Welcome to Collar and Harness Magazine’s curated list of 2019’s best dog GPS trackers based on online sales.
For our own expert reviews of these products and more don’t forget to check out our Harness section.
GPS trackers for pets have grown in popularity over the years. With the mass adoption of smartphones, smartwatches, and even smart homes – the desire to keep an eye on your pet from afar has also risen.
With different features, subscriptions, monthly fees, activity tracking, live tracking, the technology used and requirements in all of these GPS trackers – it can be tough to know which ones are doing well out there. We’ve listed the top picks of GPS location trackers based on sales and best dog tracker UK review for 2019 and included all of the biggest points on all of them.
Our top 9 best Dog GPS trackers are:
Our Best Dog GPS Tracker – The Top 9
Tractive Dog GPS Tracker
|Tractive Dog GPS Tracker -Lightweight and waterproof dog tracking device with unlimited range||896 Reviews||Buy on Amazon|
Currently, this ranks as the number one best selling pet tracking device on Amazon. Using the 2G/3G phone network, this tracker requires a small monthly subscription fee to continue to operate.
The SIM card required to utilise the tracking features is included in the collar. The tracker is waterproof and fairly lightweight – but is recommended for any dog weighing over 9lbs. A dog GPS tracker can be added to either a harness or collar, depending on what your dog wears most.
Using a smartphone app or a browser – the tracker allows you to pinpoint your pet’s location at any time. This includes a tracking history so you can track daily activities or even historical data since the tracker was first activated. This information can be accessed by yourself or shared with others if required.
One nice feature is the virtual fence, or geo-fence, where you can set a virtual boundary for your dog. If your pet breaches this boundary (your house or lawn, for example, the Tracktive will send you a notification.
Tracktive boasts an impressive range with a worldwide GPS reach of over 150 countries. Overall Amazon reviews are good with over 600 different reviews currently listed.
Pawfit GPS Pet Tracker
|Pawfit GPS Pet Tracker & Activity Monitor, Smarter Pet Care||89 Reviews||Buy on Amazon|
The second highest-ranking device to track your pet is the Pawfit. You’ve probably seen these around as they’re a fairly popular make with dog owners. This is in part because of its combined activity monitor feature.
And why not, I hear you ask. If humans are using Fitbit and smartwatches to keep track of their activity levels – why shouldn’t dogs.
The app (iOS9 / Android) can be configured to record your dogs active hours, rest hours, calories burned and distance over 7 days. It will also take into account your dogs breed, age, weight when calculating its numbers.
The pawfit dog GPS tracker has a nice additional feature as an alternative to traditional ID tags. Using text-to-speech technology it alerts someone who presses the button on the tracker who the dog belongs to. It will also alert the owner should the tag be removed or if the dog wanders from a pre-designated area. The tracker is both water and dust proof as well as drop and bite resistant.
A SIM card is required for this tracker, but it can pretty much use any PAYG SIM card as long as it has GSM(2G) coverage.
Mishiko Dog GPS Tracker & Fitness Planner
|Mishiko - Dog Tracker Collar, Integrated GPS, Activity Tracker, Sturdy and Stylish Collar, Physical...||47 Reviews||Buy on Amazon|
Offering real-time GPS tracking, this dog GPS tracker is another example of a tracker combined with an activity monitor. Once smart twist with this is the ability to set it to warn of obesity in your dog. Using Artificial Intelligence (it claims anyway) it can diagnose and offer a suggested fitness and diet plan to keep your dog healthy. This is a bold claim, and perhaps contributes to its lukewarm reviews, but it’s worth checking out if weight affects your dog.
The design of this tracker is fairly sleek and is built into a clip on collar. One surprising advantage some versions have is the lifetime GPS tracking. This means no need to pay for monthly SIM cards. Yes, it’s a little more expensive than some of its rivals but this is a pretty good trade-off for long term costs.
This tracker is lightweight, comes with an app, is waterproof and, like others, can be set up with a GPS fence. As well as a standard charger you can also charge the tracker over wireless, which can be handy.
This seems on the surface a great deal and with some truly unique features. So why the mixed reviews? The majority of negative reviews focus on battery life which can often be an issue. So it’s worth checking out the more recent product reviews before making your decision.
