How to choose the best GPS tracker for dogs in 2024?

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Are you still struggling to find the best GPS tracker for dogs? For active pets like dogs, you need to be careful in choosing a dog GPS tracker. It concerns their safety.

The current market primarily categorizes pet trackers into three main types. The first one is the tracker that located through a Bluetooth connection. This kind of tracker is relatively simple and less expensive to use. Some people use it to track their pets, even though it lacks GPS.

The second type is a pet tracker that consists of GPS and a 4G or cellular network. You need to download an app to get pet location information.

The third type is a pet tracker that consists of GPS and radio technology. This kind of GPS tracker for dogs can be located in real-time.

This article will analyze common dog GPS trackers’ pros and cons from a user perspective.

We’ll gain a deeper understanding of dog GPS trackers’ technical features by analyzing different products’ performance and characteristics. Provide consumers with accurate, reliable, and practical information.

 

Bluetooth Tracker

Take the most common Bluetooth tracker on the market: AirTag.

AirTag uses BLE technology to broadcast data to the outside world. After the nearby iPhone receives the location data. It automatically and anonymously transmits the location information to Apple through a service provided by its operating system.

Afterward, Apple associates the AirTag device with the corresponding owner's account by recognizing the hardware feature information. It then provides the owner with a lookup service that enables location tracking of the device's position.

Under normal operating conditions, AirTag operates in low-frequency BLE mode. When the device is set to "lost mode", it will immediately switch to high-frequency reporting mode. This makes it easier for neighboring iPhones to capture its location.

However, AirTag is suitable for stationary items such as keys, wallets, suitcases, etc. It is not suitable for dogs. There may be some mishaps when it comes to dog use. Because dogs are more active and love to explore.

Generally, AirTag has a BLE communication range of around 30 feet. An iPhone or any device in the “Find” network can detect the AirTag within this range. The AirTag’s tracking range limits its pinpoint accuracy from a great distance. More information about its tracking range is available.

The owner won’t know the pet’s exact location if the dog enters a remote area without signals from iPhone or other Apple products. Apple advises against using it on living things.

Dogs are generally curious, and when faced with unfamiliar objects they tend to exhibit playful behavior at 1.26 inches, the AirTag's compact design makes it easy to attach to a dog's collar.

However, with medium to large dogs, they may eat it out of curiosity. Reports of similar incidents on the internet confirm this is not mere personal speculation. The following captures are images from the MacRumors website:

 

In addition, when a dog accidentally ingests an AirTag, it needs to take urgent steps to remove it.

MacRumors said, "There is a CR2032 battery inside the AirTag, and if damaged, some batteries can leak a caustic substance that can damage a pet's stomach or mouth, if the battery is chewed, or lead to poisoning," MacRumors said. Ann Hohenhaus, a senior veterinarian at Ann Hohenhaus, a senior veterinarian at the Schwarzmann Animal Medical Center in New York said that if a dog eats an AirTag, it needs to come out "as quickly as possible. possible."

So, I've summarized the pros and cons of Bluetooth trackers below:

Pros: --no subscription fees, good price

--Batteries are durable

--Small size

--Privacy protection

--Waterproof

Cons: --Dependent on Bluetooth device network

--Not suitable for live animals

--No GPS chip, positioning may not be accurate

--Limited tracking range

--Cannot track dogs in real-time

--Medium and large dogs are easily accidentally eaten it

 

GPS and 4G or cellular network dog GPS tracker

The most common GPS trackers for dogs that require cellular networks are Tractive, PitPat, Whistle, Fi, and FitBark.

Tractive is the most purchased GPS tracker for dogs in the market. And most of the dog GPS trackers(4G or cellular network) have the same features. This makes it a suitable representative example.

I believe you are familiar with Tractive's dog GPS tracker. When you search for a dog GPS tracker, there are quite a few advertisements about it.

Tractive GPS tracker for dogs uses GPS and 4G or cellular network for connection. To track their dog’s health, users must download the Tractive app to their smartphones to receive data from the tracker.

The tracker sends the GPS location to the user’s app through a nearby cellular base station after obtaining it.

