This is our review of the Best GPS Dog Tracker in 2021.
There are tons of GPS pet trackers available both online and in pet stores. However, as with any dog product or accessory, you will want one that suits your dog’s size, comfortable to wear and one that doesn’t cost the earth.
The best dog tracker must be powerful enough to communicate with your smartphone continuously and have a decent battery life.
We rounded up the top products for your consideration. Let’s dive in and find out more about these GPS collars and see what each brings to the table.
The pet tracker we recommend would be the Tractive GPS Dog Tracker, its a reasonable price, with a small monthly fee and it has all the features you need, including virtual fence and an activity monitor, the battery life is impressive and you can use the live tracking to see where your pooch is in real-time.
In this guide, we will be reviewing:
If you have a dog who’s a master escape artist or chases after every squirrel, they see when hiking, you will understand just how important it is to know your dog’s location at all times. Did you know that over 500,000 pets go missing every year in the UK? Using a dog GPS tracker will give you peace of mind if the worst happens and your best friend gets lost.
Not all trackers are the same and there ate lots of choices out there. Some rely on cellular service to locate your dog’s whereabouts, while others use GPS technology and even Bluetooth. Each type of tracker has its own pros and cons; in this guide, we’ve reviewed the top-rated GPS trackers.
Another important consideration when choosing a tracker is monthly subscription fees. Some require monthly payments on top of the original price; you will also find options with no fees —so it’s essential to choose the right one for your requirements.
GPS devices aren’t perfect, but they can be a lifesaver and are an important accessory if you and your canine companion enjoy outdoor adventures.
Keep reading to see which of the dog tracking devices we located fit the bill.
Our Best GPS Dog Trackers
This Tractive GPS pet tracker offers worldwide location tracking in more than 150 countries with an app for both iOS and Android. It’s lightweight and fully waterproof, ideal for dogs who love swimming.
The battery life is pretty decent too, with an average of between 2-5 days; yes, there is a monthly subscription fee, but this can start at under £4 if you pay for the two-year subscription plan up front; there are one year, two and five year plans available.
The Tractive not only locates your pooch should they run off, but it also has a virtual fence feature and you can track your dog’s activity and how many calories burned so it can help fitness goals too.
One of the drawbacks of this product is it depends on how good the mobile service is in the area as to how good it works, not great if hiking off the beaten path; however, it gets excellent reviews and for the price is one of the best dog trackers out there.
Transforming your dog’s standard collar into a GPS tracking device is simple with the Weenect Dogs 2; it just clips on and includes some handy little features not available on some of the other pet trackers in our round-up
There is no tracking distance with this option; you can check on your pooch from anywhere in the world, so even if a dog sitter loses your furry friend and you are holidaying in Spain, you can connect to the mobile app and see where they are.
The battery life is between 2-4 days. Although it doesn’t include an activity monitor or virtual fence like some other GPS tracking devices, it has an interesting alarm bell training feature that we loved.
It offers real-time GPS tracking with the location being updated every minute, so you have the best chance of finding them as soon as possible should the worst happen. It also boasts an anti-theft alarm that will notify you should someone try to remove the collar.
The Weenect tracker for dogs costs around £3.50 per month on top of the original purchase, which we think is reasonable; it’s also the world’s smallest GPS tracker, so it is perfect for tiny pups.
Pawfit 2, like the tractive GPS tracker, has an activity monitor and is another solid choice when it comes to a GPS tracker for dogs and the embedded sim card offers coverage throughout Europe and North America.
It utilises state-of-the-art GPS and also Wi-Fi technology to let you know your dog’s location continuously; it boasts the fastest and most accurate live tracking and is waterproof should Fido decide to go for a dip.
It also uses text-to-speech technology. This will broadcast your dog’s ID to anyone who finds them and presses the button, helping you get your dog back sooner.
It can be attached to collars up to 32mm wide and used with dogs weighing over 8 pounds. The battery can last up to six days, depending on usage. The Pawfit App is compatible with both Apple’s iOS 9.0 or later models and Google’s Android 5.0 upwards.
We loved this dog tracking device and for the price plus a small monthly subscription fee of under £4, it’s definitely one of the best around.
The Safer GPS tracking device for dogs allows you to use live tracking to determine the location of up to three pets through the app, and access can be shared with the rest of the family. The device claims it is accurate up to ten metres and tracking intervals can be set between 1-60 minutes.
The silicone protective case can be attached to almost any collar, it’s splash-proof and it has a generous battery life of up to three days between charges.
