Welcome to Collar and Harness Magazine’s curated list of 2019’s best dog GPS trackers based on Amazon sales.
For our own expert reviews 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, smart watches and even smart homes – the desire to keep an eye on your pet from afar has also risen.
With different features, subscriptions, 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 ten best selling dog GPS trackers and included all of the biggest points on all of them.
Dog GPS Tracker Best Sellers
Tractive Dog GPS Tracker
Currently this ranks as the number one best selling pet tracker 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. Tracker can be added to either a harness or collar, depending on what your dog wears most.
Using a smart phone app or a browser – the tracker allows you to pinpoint your dogs 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 & Activity Monitor, Smarter Pet Care
The second highest ranking tracker on Amazon is the Pawfit. You’ve probably seen these around as they’re a fairly popular make. This is in part because of its combined activity monitor feature. And why not, I hear you ask. If humans are using fitbits and smart watches to keep a track of their activities – why shouldn’t dogs.
Mishiko Pet Dog GPS Tracker & Fitness Planner
Tractive GPS Tracker for Dogs – XL Edition
TriStar Mini GPS Tracker Locator
PitPat 2 – Dog Activity Monitor
Mishiko GPS Tracker & Fitness Planner
FutureWay Mini GPS Pet Tracker for Dogs
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 smart phones.
Kippy Pet GPS Tracker for Dogs and Cats
Best 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 the best dog gps tracker is for you, consider what you really need. As well as what you don’t need. Of course, you can check out our independent reviews – but here’s 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 dogs at all times provided they are wearing them. Usually these are attached to the dogs 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 us 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 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 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 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 trade off 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 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. 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 how long the battery lasts 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 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 read out 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 dogs 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 of 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.
Best Dog GPS Tracker: A Summary
We hope this handy introduction to 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.