Dogs are man’s best friend. They can be a great company, your emotional support, or—in some cases—even protectors.
The problem is that they can also be rather adventurous and mischievous. Sometimes, the same goes for other pets like cats as well.
Losing your pet can be easier than you may think – which is why getting the best pet GPS is an idea that’s at the very least worth considering.
The only issue is that finding the best pet GPS isn’t exactly an easy task. There are tons of options to consider and lots of things to keep in mind as well.
That is why we’re here to help you out with choosing. So, without any further ado, let us get right into it!
- A smart dog bowl and a wearable for your pet. Why not?
- Best 3 smart collars for training your dog
- Is your dog an escape artist? Try Fi’s smart dog collar
- 8 Must-Have Apps for Every Pet Owner
- It’s you not the dog; Fitbit researching snoring detection and measurement
- 1 How to Get the Best Pet GPS – Things to Look out for
- 2 1: FitBark: Our Value for Money Pick
- 3 2: PETBIZ: Our Best Mid-Range GPS Pet Tracker Pick
- 4 3: Whistle Go Explore: The Most Popular Pet GPS Tracker
- 5 4: Nible Pet Monitor 4G Lite: Best Pet GPS for Traveling
- 6 Don’t need a cellular GPS plan? Consider the PitPat 2
- 7 Wrapping Up
How to Get the Best Pet GPS – Things to Look out for
Just with most tech-related subjects, choosing the best pet GPS isn’t as easy as just buying the most expensive pick.
Each option has its own pros and cons—which means that you must carefully consider them and then choose whatever fits you best.
But, to do that, you must also know what to look out for. So, here are some of the most important aspects:
1: Weight and Size
Pet trackers are usually extremely lightweight. Chances are you won’t ever have to worry about the weight, but it’s still something to look out for—especially if you’re dealing with a relatively small pet.
After all, the last thing you’d want is for your pet to get annoyed by the extra weight and forcefully remove the collar when you’re not looking.
Speaking of small pets, there is no doubt that size matters.
Some collars can be a bit too big for small pets, while others can also be too tight for larger ones.
Thankfully, most pet trackers nowadays offer a mounting mechanism that allows you to place the tracker straight onto the collar that you already have—which is something that can surely save you a lot of time and effort.
2: Battery Life
Battery life is one of the easiest concepts to understand. The longer that your battery lasts, the longer that you can go without having to worry about charging it.
One thing to keep in mind here is that some trackers can offer different battery life levels, depending on what features you’re using.
For example, cellular networks require more energy compared to Wi-Fi. So, if the tracker needs to switch over to LTE relatively often, that will lower the general battery life levels that you can get out of the very same pet GPS tracker.
Some GPS pet trackers either offer Wi-Fi or cellular connectivity. But, ideally, you want to have both.
That’s mostly since Wi-Fi is more energy-efficient and doesn’t use any megabytes from your data plan. At the same time, cellular connectivity is a necessity when outdoors.
Furthermore, syncing your tracker with other apps and devices is a welcome addition if you can get it.
A pet GPS tracker is supposed to, well, track the location of your pet and then point you towards it.
Anything else is considered an extra feature. And while there’s no doubt that we can all benefit from extra features, do keep in mind that more feature-rich options are usually pricier as well.
While there are plenty of extra features to find, one of the most useful ones to look out for is data sync with other devices and apps.
Other than that, there also other fancy stuff to look out for, such as location alerts, health tracking, workout tracking, sleeping quality tracking, behavior, and health tracking, lights, etc.
5: Water Resistance/Waterproofing
Most pets may not be particularly fond of water. But, dogs rarely ever seem to mind. In fact, we’ve met plenty of pups who love taking a good plunge at sea now and then.
That’s one of the main reasons that waterproofing is a welcome addition.
A certain level of water resistance is also absolutely mandatory because even if your pet doesn’t dive anywhere, there is always a good chance that rain will catch you outside at least once in the tracker’s lifetime.
6: Extra Costs
GPS pet trackers with more features tend to come with a higher price tag, as we mentioned before. Sometimes, you don’t pay that extra cash upfront but in monthly fees.
For example, health tracking and healthcare, along with data plans, are naturally going to come with a monthly fee. And the more features you get, the more that you’ll likely end up paying.
7: Carrier (Only for Cellular Connectivity)
Like locked smartphones in the U.S, GPS pet trackers that use cellular connectivity to send data rely on a specific carrier. That’s usually either AT&T or Verizon.
So, if you previously had issues with a certain carrier, you’ll probably want to avoid a tracker that’s locked down to it.
Other than that, signal coverage in your area may also be something worth checking out before your purchase.
And with all that out of the way, let us check out some of the best pet GPS trackers available in 2020!