Tractive GPS Tracker for Dogs – XL Edition
|Tractive GPS XL Tracker for Dogs - waterproof pet finder collar attachment - XL Edition||45 Reviews||Buy on Amazon|
Well, I had to double-check this was correct – but whereas the battery life of most GPS trackers is a few days – the XL can last up to a remarkable six weeks!. Obviously, the tradeoff here is weight, so better for larger breeds, but the benefits of this extended life for some will be a large buying factor.
Like the standard Tractive, this has all the same features including the app, virtual fence etc. Impressive.
TriStar Mini GPS Tracker Locator
|Mini GPS Tracker Locator with Google Map for Child Pets Dogs Car Vehicle Personal SOS Alarm Tracking...||13 Reviews||Buy on Amazon|
This is a lot more technological device than the others – and has some fairly unique features as a result. It’s an odd little device and perhaps better suited to cats, but it’s inexpensive and uses a compatible PAYG SIM card.
PitPat 2 – Dog Activity Monitor
If you’re just looking for a small, reliable, activity monitor – this could well be for you. If you’re looking for something with more distance than Bluetooth (i.e. a tracker), this is not for you. This device doesn’t actually include GPS so it doesn’t really fit on this list at all, but as Amazon lists it – so have we.
As an activity monitor, it’s actually a nice inexpensive gadget with some nice features. Mostly measuring the dog’s fitness, activity and habits. The design is slick and it attaches to a normal collar via velcro. Reviews for this are mainly positive – but remember, this is not a GPS tracker.
FutureWay Mini GPS Pet Tracker for Dogs
|Mini GPS Pet Tracker for Dogs Cats - 4 Band GSM, GPRS Tracking, Real-time Tracking, 90 Days Route...||8 Reviews||Buy on Amazon|
Reviews on Amazon are mixed. For those who found the FutureWay worked as expected – it’s a very reliable tracker with good functionality. However, several reviewers found the tracker simply didn’t work for them – mainly because of syncing issues with their smartphones.
Kippy Dog GPS Tracker
The Kippy Vita S is a dog GPS tracker that uses a proprietary subscription plan to operate. Three different paid subscription service packages are available at this time. The service package does not come included with the Kippy Vita tracker and needs to purchased separately on the Kippy website or through the app.
The tracker updates the location of your pet every 4 seconds, so you can monitor them with near real-time.
PetTouchID Smart Pet ID
|PetTouchID Smart Pet ID Tag, QR Code, NFC Scan, Online Pet Page, GPS Location (Blue Paw)||69 Reviews||Buy on Amazon|
This is the cheapest priced GPS tracker on the list. It’s also not a GPS tracker, more an ID tag or luggage tracker which uses GPS technology. This means, unlike others on the list, you can’t track your dog in real-time. If your dog is lost, anyone who scans the tag with a smartphone will send an alert to you.
Dog GPS Tracker Top Sellers: A Note
Hopefully, you found the list above helpful. Remember, don’t always base your buying decisions on what sells best. Influence, price and marketing can often influence your decision.
When considering what a good GPS tracker for your pup is, consider what you really need. As well as what you don’t need. Of course, you can check out our independent reviews – but here are some explanations of how they work.
What Is GPS?
Most people probably know this, but as a brief refresher; GPS is an acronym for Global Positioning System. Using satellites, areas are mapped and devices can then locate a position within that map using trilateration.
This is how map services such as Google and Apple maps work. In the UK (actually in most countries) we use similar for SatNav in cars. The same for a dog GPS tracker. The tracker has a unique identifier which can be located within the satellites network.
Dog GPS Trackers
Similar to SatNav, pet GPS trackers allow you to monitor the location of your dog and cat at all times provided they are wearing them. Usually, these are attached to the dog’s collars. Most of these use the 2G/3G mobile networks signal though in some cases radio signals are used.
There are others available, mostly used for short-range tracking, however, reach through almost all locations are desirable. After all, of course, it is useful to know your dog is in the house – and some WiFi / Bluetooth trackers can use this. But, they become fairly redundant if your dog has left the house or slipped from their collar.
So bare in mind HOW they are tracking your dog when making your decision.
