Have you had your pet run off to the unknown, and all you can do is scour the streets around your home looking for it calling their name? If you have been through this, then you know the crippling anxiety that comes with it.
Even more heartbreaking is when you have looked in every possible place that crossed your mind, and you are forced to give up, and wait and hope they will find their way back home or if they at least wear an identification tag, that a kind stranger who finds them will return them to you.
While there was nothing you could have done a decade ago, technology has come a long way since, and you can get the exact location of your fur baby if such a thing ever happened. Some dog trackers let you do much more by monitoring your dog’s vital information. This way, you can keep them happy and healthy too.
If you are looking for a dog tracker, you have come to the right place. I have put together a list of the 5 best dog trackers and GPS collars on the market for you to choose from. I will also be telling you everything there is to know to make a great choice.
Our best pick Tractive GPS tracker is a great place to start your search. It provides you with real-time location of your pet, has a geofencing feature, is waterproof, has a 2-5 days battery life, has no tracking range limit, and also allows you to track your dog’s physical activity to keep them fit and healthy.
Best Dog Trackers and GPS Collars Reviews
1. Tractive GPS Tracker for Dogs
If you are a dog owner, you know a dog tracker won’t be of any use to you if the location information gets to you minutes later. A dog can wander very far within a minutes, and if you are trying to locate them, knowing exactly where they are at any one time will be very handy. This is what makes the Tractive GPS Dog Tracker one of the best dog trackers you will find on the market currently.
This dog tracker tells you the exact real-time location of your pet if they are ever lost and to quickly find them and bring them home. You can also tell where your dog has been as this dog tracker provides you with your pet’s movement history. With all this data at your fingertips, you can relax knowing your pet is safe.
If your dog is allowed to go outside alone and explore the environment around your home, such as on a smallholding or farm, one feature you will love on this tracker is the virtual fence. It allows you to set a perimeter beyond, which if your dog goes, you will get a notification on your phone telling you that they have left the zone. You will also be notified when they re-enter the perimeter.
If your dog stays elsewhere that’s not your house, then you will appreciate that this dog tracker allows you to set more than one virtual fence so you can monitor them, even when they are far away from home. You can use the Tractive collar in over 150 countries too, which will come in handy when you are travelling with your pet, which is especially good if you go camping.
Aside from the physical location of your pet, you can also keep track of your pet by monitoring how many calories they burn. This way, you can tell if they are getting enough physical exercise.
With only 2 hours of charging needed to get a full charge, you get from 2 to 5 days of battery life, which ensures that the tracker’s battery does not die when you need it the most. You can order a spare battery or two when you are ordering this tracker which can be well worth considering so your never caught short.
The tracker features a compact non-invasive design that is comfortable for your dog to wear. It also securely snaps into place and stays on. Should your dog loves walks in all weathers, or dive into a pool of water, this device is waterproof and will remain functional, this is important as surprisingly, not all models are fully waterproof.
The subscription for this tracker can be as low as £3.75 if you choose the 2 years payment plan. And if you have the premium subscription plan, you can share your canine’s location should you need someone else to go pick them up for any reason.
- Live tracking for real-time location of your dog
- The Virtual fence feature allows you to set a safe perimeter for your dog beyond which you get notified
- 2-5 days of battery life
- You can use it Tractive in over 150 countries
- Location sharing if you are on the premium subscription
- Compact design
- Relatively longer battery life
- You have to pay a monthly subscription
Why do we recommend it?
Very few trackers on the market will provide you with the live location of your pet. Instead, you will get the location with a couple of minutes delay.
While you might not think this important, think about the distance your dog can travel in those minutes and how hard that would make finding them when it matters most. This is one of the major reasons we recommend this tracker as it provides you with live tracking. That and a host of other things like the compact non-intrusive design, it’s waterproof, virtual fence set up, and longer battery life. For all the reasons just mentioned, this is why we decided it should be our ‘Best Pick’
Read next: Best dog crates and cages
2. PETFON GPS Tracker
While we love the Tractive dog tracker, most people are not very enthusiastic about adding a dog monitoring monthly bill to their list of many bills that already exist. While it’s true that you cannot equate your fur baby’s safety to money, it would be nice if you can still ensure that they are safe without adding another bill to your list of monthly bills. This is where the PETFON Dog GPS Tracker comes in.
