As a conscientious dog owner, you want to keep your pet safe and secure. You take him for walks, feed him high-quality dog food, and take him for all of his checkups. But even the most diligent pet parent can lose their pet. He can slip out the front door, dig his way out of the backyard, or break free while out on your walks. That’s why GPS trackers are so helpful. They can help you pinpoint the exact location of your pooch if he runs away, so you can find him quickly and get him home to safety.
We’ve reviewed dozens of GPS dog trackers to identify the best, highest-quality, most reliable GPS tracker at any budget, based on factors such as quality of materials, Amazon ratings, and other considerations. We narrowed our search down to five of the top-rated GPS dog tracker that are on the market today.
Meet the Whistle 3 GPS Pet Tracker & Activity Monitor, the best GPS dog tracker you can buy for your dog
We’ve identified the Whistle 3 GPS Pet Tracker and Activity Monitor as the best GPS dog tracker. While it’s a little pricier than some of our tracker picks, it allows you to set up proactive alerts, it tracks his daily activity in addition to his location, and has a long-lasting battery. This, coupled with the fact that reviewers rate it as extremely reliable make it an excellent choice for smart dog owners.
In This Article
- The 5 Top-Rated Best GPS Dog Tracker for 2018
- Who Should Buy a GPS Dog Tracker
- Important Features to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Other GPS Dog Trackers We Reviewed
The 5 Top-Rated Best GPS Dog Tracker for 2018
|Best Overall||Whistle 3 GPS Pet Tracker & Activity Monitor||4.3|
|Runner Up||Link AKC Smart Dog Collar with GPS Tracker & Activity Monitor||3.4|
|Best Budget Buy||DOTT The Smart Dog Tag||3.5|
|Best Dog Tracker Collar||MARCOPOLO Advanced Pet Monitoring||3.7|
|Best Dog Tracking Tag||Tractive GPS 3G Pet Tracker||3.3|
*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change
Our Top Pick: Whistle 3 GPS Pet Tracker and Activity Monitor
If you’re looking for a reliable GPS tracker, look no further than the Whistle 3 GPS Pet Tracker and Activity Monitor. The Whistle unit is small (1.6 inches by 1.3 inches by .6 inches) and weighs less than an ounce. It attaches to collars up to 1 inch wide. The Whistle uses GPS to determine your dog’s location and then sends the location to your smartphone via 3G cellular service on the AT&T network. While many pet trackers use Bluetooth, this technology only provides a limited range of about a 100 feet or so. The combination of GPS and 3G provides reliable coverage all over the US, which gives you peace of mind. Whistle also allows you to use wi-fi at home or wherever you want to designate a “safe place”. When your pet is within the range of Wi-Fi, it will switch from 3G to wireless to preserve battery life. If your pet goes outside of the designated range, it will send an alert to your phone and will automatically switch back to using the 3G network. Due to these features, the Whistle tracker has an extended battery life of about 6 or 7 days. If your pet is continuously outside of the Wi-Fi range, you can expect 1 or 2 days on a charge.
Reviewers love that tracker is extremely precise as to location – usually within 10 to 15 feet. Reviewers also claim that the required iPhone and Andriod app is easy to set up and use. When you open the app, it shows your pet’s most recent location on a map or satellite view. You can also follow your pet’s travel for the past 24 hours. In addition, the app shows your current location so you can determine the quickest way to get to your pet. There is also an activity mode that details how much exercise your pet gets per day. Finally, the app shows you the battery charge of the tracker and sends you an alert if it runs low.
Whistle 3 GPS Pet Tracker and Activity Monitor Key Features:
- Requires a monthly subscription with plans starting as low as $6.95 a month
- 100% waterproof so your pet can even go swimming with the tracker
- Small in size and weight for your pet to wear
- Includes a collar attachment that fits collars up to 1 inch wide
- Allows you to preprogram the app to send you an alert when your pet goes out of designated “safe places”
- For use on pets 8 pounds and up
Our Runner-Up Pick: Link AKC Smart Dog Collar with GPS Tracker
The Link AKC Smart Dog Collar with GPS Tracker comes highly recommended.
