5.95/month)
5. Garmin Alpha 200i GPS Dog Tracking System for Hunting Bundle
Collar weight: 10oz (284g)
Battery life: 20 hours
Activity tracking: No
Subscription plan required: Required for inReach technology
Comes with 1 Handheld Dog GPS, Belt Clip, AC Adapter, microUSB Cable, Rechargable battery pack, 1 red collar strap
Track and train your dogs with the Alpha 200i system, which includes inReach® technology1, a sunlight-readable 3.5″ capacitive touchscreen, and a user-friendly six-button design2. This system is intended to make tracking and training as simple, accessible, and as quick as possible. Data from Hunt Metrics shows each dog’s daily hunting patterns and behaviours per hunt, allowing you to take precautions to keep them healthy and safe.
Using multiple global navigation satellite systems, you can easily set up and monitor up to 20 dogs from up to 9 miles away with a 2.5-second update rate (GPS and Galileo). When cell phones are unavailable, inReach technology allows you to keep in touch with loved ones. Iridium’s 100% global satellite network provides interactive SOS alerts and two-way messaging (active satellite subscription required; jurisdiction restrictions may apply).
The user-replaceable battery lasts up to 20 hours; up to 15 hours with inReach technology enabled.
Allows you to monitor up to 20 dogs (you need to buy the tracking collars separately)
Updates location even without a cellphone coverage
Long battery life (20 hours or 15 hours with in Reach technology)
Option to set land boundaries
Extra tracking collars need to be bought separately
Requires subscription if you want to use the inReach technology
Meet the Pawfit 3s, the smartest, most dependable, waterproof GPS dog location and activity tracker that you can rely on to keep your pets safer, healthier, and happier! Pawfit 3s combines the latest in tracking technology with all of the essential security features and is suitable for pets weighing 7 lbs. and up.
You can easily set personalized fitness goals and activity tracking, get FIND mode with location updates every 5 seconds, unlimited range – track your dog anytime, anywhere Safety Zones – receive prompt alerts if your dog gets lost or strays. This device features light and soundtracking too, which makes your dog easier to see and hear. Voice commands help you easily recall your dog even when they’re out of earshot.
30-day money-back guarantee
Real-time GPS location tracking
Long battery life
Requires subscription (plans start from $4.75/month)
7. Sportdog Tek Series 1.5 GPS Dog Tracking System
Device & collar weight: 1.41 kg
Collar weight: 0.25 kg
Suitable for dogs over 3.6 kg
Battery life: 24 hours
Activity tracking: No
Subscription plan required: Yes
Tone & vibration buttons for training
Tracks up to 12 dogs (comes with a tracking collar for 1 dog only)
Track with confidence with the TEK 1.5 GPS Tracking System. By collecting information from both satellite constellations—GPS and Glonass—TEK Series 1.5 improves tracking accuracy. It allows you to track up to 12 pets (with additional collars) 7 miles away. Receive reports of each dog’s routes via the TEK 1.5 GPS Tracking system. It can be used for tracking or training and you can communicate with three dogs at the same time.
You can use a tilt-compensated compass to see where your dogs are going, their status, how far away they are, and their locations in relation to yours, as well as deliver a tone, vibration, or one of 99 levels of static stimulation. With the DryTek technology, the tracking and training collar is waterproof and submersible up to 25 feet, enabling the system to function in any environment or terrain. The battery life of this device is up to 24 hours and it charges fully in four hours.
The Petfon GPS tracker has no service or monthly fees. The small, weatherproof device tracks your pet’s activity and pinpoints his/her location in real-time. For accurate real-time positioning, the Petfon GPS tracker combines GPS, WiFi, Bluetooth, and long-distance wireless technologies. The unique Rada searching feature can assist you in locating the location of the lost dogs.
The Petfon GPS Tracker is simple to set up and use. Simply download the free-to-use Petfon app and follow the on-screen instructions. You can view your pet’s activities and pinpoint his location at any time using the app. Tracking ranges can be up to 0.65 miles in dense urban areas and 3.5 miles in open areas.
You can define a safe area around your pet’s location with the Petfon GPS tracker and be notified instantly if your pet leaves that area. You can also use the GPS tracker’s colourful lights to help you find your pet in low light or at night. To communicate with your pets remotely, voice commands can be recorded and stored on the tracker.
The Petfon GPS tracker is compact and long-lasting (42mm x 42mm x 18mm; weight: 27.6g). The rainproof feature allows it to function in wet weather but it’s not suitable for swimming. The battery on the Petfon GPS Tracker can last up to 8-16 hours and comes with a small charging station. It can recharge the device several times, making it ideal for going off the grid.
Does your dog ever flee? Weenect alerts you directly to your phone as soon as he tries to leave a specified geofence, allowing you to instantly step in and stop it. The Weenect Dogs 2 tracker for dogs works in over 100 countries and has no distance limit and offers real-time GPS tracking. However, it only updates your dog’s location once per minute if they are moving or once every five minutes if they are staying still.
The only GPS dog tracker that can take the place of a dog training collar is Weenect Dogs 2. After a walk, there’s no need to spend hours looking for your dog. It will eventually associate the two events by having its canine monitoring gadget vibrate or ding at each mealtime; you can then quickly call it for dinner in your smartphone.
The battery life is between 2-4 days. The more active your dog is the faster the battery will run out. It will take two hours to fully recharge. You will need to buy a subscription for this tracker to work which is about £3.50/month for the cheapest plan.
Up to 3.5 miles range
Real-time GPS tracking
30-day money-back guarantee
Subscription required, long notice period to cancel (3 months)
Patchy network coverage, beware of issues
Battery drains quickly despite 3-day battery life promise
With the Dogtra PATHFINDER MINI, you can track and train smaller dogs like beagles more precisely and quickly thanks to the integration of GPS and e-collar technology.
The PATHFINDER MINI is compatible with and 22% smaller than the PATHFINDER, and it actually functions without requiring cellular data*. Simply download the free maps and use your smartphone’s Offline Maps mode to navigate. There aren’t any supplementary navigation packages to buy with this GPS e-collar in contrast to others. The 4-mile range and Beacon & Locate LED Light of the PATHFINDER MINI allow for simple tracking of dogs weighing up to 15 pounds.
No subscription fees to pay
Short battery life
No activity tracking
Customer reviews suggest this tracker is not always accurate
Expensive, not enough features to justify the price
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