However, due to the time delay in the process of data transmission, so the real-time of the tracker's updated positioning information may be affected.

The normal use of such dog GPS trackers requires operation in areas with stable cellular signals.

In areas with weak signals like the countryside or suburbs, the tracker’s location accuracy might suffer because of delayed data updates.

In addition, this product requires cooperation with a cellular network service provider. So, in addition to purchasing the dog GPS tracker, you need to pay a monthly subscription fee.

If you are not satisfied with this type of GPS tracker for dogs during the free trial period, you can return it. Note that the monthly subscription fee will also need to be canceled after the return. This will be a very cumbersome process.

I have intercepted some of the reviews on the Amazon platform about the Tractive GPS tracker for dogs canceling the subscription fee.

Therefore, you need to be aware of the refund and subscription cancelation policy before making a purchase.

Tractive GPS tracker for dogs also has an electronic fence feature. A fence can be set up to limit the range of the dog's activities. Once it leaves this range, the owner's cell phone will receive an alert.

But because of the GPS positioning problem, this feature also disturbs the owner from time to time. For more details, please click here.

Most of this type of GPS tracker for dogs can monitor the dog's health and activity. The owner can check it through the mobile app. Then know whether the dog is sick or not through the monitoring results.

Watching the dog’s activities helps owners learn more about what their dog enjoys and prefers, which aids in providing better care.

So, I summarize the pros and cons of such trackers as follows:

Pros: --Monitoring dog's health and activities

--Electronic fence function

--Small size

--Waterproof

Cons: --Monthly subscription fee

--Can only be used in places with good cellular network

--False alarms on electronic fence

--Cannot locate in real-time

 

GPS and radio dog GPS tracker

The most common brands of this type of tracker on the market today are Aorkuler and Garmin.

This type of GPS tracker for dogs transmits data via radio after GPS location. There is no need to go through a cellular network operator. So, it can be used in suburban or rural areas to be able to locate your pet in real time. It is a good choice for people who live in places with poor cellular signals or who love outdoor sports.

Without the intervention of cellular networks, it can effectively protect privacy. Unlawful elements cannot find user information through radio technology. This GPS tracker for dogs doesn’t require a phone app, saving phone space and keeping your privacy intact.

Despite the similarities, both Aorkuler and Garmin dog GPS trackers have their features. The former can only track one dog at a time. The tracking range is around 3.5 miles.

The latter can track up to 20 hounds at the same time. The tracking range is around 9 miles.

In addition, the Aorkuler tracker is compact and suitable for small dogs. It will not cause an extra burden on your pet in daily life. The Garmin tracker, on the other hand, is more bulky and more suitable for large hounds.

Aorkuler's GPS tracker for dogs also features sound and light alarms. It makes it easier and faster for owners to find their pets. If the pet is nearby but not found, the owner can track it by activating the sound and light alarm feature.

I’ve captured some reviews from Amazon discussing the sound feature of the Aorkuler brand dog GPS tracker.

 The pros and cons of the Aorkuler GPS tracker for dogs are as follows:

Pros: --Real-time location

--no cellular network or subscription fees required

--waterproof

--sound and flash function

--Compact size

--Privacy protection

--No need to download the mobile app

Cons: --Can't monitor pet's health and activities

--Tracking range is only 3.5 miles

--Cannot be used near dense buildings

 

The pros and cons of the Garmin GPS tracker for dogs are summarized below:

Advantages: --Real-time localization

--Waterproof

--Privacy protection

--Can be used for multiple dogs at the same time

--No need to download a cell phone app

Cons: --Can't monitor your pet's health and activities

--Bigger in shape

--Tracking range is only 9 miles

--Can only be used in the US

--Expensive

 

Summary

There are many types of dog GPS trackers offered in the market, which makes it difficult for users to choose. Therefore, this article analyzes three common types. Hopefully, it will help users to finalize the one that best suits their dog according to their conditions.

For users who like outdoor adventure or live in rural areas, the third type of GPS tracker for dogs is a good choice. For city dwellers who wish to monitor their dog's health, the second type of GPS tracker for dogs is available.

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