This tracker uses GPS, WiFi, and Bluetooth combined with long-range wireless technologies to provide you with real-time tracking of your pet without having to pay a monthly fee. You will never lose your dog again.
You can track your dog within 0.65 miles in a densely populated urban area and up to 3.5 miles when you are in a less obstructed environment.
It’s easy to use as everything is monitored through an easy to use phone app on your phone, so you always have access to the data. Aside from the accurate location of your pet, you can track your dog’s physical activity to ensure you keep them fit.
The geo-fencing feature allows you to set a virtual fence within which your dog is safe, and you get notified through the app if they leave this zone. This way, you can give your furry friend the autonomy to explore the environment around your home while keeping them safe. You can set up to three geo fences.
If you ever happen to look for your dog in a dim-lit environment, you can activate some colourful light on the tracker to increase their visibility. You can also record voice commands on the tracker for remote communication with your pet when needed.
Should your dog be rained on with the tracker on, you will be glad to know that it will remain intact as it is waterproof although It’s not suitable for swimming, so keep your dog away from the pool when wearing the tracker which is one of the downsides.
The battery will last for 8-16 hours at a time and comes with a charging station, which is handy when you are going to be outdoors for days as it can last for up to 2 weeks.
It has a compact not-intrusive design and securely straps on your dog’s collar or harness.
- Compact design
- Waterproof (not for swimming)
- Comes with a compact power bank that can last up to 2 weeks when charged
- No monthly tracking fees
- You can set up to 3 geofences
- You record voice commands for remote communication
- Live tracking allows you to pinpoint your dog’s location
- A shorter tracking range
- It’s on the pricey side
Why do we recommend it?
When you are panicked about your dog disappearing, knowing exactly where they are is just priceless. With this tracker, you get to do that for free without the need for a subscription. You can set up 3 geofences with this tracker, it’s compact and not intrusive, and it comes with a power bank that can last up to 2 weeks too.
The tracking range may be relatively shorter, but honestly, it’s most crucial to track your dog is those first few moments after you realize they are missing. Usually, they are not very far from home.
3. Pawfit 2 Dog GPS Tracker & Activity Monitor
Pawfit dog tracker is another ideal option you will find on the market if you want to have complete peace of mind, and never have to worry about losing your canine friend.
The tracker relies on cellular, GPS, and WiFi technologies to accurately locate and monitor your pet’s movement. The subscription fee will cost you as low as £3.59, but they have different subscription plans to choose from.
It features a small compact non-intrusive design so your dog will not be bothered by it. The hard outer cover protects the tracker from physical threats like dog bites if your dog is the chewy type. It’s super easy to set up too, and you will be tracking your pet in no time at all.
Other than accurately tracking your pet, you also get important health and fitness information from the tracker like the steps and distance your pooch has covered and the calories they have burned for the day. This way, you can make sure they are getting enough exercise for the day. You also get fitness recommendations depending on the breed of your dog.
You will get alerts on the app if you’re the tracker is taken off, if the temperature changes drastically, and if your dog goes beyond the safe boundaries you set up, all fantastic features.
In case your dog is lost, the audio ID tag informs anyone who finds them where they live or whom to contact, and that way, they can always find their way home. The only issue we have with this feature is the person who finds your pet would have to know how to do this which you do by pressing the power button, that’s even if they were aware it was even possible.
This tracker is also waterproof so no issues using it in the rain or if decides to take a swim with it on. With just 2 and a half charging time for the battery, you get anywhere from 6 days or more depending on whether you are using it constantly or not.
Finally, the safety zone feature allows you to set a safe boundary within which your pet can autonomously explore, and you get notified if they leave the zone. You can set multiple zones too. This is great for anyone who maybe lives on a farm and your dog is free to wander but could potentially wonder to far are get through a left open gate.
- Allows you to monitor your dog’s physical activity and calories burnt
- Voice ID tag in case your dog gets lost
- Up to six days of battery life
- You get alerts if the tracker comes off, your dog goes beyond safety zones, and when there is a drastic temperature change.
- The sim used in the tracker has coverage in Europe and North America in case you ever need to travel with your pet.
- You have to pay a monthly tracking bill
Why do we recommend it?