The Link AKC Smart Dog Collar with GPS Tracker is a collar-type tracker. It uses cellular service through the AT&T network to keep track of your dog’s location, activity, and more. The stylish, durable, completely waterproof collar comes in two options: classic and sport. The classic collar is made of classic Italian leather, while the sports collar is made of reflective stretch fabric for active pups. This GPS tracker is fast and accurate and tracks your pup’s location in real time. It also features customized activity recommendations from the American Kennel Club and tracks your pup’s movements. You can also record and share special walks and hikes with your dog. Another special feature of the Link tracker is that it can detect if your dog is in an environment that is too hot or too cold and will send you an alert. It requires the installation of an app (available for download on iOS and Android) and a monthly service fee.
Reviewers love that it tracks their pup with superior accuracy. Due to the real-time GPS tracking, owners find that they are never a moment behind their pup’s moves. Reviewers also like that the Link collar stays put. They never have to worry about the device falling off because it’s part of the collar. They also like the user-friendly app that keeps track of their dog’s location and lets them know if their pup leaves their designated safe areas instantaneously.
Link AKC Smart Dog Collar with GPS Tracker Key Features:
- Real-time GPS tracking
- Activity tracker with recommendations from the AKC
- Ability to record and share special walks and hikes
- Temperature alerts if your pet is in an environment that is too hot or too cold
- Two collar options: classic and sport
- Remote LED light for nighttime
- Sound feature for training
Best Budget Pick: DOTT The Smart Dog Tag
For pet owners who don’t want to sacrifice quality for price, the DOTT The Smart Dog Tag comes highly recommended.
At just $37.50, the DOTT Smart Dog Tag is the best GPS dog tracker for budget-friendly pet owners who don’t want to sacrifice quality for price. The DOTT tracks your pup’s location through Bluetooth, not cellular service. This means you won’t have to pay for a monthly service, but the range is smaller than that of a cellular tracker (about .8 of a mile). The tracker electronically connects with Apple or Android devices with a tiny tag that connects to your pet’s collar. Digital lost pet broadcasts are supplemented by the 24/7 DOTT community network support. DOTT has a battery life of 6 to 9 months. DOTT also allows you to track walks, potty breaks, and medication healthy.
Reviewers love that the device is small and compact and fits easily onto their pet’s collar. The app is also easy to set up and sync with the device. Reviewers also like that it tracks their pet’s activity easily via the app so they can tell how much daily exercise their pet gets.
DOTT Smart Dog Tag Key Features:
- Tracks location of your pet using Bluetooth
- Tracking range of about .8 mile
- Battery life of 6-9 months
- No monthly service fee
- Apple and Andriod app
Best Dog Tracking Collar: MARCOPOLO Advanced Pet Monitoring System
For dog owners looking for a dog tracking collar, MARCOPOLO Advanced Pet Monitoring.
If you’re looking for a standout dog tracking collar, the Eureka Technology MARCOPOLO Advanced Pet Monitoring System doesn’t disappoint. It’s a bit pricey at $234.95, but comes highly recommended. The system with no cell network required or monthly service contracts. It’s ideal for traveling with your pets – even in remote areas – because you don’t need to rely on cellular service. The collar is designed 100% waterproof, even with prolonged swimming. The streamlined design of the collar keeps it out of harm’s way so it does not become caught on branches or damaged while playing. The rechargeable battery lasts up to six weeks, even while being continuously monitored. When searching for your pet, Marco Polo uses a radar system to scan the surrounding area. The collar responds to your handheld locator once every five seconds, allowing you to hone in on the exact location of your pet.
Reviewers love that this device works even in remote areas that do not get cell service. They also say it’s lightweight and easy for their pets to wear. Reviewers also feel that despite the initial cost, the Marco Polo actually provides cost savings because there is no monthly service fee that adds up over time.