1: FitBark: Our Value for Money Pick
Logically speaking, you would expect that paying twice as much for a product would give you something that two times better.
However, that’s not the case with GPS pet trackers – or most tech-related products at all.
Paying twice as much can give you something that, in some ways, is multiple times better than the cheaper competition.
And that’s more or less the case here with FitBark’s offering. That’s why we think it’s a great value for the money pick.
Starting with the basic stuff, as you can see in the image above, the device’s overall size is tiny. You can easily attach it anywhere from a 5-pound cutie to 240 pounds of fluffiness.
Waterproofing is more or less a given at this price point. However, once again, there’s no IP certification to provide us with accurate information on just how much “abuse” the tracker can take.
That aside, a huge advantage is that we’re looking at quite a lot of features for the money.
You can use the tracker to monitor activity, location, anxiety, calories, and the overall health levels of your pet companion as well.
The GPS pet tracker comes with both Wi-Fi and cellular (Verizon) connectivity – which means that you can use it both near your house and almost anywhere else as well. As long as there’s signal coverage, you’ll be good to go.
Of course, the downside to having cellular connectivity is that you must pay a monthly/yearly fee for data plans.
Finally, battery life can greatly differ depending on how often your dog moves and how often he is away from you.
But, on average, you can expect to get about 10-20 days with a single charge.
- Great value
- Plenty of features for the money
- Wi-Fi and cellular connectivity for a relatively low price
- It takes a while to locate the pet (Usually a few minutes, but that can vary depending on the cellular’s signal strength)
- No IP certification
- 🌎 SAFETY. Designed for dog parents who worry about losing track of their pups. Get escape alerts...
- 🐾 HEALTH. Monitor activity, sleep quality, distance, calorie balance, anxiety, skin conditions...
2: PETBIZ: Our Best Mid-Range GPS Pet Tracker Pick
If you’re after a decent mid-range tracker for your dog, this one’s definitely worth checking out.
And we say “dog” because it’s probably way too large for a cat or any other small animal.
In fact, even tiny dogs at less than 8 pounds, such as chihuahuas, are probably not a good fit for this tracker.
That aside, for once so far, there is also not just waterproofing but also a specific IP rating/specification.
To be more specific, PETBIZ’s offering comes with an IPX7 certification – which means that it can be safely submerged up to a meter underwater for about 30 minutes.
As expected at this price point, this tracker comes with both cellular and Wi-Fi connectivity. Just like with other trackers, you need to pay a monthly subscription for cellular connectivity. But at the very least, you’re also getting a monthly trial.
Battery life can greatly differ depending on how often you rely on cellular or Wi-Fi connectivity.
Cause, after all, it’s no secret that data usage is much more demanding. Not to mention that most trackers sort of “take it easy” when the pet is at home.
As far as features are concerned, we’re looking at E-fence alerts, live tracking, fitness tracking, and feeding recommendations as well.
Just keep in mind that live tracking eats quite a bit of battery since it needs to locate your pet way more frequently than it regularly does.
In terms of downsides, we really don’t have much to mention. There have been a few complaints about tracking accuracy here and there.
But, the same applies to almost every GPS pet tracking device, and your experience can greatly vary depending on location.
- Plenty of features
- IPX7 certification
- Decent value
- A few complaints about tracking accuracy from other users
- Nationwide smarter GPS tracker for dog and cat. ONLY Works in the US. G20 tracker utilizes NB-IoT...
- Unmatched 30-day battery life. Other trackers don't last for more than a week, but our proprietary...
3: Whistle Go Explore: The Most Popular Pet GPS Tracker
The Whistle Go Explore is by far the best-selling gadget for pet location and activity trackers are concerned. All these thousands and thousands of people can’t possibly be wrong.
But the truth is we barely even need other people’s validation for this one. There are so many features that it’s generally hard to go wrong with it. As per usual, let us start with size.
Despite it being pretty small, the Whistle Go is only recommended for pets that weigh at least 8 lbs. This means that tiny dogs like Chihuahuas and cats are probably out of the question.
Other than that, as per usual, the overall battery life can greatly differ depending on what your pet is up to.
To be more precise, you can expect anywhere from 5 to 20+ days of usage with a single charge.
That aside, one of the main things we love about this tracker is its Night Lite feature.
As the name suggests, Night Light emits a small glow when activated, which can be extremely useful for tracking a lost pet during night-time. It’s a small addition that makes a big difference.
That aside, we’re also looking at features such as pet alerts, real-time tracking (at the expense of more battery consumption), LTE-M + Wi-Fi connectivity (AT&T), a nutrition calculator, health monitoring, TELE-VET for talking with veterinarians if you need to, and more depending on how “deep” you’re willing to go.