The activity monitor will let you see walking history for up to three months and step counts for the previous week so you can check if Fido is getting the correct amount of exercise and the unit is lightweight and easy to use.
Yes, a subscription is required, but it can be as little as £3.33/month (with a two-year plan paid yearly) and this includes the integrated SIM card and all data usage. Once you have downloaded the app, you are ready to start tracking your best friend.
The curve is a GPS tracker from network providers Vodaphone and is compatible with both Apple and Android phones. All you need to do is connect the small device to your dog’s collar and you will know the exact location of your pooch in real-time; just connect via the Vodaphone Smartphone app.
Like other dog trackers on our list is requires a subscription fee, you will need to sign up either for 12 or 24 months, but it is competitively priced. One of the features we liked about this option is the ability to set up zones where you will receive a notification if they leave and the battery life is also impressive at seven days. However, a few reviews say that’s somewhat optimistic; it does have four tracking modes to save on juice.
This is a really lightweight model, suitable for dogs of all sizes and it’s also waterproof, making it ideal for breeds like Spaniels and Labradors. All in all, a fantastic location tracker for the price, although its effectiveness depends on Vodaphone’s coverage and it doesn’t have a dog activity monitor.
With this GPS tracker collar by Kippy, you can find your dog in real-time throughout Europe; this is thanks to several integrated systems (GPS, LBS, WiFi, Glonas, and Bluetooth)
It’s a high-quality tracker packed with extra features like the virtual fence and an impressive activity monitor ideal for dog conditioning and increasing your dog’s fitness; you can measure steps, calories, playtime and rest periods.
The Kippy EVO is designed and manufactured in Italy and is equipped with a LED flashlight which we really liked and the battery life is also good at up to seven days.
The Kippy service package is quite reasonable at under £4 per month, but you do need to pay it annually upfront. Some reviews have mentioned that this product works better in towns and cities than in more remote areas and some customers have experienced issues getting through to customer services when there’s a problem.
With an incredible nine-mile range, it’s no wonder Garmin GPS tracking devices are popular among hunting dog owners. Unlike most GPS dog trackers, this one is built into a collar with an antenna and doesn’t rely on your phone’s reception, ideal if you can’t rely on Wi-Fi or mobile networks where you are. It also includes LED beacon lights and Rescue mode, perfect for search and rescue.
This is an expensive option as you also need to purchase the handheld tracker in addition to the collar; however, it can track multiple dogs and there are no monthly subscription fees. It does have a short battery life too, of around 20-40 hours, but if you are a serious hiker and want a robust option, this is the one for you.
Note the Garmin tracking device has a minimum neck size of 9.5 inches, so it may not be the best choice for small dogs.
What is a GPS Dog Collar
A GPS tracker for dogs is a tag or collar designed to help pet owners keep track of their furry friends. It may be that your pooch is an escape artist, you may be hiking in the countryside, they can even help if your dog is stolen. The newer models often incorporate an activity monitor too, so that you can measure your dog’s fitness levels.
Like the Tractive GPS tracker, some come with a virtual fence feature that notifies you should Fido roam from the specified safe area.
How do dog tracker systems work?
Dog GPS trackers use GPS technology to find the location of your pet. They are equipped with GPS chips, which receive signals from satellites around the globe.
They usually consist of a tracking unit that is secured to your dog’s collar or harness. this establishes your pet’s location and passes the information to the owners
This information can be received through mobile phone apps or by a dedicated receiver.
Why Would you Need a GPS Tracker?
GPS collars are extremely useful, especially if your pooch is a bit of an escape artist or is working at a distance from you; below are just a few reasons why a dog GPS tracker could work for you.
Trackers are popular with working dogs as they are often not by your side when out in the field and a GPS device can lead you to them; for example, a police dog may run after a thief in the dark, a search and rescue dog may get stuck in the snow when searching for a lost person in the mountains or a herding dog may run after a lost sheep and end up far away from the rest of the flock.
Dog trackers for hiking
If you like exploring the countryside with your canine companion, a tracker is a great accessory to have; not only can it tell you the location history of your pup, it can show you where they are if they wander off or get into difficulty.
Your dog gets lost
Even if your pooch is not an escape artist, many dogs can be scared by sudden noises, attracted by a female in heat, chase after another animal or simply wander through the gate the postman has left open. Whilst a microchip may see your pooch being returned if whoever finds them takes them to the vet, this isn’t always the case. A lightweight GPS tracker means you can start your search before Fido gets too far away and hopefully bring them home.
