Chances are you have a fitness tracker or at least know someone who does, but did you know that there are activity and GPS trackers for your pet as well? These devices range from clip-on tech to full collars, and help provide valuable insight into your pet’s activities. The GPS-enabled devices will also let you keep track of your pet should they stray away from home, and the peace of mind that a tracker offers may be worth it in and of itself.
What Makes a Good Pet Activity & GPS Tracker?
GPS Tracking – There are a lot of pet activity trackers that give you some sense of how active your dog is over the course of the day, but not all of these trackers include GPS capabilities. Having the ability to track your dog’s location if they happen to go missing is a major benefit of these combination trackers. We highly recommend investing in a device that tracks both activity and location.
Activity & Sleep Tracking – Trackers vary in how much detail they provide regarding your pet’s activity and health, but the good ones will track both activity as well as rest time. While having data when your pet is running around certainly has value, it’s much better to have a 24/7 picture of your dog’s wakefulness and sleep.
Battery Life – When you invest in an activity tracker for your pet, you want to make sure your choice is designed with an extensive battery life in mind. The best activity tracker isn’t worthy very much if it needs to be charged at the end of every day, and there can be significant disparities in battery capacity between bodels.
When deciding between different options, be aware of how often you’ll need to detach it from your dog to plug in, as it could very well become a determining factor as you shop.
Durability – Dogs aren’t always the most gentle when it comes to their apparel. Collars can take a beating over a few years in an active dog’s life. It makes sense, then, that an activity & GPS tracker attached to said collar would start to degrade as well. Aspects like quality material and water resistance can make all the difference when it comes to buying a tracker that’s built to last.
Thing to Consider Before Buying a Pet Activity & GPS Tracker:
If the Tracker Fits Your Dog – Some trackers are only suited for certain sizes of dogs. Pay special attention to the size and specifications of each model to ensure that it can attach to your dog’s collar and track activity correctly.
If the Tracker Fits the Collar – Some trackers are collars themselves, but some are small devices that attach to existing collars. Before buying, you should make sure that your choice is compatible with your dog’s current collar.
How the Tracker Fastens to Collar – Also worth considering is the way that your chosen tracker attaches to your dog’s collar. Some have built-in ways to snap on, while others require zip-ties or bands to stay connected. While you likely won’t have to remove the tracker with any sort of frequency, it’s important that you be able to easily disconnect and reconnect the device when the need arises.
Subscription Plans – Because a lot of the GPS trackers use a cellular signal to continue tracking your dog, you’ll often have to pay an additional monthly fee to use some of these products. When shopping around, make sure you keep in mind the total cost of using each activity & GPS tracker.
What’s the Best Dog Tracking System?
While the best dog tracking system for you will depend on what you’re looking for, we do have some favorites that we feel represent the best that the market has to offer.
Our overall favorite is the Whistle 3 due to the balance it strikes between comprehensive activity tracking and accurate GPS.
If you’re looking mainly for activity or GPS on their own, there are other options that excel in one of the two areas. For top-notch GPS tracking, take a look at the Link AKC. The Fitbark 2 is also an excellent choice for those primarily focused on their dog’s health and activity,