Dog GPS Trackers – Things to Consider
Does the GPS Tracker Need a Subscription?
If the tracker is a long range (most are) and use 2G/3G – do they need a subscription to access the mobile network? For example, the Tractive Dog GPS Tracker which often features top of the best sellers list requires a monthly subscription of less than £5/$5 a month.
This may seem like a bit of a sting, however, you should consider the benefits of being able to track your dog outdoors as well as indoors.
Others offer a yearly plan or a one-year plan included. In the UK, for example, 2G/3G coverage is pretty good everywhere although in more remote areas is can be a little dire – so cell phone coverage based on your country/requirements may be a factor.
Some devices, such as the smart goTele GPS Tracker do not require a subscription as they rely on their own networks for all tracking. Obviously, the tradeoff is that the unit is more expensive, but once the investment has been made – it’s yours and will continue to run.
Suffice to say, it depends on your budget and confidence levels you have in the device. You can check our site for reviews of some of these products, however, it’s worth reading the Amazon reviews to get a feel of real-world pros and cons.
This isn’t unique to dog GPS trackers, I’ve seen this technology appear in all sorts of modern technology. It’s pretty cool – I played with a robotic lawnmower recently.
The lawnmower could be set so that a geo-fence was created to define the borders (safe zones) of the garden. It meant the device knew when it was reaching the border and would not cross it, butchering the neighbours Dahlia’s in the process. Now obviously a dog doesn’t work that way – but your brain does.
You can use a geo-fence to set your own boundaries for your dog, say the house and garden, and if your dog wanders outside of that range – you are notified. This is handy if your dog is a digger or has a tendency to escape from front doors.
Fancy a Dip?!
This may seem obvious, but beware! If your dog likes to jump in lakes or run around in the rain – check the GPS collar is waterproof and water resistant. Nothing upsets sensitive equipment more than water.
Handle with Care?
Again, may seem obvious, but check the dog GPS collar isn’t flimsy rubbish which can easily break. We’ve not come across any of these – but keep it in mind.
Here Boy (Or Girl)!
If you fancy a bit of extra training with your dog, some GPS dog collar trackers come with a ringer or vibration when the dog breaches the geo-fence (or when you activate it).
You could train your dog to return when this functionality is activated. Be aware, this will take time and patience. Actually, in most cases, it will take considerable patience for both you and the dog. On the flip side, it’s a fun and practical skill to teach.
Keeping The GPS Dog Tracker Charged
Charging is something that varies hugely, but if the GPS dog collar requires power – remember to charge it. Also, consider if the device has a long battery life, to begin with. Most on this list last from 2-5 days. But, check this as something which doesn’t hold a charge will be next to useless when you really need it.
A Few Other Nice Features
Some of these dog GPS collars have some extra features which subjectively are cool and useful. I was particularly drawn to two features on the Pawfit GPS Pet Tracker & Activity Monitor.
The first is a text-to-speech option. Essentially, the owner types the details of the dog such as name, address, phone number, etc which is then entered on the GPS tracker. So, if your dog goes missing and is found, anyone pressing the button will hear a readout of these details so they can identify the owner and return the dog.
Another is a sensor which alerts you when the GPS collar is removed. This could be perfectly innocent. A partner or even the dog has managed to remove it.
Or, and I sincerely hope this never happens to you, something more sinister. It’s a useful feature for extra peace of mind.
One last neat feature that we have seen in some trackers is the combination of an activity monitor. A dog fit-bit if you will. So, you monitor the dog’s activity and exercise over time, particularly good if you’re keeping your dog fit when they’re a little on the heavy side.
How Do I Actually Track my Dog?
However, although if this fancy high tech technology is all very lovely, how do you as the human keep a track on the dog? The majority of these come with a handy Apple iOS or Android App which work on most modern smartphones.
But, we have found that many of the trackers are also accessible on a modern browser. Depending on the app – there can be a wide range of features. From Google maps integration to historic tracking and offline modes.
We hope this handy introduction to Dog GPS trackers has been useful. It’s best to remember not to always base your decision on price (we don’t) but rather on the features you need for your dog. Consider small things like waterproof, battery life, reliability and range.
Happy Walking! Top Dog.