Of course, the only downside to having such features is that you need to pay a monthly/annual subscription for them—the pros and cons to everything.
- Lots of features
- Extra functions such as Night Light and TELE-VET are always welcome additions
- Real-time tracking when you need it
- No mention of water-resistance or waterproofing (Though the chances are that it can withstand at least rain – which is pure speculation at this point)
- The usual tracking issues that can occur with every tracker depending on your location
- A bit expensive
- Subscription required. Covers connection to AT&T 4G LTE-M network for GPS location in the US. Yearly...
- Location Tracking. Set up alerts and quickly locate your pet, whether they’ve made a sneaky...
4: Nible Pet Monitor 4G Lite: Best Pet GPS for Traveling
Nimble’s offering is a bit different compared to everything else that we’ve looked at so far. It doesn’t just track your pet’s location. And it also tracks the surrounding environment’s temperature and humidity!
This is important for people who are constantly moving with their pets as both cars and RVs can get extremely hot in the middle of the summer heat.
At this point, let us not forget to mention that only the 4G version supports location tracking. The aforementioned 4G Lite is basically only an expensive thermometer.
We link to it instead of the full 4G variant because it’s not available at the moment of writing this article.
That said, we expect that you’ll get the option of choosing when it’s finally in stock once again through the same link.
Even if you get the version without a GPS, you still need cellular connectivity to get alerts. So, the fact that you need to pay so much for the device without an included data plan is certainly a downside.
Speaking of cellular connectivity, since this is made to work on the road, there is no Wi-Fi connectivity.
This means that if you are not willing to pay for a data plan, it’s more or less useless, a critical point to keep in mind.
Speaking of things to keep in mind, one more thing to remember is that this tracker is mostly made to work on RV power—not on battery. If the main source of power goes out, you’ve got about a couple of days to plug the tracker back in.
Pointing out downsides is pretty much impossible since there is little point of reference compared to our other picks.
- Humidity and temperature tracking
- Real-time tracking
- The mini display is a welcome addition
- Short battery life
- The Lite version doesn’t include GPS tracking
- INSTANT ALERTS ON YOUR PHONE: Get Alerted - Not Alarmed. Keeping an eye on your dog’s safety is...
- SUBSCRIPTION REQUIRED**: A Waggle subscription plan covers the Verizon 4G LTE cellular network...
Don’t need a cellular GPS plan? Consider the PitPat 2
Most pet trackers are, no doubt, rather expensive. It only makes sense that plenty of people either can’t afford one or are just not willing to pay so much. And that is why we decided to include a budget pick.
And as far as budget pet trackers are concerned, the PitPat 2 is one of the cheapest that you can get.
It’s small, lightweight, cheap, and offers all of the basic features one can expect in a pet tracker. Of course, at this price point, you can’t expect to get a ton of extra features.
Nonetheless, the PitPat 2 has a few things to offer. Arguably the most important one, which we’d say is essential for most pet owners, is waterproofing.
The only downside is that there is no IP certification to prove that it’s actually waterproof – which means that you can only take the manufacturer’s word for it.
On the other hand, getting an IP certification costs extra money. So, it’s only natural that a budget option such as this one wouldn’t come with an IP rating.
Other than that, there’s also the app that you can install on both iOS and Android for tracking how much exercise it needs to get, the weight, and more.
Plus, you can also track your pet’s location using your GPS on a connected phone–so you can keep an eye on where your dog is when out with the dog walker or anyone in the family.
Not having more features to use is certainly a bit of a bummer. But don’t forget that it also brings one relatively big advantage: battery life.
The PitPat 2 can reportedly go for as long as a whole year without having to be charged at all. As a reference, most trackers can last about a month on average.
Overall, we’re looking at a cheap pick with great battery life – but not a whole lot of extra features.
- Very cheap
- Very easy to use
- Superb battery life
- It doesn’t offer a lot of extra features
- No IP rating
- Lots of connectivity complaints
- No built-in GPS
- Keep your dog healthy and have fun together. Designed with vets. Works with easy-to-use app.
- Accurately measures and displays daily dog exercise and rest, distance and calories. Manages weight.
We also did a thorough review of the Fi smart dog collar on our dog Whiskey, who likes to zoom out any open door! So check that out.
That rounds out our best pet GPS trackers. As you can see, there is no such thing as the best tracker.
Each one of them has its own pros and cons along with its own set of features. So, all you can do is go through them and pick whatever fits you best.
By the way, if you liked this article, feel free to stick around for more trackers, smartwatches, tech news, healthcare tips, and more!
If you have anything to say, you can let us and everyone else know about it using the comments section down below!
Last update on 2021-07-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API