As mentioned, if you like to let your dog roam around a farm, the safety zones feature allows them to do so safely which is a great feature. It’s waterproof, features a compact design, has coverage in both Europe and North America in case you travel with your pet, and the most impressive feature is the battery life. You get 6 days of regular use before you have to charge it which only takes around two and a half hours to recharge again.
4. Tractive GPS Tracker XL for Dogs
If you liked our top pick Tractive tracker, but you have a large dog, this is an ideal choice for you. The Tractive XL tracker is designed for large dogs over 40 pounds but it does lack a couple of features, firstly it doesn’t have activity tracker like our best pick and you cannot get a spare battery should you want one which you can with our best pick. If you don’t need these extra features and have a large dog, then keep reading to see if this model is for you.
The tracker uses reliable mobile networks to allow you to live-track your pet with pinpoint accuracy. For this, you have to pay a small subscription fee, which can be as low as £3.75 if you choose the 2-year subscription plan paid up front. There are other plans to choose from too, but this is the cheapest plan which basically provides everything you need less a couple of debatable features such as location sharing with friends and unlimited location history.
It features a compact lightweight design for its size while still be comfortable for your pet to wear on their collar or harness. It’s waterproof too, in case your dog gets rained on or decides to take a swim in the local river or lake.
With the virtual fence feature, you can set a safe perimeter for your furry friend to roam freely which is a nice feature, if it was in your garden and somehow escaped, at least you would be notified straight away. If they go beyond this zone, you will get notified instantly.
If your dog ever goes missing and you are far from home, the sharing feature allows you to share their location with a friend or family member so they can find them for you. This does, however, require the premium subscription. To give you an idea of price, during our research on pricing the standard subscription was £54.99 for a year or £64.99 a year for the premium subscription.
Unlike Bluetooth dog trackers, this one has no range limit, and you will be able to track your dog anywhere. In case you need to travel with your furry companion, you will be glad to know that this tracker is active in more than 150 countries, again with the premium subscription. Keep them safe, no matter where you are in the world.
Another amazing feature for this tracker is that the battery can go for 6 weeks before you have to charge it. That’s pretty impressive.
- Ideal for large dogs
- No tracking range distance
- Functions in more than 150 countries, this makes it ideal for traveling dog owners
- Up to 6 weeks of battery life
- Virtual fencing allows you to set a safety zone for your dog
- Some reports of it being turned off accidentally by the pet
Why do we recommend it?
When you have a large dog, getting them any pet gadget is always a hustle. This is where this Tractive tracker comes in handy. If you are looking for a tracker for a large dog, this is an ideal choice for you. With it, you get features like live tracking and virtual fencing. The tracker is also waterproof, usable in more than 150 countries, and the battery can last up to an impressive 6 weeks. The only downside which can be a big downside is that some people have reported that their dog has accidentally turned off the tracked when lying down somehow. There are only a few reports of this from hundreds of reviews online but we think you need to be where of this. It also doent help that you don’t get alerted when it is turned off.
5. Weenect Dogs 2 – The smallest GPS tracker for dogs in the world
This is another great GPS dog tracker that works well to ensure that you always know where your dog is. It features a small compact design and comes with a silicone strap that securely fastens on your dog collar or harness so you can always know their whereabouts.
Their location data will refresh every 5 minutes when your pet is resting and every minute if they are on the move.
Unlike in Bluetooth trackers, this tracker, which relies on only mobile technology, so has no range limit. You can find your dog anywhere as long as they have the tracker on and signal which for the UK is most parts. This convenience comes at a subscription cost that can be had at a reasonable £85 for two years which is around £3.54 a month if you choose the 2-year subscription plan and pay up front.
If you travel occasionally with your dog, then you will be glad to know that this tracker covers over 100 countries. What we like about this model is you can use the ring function on this tracker to train your dog at mealtimes, this means you could use this feature to give it a treat to come back. You will do this by ringing it every time you feed them. They will come to associate it with food. It can be any other training aspect too.
Another feature we like is that you can ring the device and listen in, this can also help you locate your pet in some cases.
With 2 hours of charge time, you get anywhere between 2 and 4 days of battery life, depending on usage.
In this age, when cybercrime is increasingly becoming a serious threat, the Weenect dog tracker manufacturers go the extra mile to ensure that the information you provide is secured too using SSL encryption between Weenext servers and your phone.
