Losing your dog on a walk is an incredibly nerve-wracking experience. If you’ve ever spent time calling and whistling, seemingly in vain, investing in one of the best GPS trackers for dogs could put your mind at rest and allow you to enjoy your walks together in the same way that the best pet cameras will give you peace of mind when your dog’s at home alone.
The obvious solution is recall training and to ensure you do not let your dog off the lead unless you are certain he will come back, but dogs will be dogs. Some are harder to train than others, some retain a very strong hunting instinct despite your best efforts, and sometimes they just attach themselves to another walking party, or dash off in the wrong direction when they are simply trying to find you. And of course, there’s always the visitor who leaves the door open… So, even with a well-trained dog, one of the best GPS trackers is a sensible addition to your doggy accessories.
How to choose the best GPS tracker for your pet
There is a range of options and price levels. Location update times vary. Most trackers notify you if your dog leaves a designated area and some give you a full timeline on where your dog has been. With some GPS trackers, you can even combine keeping tabs on your dog’s whereabouts with monitoring his fitness.
Bear in mind your dog’s size as some of the best GPS trackers will be too heavy or large to fit on your pet’s collar if he’s on the smaller side. You’ll also want to consider what tech the GPS uses because Bluetooth trackers tend to offer a smaller range, while people living in remote areas might need the more expensive models that work off a range of wireless technologies. Most GPS trackers require a subscription, so this needs incorporating into your pet’s budget.
Best GPS trackers for dogs
Tractive GPS Dog Tracker
RRP: £44.99 | Subscription: From £4.50 per month | Suitable for: For dogs over 4kg | Colours: Snow, midnight blue or coffee | Battery life: 2–7 days (normal use) |
This lightweight (35g), 100% waterproof tracker uses live GPS tracking updating every two to three seconds, with unlimited range worldwide. You can also see a location history of all the places your dog has visited. And you can set “virtual fences” – safe zones –with alerts if your dog wanders too far.
You can also monitor your dog’s activity and sleep, set fitness goals and track wellness. Free app for Android, iPhone and web.
The product’s tagline is “trusted by over 1 million pet parents”.
Weenect Dog GPS Tracker
RRP: £49.99 | Subscription: From £3.75 per month | Colour: White | Battery life: Three days (normal use) |
Weenect offers the “world’s smallest GPS for dogs” (25g). There is no distance limit on this tracker (with SIM card provided), so you can track your dog from your phone in any part of Europe (outside Switzerland) with a good network connection (GPRS/2G), providing “99% coverage of the territory”. The tracker updates its position every 10 seconds. You can view on different modes – classic, satellite, compass or radar.
It has an anti-escape alert, so you are notified when your dog enters or leaves its safe zone. And you can track your dog’s activities in the location history, to gain a better understanding of their needs.
For those with multiple pets, you can locate all your animals equipped with a tracker from the same account.
Safer Pet GPS Pet Tracker
RRP: £29.99 | Subscription: From £3.33 per month | Colour: Orange | Battery life: Up to three days (normal use) |
One of the cheapest on the market, Safer Pet say this product is the “UK’s best value pet tracker”. The GPS/WiFi tracker allows you to keep tabs on your dog in real time with an accuracy of up to 10 metres. Tracking interval can be set from 1–60min. It is compact and lightweight at only 22g.
You can also track your dog’s fitness and view previous walks for up to three months.
It is splashproof and a silicone protective case is provided.
PitPat Dog GPS Tracker
RRP: £149 | Subscription: None | Suitable for: All dogs | Colours: Red/black | Battery life: Unspecified |
Find your dog if they go missing with cutting-edge GPS technology and track their exercise, rest and play with this award-winning activity monitor. It is designed to be robust, coping with running, swimming, scratching and rolling.
It has unlimited range – you can even be in a different part of the country and find out where your dog is. The GPS tracker uses two providers to give superior coverage if one network is having signal issues.
This lightweight tracker (30g) has a parachute-grade velcro strap to help it survive any amount of rough and tumble, plus it has been tested to stay a metre-deep in water for half an hour and come out working.
A big USP with this product is the lack of subscription fees.
TrackiPet 4G Dog Tracker
RRP: £17.95 | Subscription: From £8.95 a month | Suitable for: All dogs | Battery life: Up to five days |
This tracker is cheap to buy but has a pricier subscription – although there are lots of options and you can get the price down by committing for longer.
It is water- and dust-resistant, and weighs just 30g. It can be used across the world with GPS, WiFi, and GSM technology, which sends your dog’s live, location to the TrackiPet App, where you can view current and past activity from anywhere, anytime.
It says the battery life is up to six days, which is longer than competitors – but TrackiPet doesn’t specify what type of use this is with.
Pawfit 2 Pet GPS Tracker and Activity Monitor
RRP: £54.99 | Subscription: From £3.39 per month | Suitable for: Dogs over 3.5kg | Colour: Black/white | Battery life: Up to six days |
The Pawfit 2 includes an embedded SIM to support full roaming in Europe, with no concerns about SIM compatibility. Track your furry friend without time or distance limits, with accurate location updates every five seconds. Plus light and sound tracking to help you find your dog more easily.
It features remote voice commands, so you can speak to your pet when they are out of earshot by triggering the recorded voice commands on the Pawfit App, which play out of the tracker’s speaker.
This waterproof tracker includes protection features, enabling people to contact you if your pet is lost, and sending you notifications when your pet leaves its safety zone, or when the temperature gets too hot or cold.
This is also a fitness tracker, so you can monitor your dog’s steps, calories burned, active and rest hours, and set customised activity.
In the UK? View now at amazon.co.uk
Petfon Dog GPS Tracker
RRP: £179.99 | Subscription: None | Colour: Navy with 11 LED colourful lights | Battery life: 8–16 hours (continuous use) |
This small (27.6g), durable and rainproof device is a GPS tracker allowing you to track your pet’s activity and pinpoint his location in real time. It combines GPS, WiFi, bluetooth and long-distance wireless technologies. It updates every 10 seconds in bluetooth mode. The tracking ranges up to 0.65 miles in built-up areas and 3.5 miles in open spaces.
It has a unique Radar searching feature to help you find the direction of lost dogs. There are four modes to set up your pet’s location, and you are notified if it leaves that area.
You can activate colourful LED lights to track your pet more easily in the dark, and voice commands can be stored on the tracker to communicate with your dog remotely.
It is not suitable for dogs who love to swim, as although it works in wet weather it should not be submerged.
You may also like to read…
Horse & Hound magazine, out every Thursday, is packed with all the latest news and reports, as well as interviews, specials, nostalgia, vet and training advice. Find how you can enjoy the magazine delivered to your door every week, plus options to upgrade your subscription to access our online service that brings you breaking news and reports as well as other benefits.