Not a day goes by without a story of a dog being stolen and a tracker is a great asset for a dog owner in this situation; some tracking devices even have an anti-theft alarm that pings when someone tries to remove the collar.
The chances of your beloved pet being taken are much less if you know where they are at all times and if you set up the virtual fence feature, you will see if they have been removed from the garden instantly.
Dog tracker systems sometimes come with an activity monitor that works like a Fitbit. Not only can you see the dog; location history, you can find out just how much exercise they are getting. You can discover how many calories burned on a long hike and even check if your dog walker is doing their job.
What to Look for in the Best Dog Tracking Collars
Not all dog GPS trackers are created equal, so it’s essential to see what features a good dog tracker has before parting with your hard-earned cash; below are some things that could impact your decision.
One of the most important things to consider, if your pet gets lost, you’ll want peace of mind that the battery will last until they’re found. Battery life can vary quite significantly either by use of the device or other things like mobile signals; however, you should choose a dog tracker with a battery life of 2-7 days.
If you have a lost pet, it will be very frustrating if your tracker only reaches a distance of 50 metres like some Bluetooth options; that is why you should go for global or at least countrywide coverage. That means even if your pet gets picked up by someone in a car, you will still receive the GPS signal.
This is a fantastic feature that the best GPS tracking devices have; it enables you to set up a safe zone for your four-legged friend and send you a notification when your dog leaves the designated area.
You will definitely need your dog tracking collar to be waterproof, especially if your pooch likes splashing around in rivers and streams; even if they prefer dry land, they could get into difficulty in water or be trapped under the snow; this is a feature we feel is essential.
From theft alarms to calorie counters, different GPS dog collars have various features; it’s up to you to choose ones that will be beneficial. Whilst you may not be that interested in a canine Fitbit, many pet parents love the virtual fence feature, for example.
Easy to Use
We’ve mentioned above the technology that makes a dog tracker work and it may seem a bit complicated to set up what with downloading apps and setting up monthly plans. If you’re a bit of a technophobe like me, you should opt for a device that is easy to use, like the Tractive GPS collar.
As many GPS dog collars require a sim card, it stands to reason their effectiveness depends on a mobile signal. Always choose a provider who offers no distance limit and good network coverage to ensure your device works even in remote areas.
Most dog GPS devices have an additional monthly charge and you will have to pay a small monthly subscription fee, So this is something to consider before buying a GPS tracking device.
What is the best no subscription option?
The Garmin dog tracker has no monthly subscription fees, but the initial cost is more than most dog owners want to fork out; you would need to decide if these premium options are worth the money, perhaps if you go wild camping with your dog or hiking in the mountains?
The Tile Dog Tracker
Tile trackers are usually used to find things like car keys and items around the home; they work using Bluetooth but only have a maximum range of a few hundred feet at the most; they are handy should your pet escape the garden as they will ring to let you know, however as they don’t work via sim card they are not really suitable for the great outdoors or for working dogs that may travel further.
One really good feature about the Dog Tile is the network of users; this network can also track your tile so someone may find your pet and can then let you know their location.
Does a Pet Tracker Use Lots of Data?
No, not much at all and as most models come with a monthly fee, the data is usually included with the sim card or plan. Of course, if you are streaming Google maps to discover where your pooch is, there will be some data usage, but it won’t amount to very much even then. Do remember that Bluetooth drains your phone battery quickly, though.
Do pet microchips have GPS?
Although all dogs in the UK are required by law to be microchipped, they have no way of letting you know the pet’s locations.
How accurate are GPS trackers?
They work really well and are usually accurate up to about 6 feet; however, this can be affected by several factors including, the weather, being covered by some sort of metal and being in a remote location.
How far can you track using a tile?
Some Tile models range up to 100 feet, whilst the Tile Style and Sport models can ping and locate up to 200 feet.
Last Word & Top Pick
We hope this buying guide has given you a little more information about the best dog tracking collars, the types available and how they work.
There are some great dog trackers to buy, some with more features than others, so whether you are looking for the best GPS dog collar for large breeds, one that works with the latest iPhone, or one with a location history feature, the ones above tick all the boxes.
Our personal recommendation would be the Tractive GPS Dog Tracker; you can access live tracking on the app; it has a good battery life and, for the price, is the best dog tracker on our list.
What did you think of our guide to the best dog tracking devices? We would love for you to connect with us on our social media platforms and let us know if it helped you find what you were looking for