MARCOPOLO Advanced Pet Monitoring Key Features:
- No required cell network or monthly service fees
- Tracks your pet via radar
- Updates every five seconds while tracking to pinpoint the exact location of your pet
- 100% waterproof
Best Dog Tracking Tag: Tractive GPS 3G Pet Tracker
If you’re looking for a tracking tag that’s highly rated, look no further than the Tractive GPS 3G Pet Tracker. The Tractive tracker is a lightweight and waterproof GPS tracking device. It easily attaches to any collar or harness. It offers unlimited range due to the fact that it uses cellular service. Service plans start at just $5.00 a month. This tracker allows you to pinpoint your pet’s location in real time location via the free Tractive GPS App for iOS or Android. It allows you to set up a defined safe area and get an instant notification when your pet leaves that location. The tracker also shows the location history of your pet, giving you an idea of where your pet has recently been. The device features a two-to-five-day battery life, depending on signal strength and device usage.
Reviewers say they are extremely pleased with the accuracy, usability, and design of the device. They love the fact that it tracks in real time so they can always pinpoint the exact location of their pet. They also like that it’s small and compact and fits easily onto their pet’s collar.
Tractive GPS 3G Pet Tracker Key Features:
- Small, lightweight, and 100% waterproof
- A “virtual fence” that notifies you whenever your pet leaves a designated safe area
- Allows real-time tracking
- Requires a monthly service fee
Who Should Buy a GPS Dog Tracker
As dog owners, we would all like to think our dogs will never escape or run away. Unfortunately, you never know when your dog could get lost or even stolen. Your dog can slip out the front door, dig a hole under the fence, or break free while out on a walk when you least expect it. A GPS dog tracker gives you peace of mind that if your pet does escape, you have an easy way to locate him. You can eliminate the need to scour the neighboorhood, post flyers, or contact the local animal shelter. Just open your app or other tracking device to find your pet quickly and bring him back home to safety.
A tracking device is also useful when taking your pet along on hikes or camping trips. If your pet bolts or gets lost in unfamiliar surroundings, you always know right where he is via the GPS tracker.
Meet the Whistle 3 GPS Pet Tracker & Activity Monitor, the best GPS dog tracker you can buy for your dog
Important Features to Consider
A GPS dog tracker should be as reliable and accurate as to the location of your pet. It should also be durable and secure. Here’s what to consider when selecting a GPS Dog Tracker:
- Cellular GPS, radio, or Bluetooth? There are three main types of GPS trackers for your dog: cellular GPS, radio, and Bluetooth. Cellular GPS trackers use cellular data and towers to transmit the GPS location of the tracking device to an app on your cell phone. They work almost anywhere and anytime, so long as there is sufficient cellular service. These typically allow you to pinpoint your pet’s location in real time, but do require a monthly service fee. Radio trackers work similarly to a walkie-talkie. These devices do not require cellular service or a monthly fee. They’re perfect for remote areas and typically offer a range of about six to ten miles. Bluetooth devices connect to your cell phone via Bluetooth. The range is much shorter, usually just a few miles. They’re usually much cheaper than radio or cellular trackers, but they don’t offer as much peace of mind due to the short range.
- Collar or tracking tag? Some GPS tracking devices feature a small, lightweight tag that attaches directly onto your pet’s existing collar. Alternatively, some devices come already attached to a collar that you simply place on your pet. The benefit of a tracking collar is that it won’t get easily dislodged or fall off since the device is actually built into the collar. However, collars can be bulky or heavy for smaller dogs. In this case, a lightweight and compact tracking tag might be a better option. When choosing a device, make sure it is recommended for the size of your pet. Also, ensure that it has good ratings that it is secure and won’t dislodge easily.
- Accurate. Most cellular GPS trackers track your pet in real time, so you can pinpoint his exact location and find him easily. Others have a slight delay of 5 seconds or up to three minutes. Check reviews to ensure that the device you choose is accurate as to the location of your pet.
- Additional features. Many pet trackers offer additional features outside of similar GPS tracking. Some track your pet’s daily activity to ensure he’s getting enough exercise. Some even track the temperature of your pet to make sure he doesn’t overheat or get too cold. If these features are important to you, ensure you purchase a tracker that comes complete with everything you’re looking for.