- Relatively longer battery life
- No location limit, locate your dog anywhere in the world
- Fastens securely on the collar or the harness
- Can assist you in training
- Covers over 100 countries
- Data safety transferred through SSL encryption
- You need to pay a subscription fee
Why do we recommend it?
If you get this tracker for your pet, one thing you will love is that there is no tracking limit. You can accurately track your dog anywhere. The battery life is decent and only needs 2 hours to charge fully. This tracker is suitable for all dogs too and comes with some great features such as the ringing feature to associate it with food and the ability to listen in through the tracker.
If it’s your first time getting your dog a tracker, it might be a bit challenging getting the best one for them if you don’t know what you are looking for. If this is you, don’t sweat it, we’ve got you. Here are the most important factors to consider if you want to nail it on the first purchase.
Think about accuracy
The most important thing you have to get right is accuracy. This is because your pet’s location information getting to you with a 10 minutes delay, for instance, will be of little if no use to you. Dogs can travel a long way within that time.
Accuracy can also be looked at in terms of location. You want to know the exact location your pet is in at a particular time. This way, you can access them easily and quickly if they are lost.
For this, get a dog tracker with a functional live tracking ability is your best option. There are a few on the list above to choose from and some use several tracking methods to ensure you always have a location of your pet. The biggest issue is GPS tracking not getting a signal but this is sometimes to do with teh tracker signal being weak rather than the network signal.
When you are shopping for a dog tracker, check to see what the battery life is satisfactory. A pet tracker will not be of any use to you if it goes off when your dog is lost and away from home. While you will need to make sure that it’s charged, it’s good to ensure you get one with the longest battery life you can get without compromising on other aspects. A quick charging time of around 2 hours is also useful along with the ability to get spare batteries which not all models have.
When you are buying a dog tracker, there are two kinds of costs to think about, the initial cost of the tracker, and any other subscription fees that might follow afterward.
Some trackers like the PETFON GPS tracker on this list will cost you only once, and you will not need to pay further subscription fees.
Mobile trackers, on the other hand, will always need a monthly subscription fee. You should check how much these subscriptions will cost you and factor that into the cost of the tracker. This is the real cost of the tracker but its worth mentioning you usually get extra features with the paid subscriptions. We always say if you’re worried about paying a subscription, think what you would pay if you never saw your pet again. They really are a worthwhile investment.
Think about the range within which the tracker can locate your dog. While most mobile GPS trackers won’t have a location limit, it’s different for Bluetooth trackers.
Some trackers come with a virtual fencing feature, which helps you set a virtual fence within which your dog can freely walk. If they leave this area, you get notified. This is always useful and allows you to give your dog some autonomy without worrying about their safety, for on farms or large properties for example.
Is the tracker waterproof?
Most dog owners will find themselves on long walks even when raining, one of the fun parts of owning a dog. If the tracker you have on them is not waterproof, then its simply not worth entertaining. To avoid this kind of scenario, make sure you get a waterproof tracker which should be rated too IPX7 waterproof and shock resistant.
Dog tracker manufacturers have gone the extra mile to incorporate other important features into the trackers. Such features include audio ID tags, physical activity monitors that will go as far as counting the calories your dog burns in a day. This helps you keep your dog healthy. If this is something you are interested in, you will get such a tracker on the market.
It is estimated that 33% of dogs get lost in their lifetime. 10% of these dogs never make it back home according to Weenect. This could easily be your dog. If you don’t want to take the chance, then getting your pet the best GPS collars for dogs is not something you can afford to skip on.
I hope this guide acts as a beacon to your first or the next dog tracker. Our best pick, the Tractive GPS Tracker is a great option you should check out. It uses cellular technology to provide you with a live location for your pet in real-time.
For the SIM subscription, you have to pay a small subscription fee monthly. There is also a virtual fencing feature on the tracker, it’s waterproof, and compact as well. If you occasionally travel with your pet, this is ideal as it is ideal as it’s active in more than 150 countries.
If you don’t want a monthly bill attached to tracking your dog, our second runners up, Pawfit 2 Dog GPS Tracker will be the perfect choice for you. It’s a Bluetooth tracker, and you can track your dog within 0.65 miles in a dense urban area and up to 3.5 miles in an open field.