- Waterproofing. Most GPS trackers are waterproof, which is important so that you do not lose contact with your pet’s device if your pet goes swimming or gets stuck in a rainstorm, especially in an emergency situation. Some even offer tracking capability up to ten feet underwater, which is important if your pet likes to swim.
- Durability. Lastly, you’ll want to ensure that your tracker is durable and won’t easily fall off or get dislodged during use. Your device should fit your pet securely so it doesn’t get caught on branches or damaged while running.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a GPS dog tracker and how does it work?
A GPS dog tracker can transmit your dog’s location from a device your pet wears to an app on your phone or a handheld device. There are several different types of trackers that work in different ways. Cellular GPS trackers use cellular data to determine the GPS location of the tracking device to an app on your phone. Radio trackers use radio frequencies that transmit your pet’s location to a handheld device, similar to a walkie-talkie. Bluetooth devices connect to your cell phone via a Bluetooth signal.
Are GPS dog trackers waterproof?
Many GPS dog trackers are waterproof. This ensures that the device does not lose its connection with your phone or handheld device if your pet goes for a swim or gets caught in a rainstorm. Some trackers will even continue tracking while your pet is in (or even many feet under) water, while others will lose service until your pet exits the water.
Do microchips have GPS?
Microchips do not have GPS and are not tracking devices. Instead, a microchip contains a unique ID number that is used to retrieve the pet owner’s contact information. When an animal shelter or veterinarian swipes a handheld scanner over the microchip, it reads the radio frequency of the chip and displays the necessary information.
Do GPS dog trackers require Wi-Fi?
GPS dog trackers may require Wi-Fi, but it depends on the specifics of the tracker you choose. Some cellular GPS trackers switch back and forth from cellular data use to Wi-Fi similarly to a cell phone. Trackers, like the Whistle 3, require Wi-Fi as a “safe space” and will alert you if your pet goes outside of the Wi-Fi range. Radio and Bluetooth trackers do not require Wi-Fi.
Other GPS Dog Trackers We Reviewed
Meet the Whistle 3 GPS Pet Tracker & Activity Monitor, the best GPS dog tracker you can buy for your dog
We looked at 20 other GPS dog trackers. Even though they didn’t make our five best GPS dog tracker list, they’re the best of the rest and each is still a great option for your pet. The information you’ll need to compare each one is included with the listing.
The Black and Decker Collar allows you to set up your own customized geofence “safe area” zones. The collar itself is made of silicone and is water resistant up to three feet.
- 2-way audio allowing you to call your pet home, reassure them, and hear them respond
- OLED display shows your dog’s name and your contact information
- Uses T-mobile 2G coverage
The TKSTAR Mini tracker features fast GPS location. The tracker will pinpoint your dog’s location within 10 seconds and then continues to update his location in real-time.
- Small and lightweight – even suitable for puppies and small dogs
- Accurate to within 5 meters
- 100% waterproof
The Genmine pet tracker is made of high-quality silicone and ABS material. It is waterproof, dust-proof and shockproof.
- Includes a smart LED light that turns on in the dark
- Uses the GSM quad band network
- Battery lasts up to four days on a single charge
In addition to tracking your pet’s location, the PETCARE tracker lets you monitor your pet health and fitness, and schedule and alert when to take medication. The device also allows you to interact with your pet with a built-in speaker and microphone
- Requires the purchase of a separate SIM card
- Comes in black, red, and white
- Rechargeable battery lasts up to three days
The second generation Gibi tracker features a compact, lightweight, waterproof design with a longer battery life and improved location accuracy in densely wooded areas.
- Uses an aggregate of AT&T, T-Mobile, and a number of local carriers to provide ultimate coverage
- Allows you to create multiple safe zones in any sized polygon
- Requires subscription to Gibi’s service at $9.99 per month or $99 per year
The SupremeLife tracker allows you to set your home address as the safe area. If your pet goes out of the safe range, it will send an alarm.
- Uses both GPS and LBS
- Requires a GSM SIM card from your carrier of choice
- Includes remote voice monitoring
The Garmin Astro Bundle includes a dog tracking collar and handheld tracking device. It uses high-sensitivity GPS and GLONASS satellite reception to locate dogs up to nine miles away
- Does not require a subscription service
- Includes 100,000 preloaded topographical maps
- Shows distance traveled, time exercising, and more to track your pet’s health
The Garmin Mini device includes just the tracking collar and requires the handheld tracking device to be purchased separately. The Mini color is intended for use on smaller dogs.
- Uses high-sensitivity GPS and GLONASS satellite reception
- Designed for smaller breeds measuring as small as 9.5 inches around the neck
- Battery life lasts 16 to 30 hours
The SportDOG tracking system includes a tracking collar and handheld tracking device. Features HopTek technology using GPS satellites, not cell service, to track your dog up to 10 miles away.
- Includes 100,000 topographical maps with unlimited map updates, no subscription required
- The handheld device and collar are both 100% waterproof
- The device shows the direction your dog is headed, the path they took to get there, and whether they are moving or stopped
The Find My Pet GPS Tracker uses 2G cellular service for real-time tracking. It requires a one-year subscription to the Find My Pet GPS.
- Long-lasting battery life
- Slim and lightweight
- Accurate within 5-10 feet
This black and pink GPS tracker GPS Tracker is water-resistant, dustproof and shockproof. It uses a SIM Card with 2g GSM.
- The battery lasts up to 30 hours
- Displays 90-day historical route to see where your pet has been
- Allows you to set a safe area for your pet on the app
With a sleek and modern design, the Xingqijia Pet Tracker is only 0.7 ounces and 2.5 by 1.5 inches to fit easily on any collar. It has a long-lasting battery of up to 120 hours.
- Made of 100% silicone
- Includes one-year warranty
The Find My Pet GPS Nano uses a combination of cellular service, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. If it loses contact with the cellular satellites, it will use available Wi-Fi and Bluetooth signals to track and locate your pet.
- Requires a cellular subscription of $4.99 a month
- Automatically tracks in real time with updates every minute
- Battery lasts two to four days
The DAGPS tracker uses GPS/SMS position to pinpoint your pet within five meters in Google Maps. The “Playback” feature allows you to know the trajectory of your pet.
- The high-strength waterproof material allows the GPS to track pets even in water
- Enables you to set up an electronic fence “safe area” for your pet
- Allows up to 5 authorized phone numbers to monitor your pet
The PABY tracker uses the 3G Vodafone network to track your pet and features real-time tracking. You can also set up an unlimited number of safe zones with the virtual fence feature and receive an alert when your pet enters or leaves a zone.
- Comes in six different colors and patterns
- Requires a monthly subscription of $3.99
- Includes LED light and sound to aid in finding your pet
The Girafus tracker doesn’t require a monthly fee. Instead, it uses 2.4GHz RF-technology to transmit a radio signal between the collar tag and the base station.
- One of the smallest and lightweight trackers at just .28 ounces
- Includes a range up to 1600 feet (in clear line of sight)
- Collar tag and the base station beep when searching for your pet
The ANKIA tracker is a small Bluetooth tracker that electronically connects to your cell phone. It’s super thin and lightweight and easily connects to your pet’s collar.
- Includes an extra battery
- The tracking device beeps and flashes to easily find your pet in the dark
- Range about 50 meters outdoors and 30 meters indoors
The AIBEILE tracker is compact, lightweight and reliable. It features real-time accuracy using GPS, AGPS, and LBS positioning and GSM Quad-band frequency.
- GSM 2G Network SIM card not included
- Built-in speaker and microphone
- The “Previous track playback” feature can show the route map for your pet’s travels up to three months ago
The Pod 3 tracker is one of the smallest GPS pet trackers and fits any size collar. It features escape alerts, activity monitoring, and adventure recording.
- Includes a free lifetime cellular subscription
- Four tracking technologies allow you to track your pet indoors and outdoors
- Includes an extra rechargeable battery
The goTele tracker allows users to communicate directly from goTele device to goTele device without cell service or Wi-Fi. It requires two devices to use.
- Uses independent GPS, no signal required and provides real-time tracking
- Allows you to set up an electronic fence for your pet
- 100% water and weather resistant
Cost: $129.00 each