10 Best GPS Dog Trackers & Collars: 2020 Reviews

(Last Updated On: May 6, 2020)

I can’t tell you how many stories I’ve heard about lost dogs and nervous owners! We all wish there could be an easier way to keep track of our dog when we let them off the leash or they get frightened, and luckily there is. A GPS dog tracker keeps an eye on your pooch so you don’t need to worry quite so much anymore.

No time to read? Check out my favorite, top recommended tracker here.

10 of the Best GPS Dog Trackers

Top Pick: Whistle 3 GPS Pet Tracker & Activity Monitor

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If you want to know where your dog is and what they’re doing, the Whistle 3 GPS Tracker & Activity Monitor is our top pick. This is the best GPS dog tracker on the market currently. Not only does it enable you to know your dog’s exact location at all times, it monitors their exercise and activity levels to help you keep them healthy and active. Keeping your dog active and ensuring they’re getting plenty of exercise is essential for giving them a long happy life. 

This GPS tracker uses nationwide tracking, which is extremely helpful if your dog runs off or gets lost at any point, it doesn’t matter where you are. This is perfect if you enjoy taking your dog off leashing, hiking or traveling. You can even set up a “Safe Area,” or perimeter you’d like your dog to stay within, and Whistle 3 will alert you if your dog leaves it. It does require a monthly subscription for the service, but it’s worth it for the security.

Set up a “whistle zone” safe area to fence in your pet and find lost pets quickly. Track directly from your smart-phone with nationwide coverage and on demand alerts to keep your pet healthy while knowing their location. Read my in depth review on Whistle here.

Pros:

  • Has great accuracy that’s worth the price
  • The communication method saves a lot of battery life
  • It tracks dogs’ locations with ease and using alerts

Cons:

  • The app contains lots of unnecessary social media that owners don’t need
  • The tracker is really strange, and messes up your pet’s location a lot
  • It takes 10 minutes before it even registers that your pet is gone

Tractive GPS Pet Tracker

tractive

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The Tractive GPS Tracker is extremely durable and even waterproof. Using the Tractive smartphone app, you can see exactly where your dog is in real-time. This gives you real peace of mind as a dog owner, especially if your dog likes to wander off. Since this GPS tracker uses a cellular signal, as most do, you will have to sign up for a subscription, but you can choose from different plans. Get 7% off your entire order!

Tractive advertises not only for dogs but also for any other things you might want to keep close. With the smallest trackers, you get live positioning for your pets with real-time location. If you have the right cell service, everything will run smoothly. Read my full review on Tractive here.

Similar to the Whistle 3 GPS tracker, you can also set up a Safe Area and get notifications when your dog has left that area. However, one unique thing that Tractive offers is history tracking. This enables you to see where your pet has been, as opposed to just where they are at the moment.

Pros:

  • Gives you alerts when your dog leaves the specified zone
  • Has a quick response to locate your pet faster than other brands
  • The tracking function is real time and includes a very straightforward notification function

Cons:

  • Relies only on specific cell networks, and will not work for everyone
  • Periodic software updates drain the battery even faster than normal

Link AKC Smart GPS Dog Collar

link akc

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Instead of attaching a GPS device to your dog’s collar, this is an actual collar with GPS tracking built into it. Like the others, it does use cellular signals to do the tracking and requires a monthly subscription, although they also offer annual and 2-year packages. The subscription is worth it, thanks to the highly accurate tracking. 

This GPS dog tracker collar also claims to monitor your dog’s activity level, but some report that it doesn’t always quite get it right and this feature has been unreliable. However it does come with some other great features, including a remote-controlled LED light that increases your dogs visibility. It also has a built-in training sound that allows you to communicate with your dog even when you aren’t with them.

Tagg GPS Tracker

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Your pet got out, but now there’s no need to worry! The Tagg tracker will send you an email alert when they go beyond the boundaries. It’ll also let you view and track their exercise levels so they can stay healthy too! Since this GPS dog tracker attaches to their current collar, you don’t have to worry about anything too fancy.

Pros:

  • This dog tracker is smaller than some other units out there so it is well hidden
  • It works better for small breeds and cats thanks to size
  • Has a large battery life and will last for days

Cons:

  • Only works for certain networks, so if your house is a dead zone, you’ve got a problem
  • It can snap off the collar if there is any pulling

Marco Polo

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Aptly named “Marco Polo,” this gps tracker is easy to use with real time distance and feedback. You can monitor up to 3 pets with 4 programmable zones with its rechargeable battery. It even works anywhere without any contracts or cell service.

Pros:

  • Easy to use right away with little to no hassle
  • Fits on the collar easily and isn’t too large for smaller dogs
  • The handheld unit is small and folds up nicely to protect the screen

Cons:

  • The unit is not live, so you can’t track your pet in real time
  • It’s not long range and can only track to maybe medium range

Garmin Astro T5

garmin astro t5-min

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This rechargeable GPS tracker collar lasts for days and extends for miles with its high-sensitivity GPS. If your dog gets lost, the Garmin has beacon lights and a rescue mode that will let you find your dog easily if they happen to get lost. There’s no more worrying required with this collar!

Pros:

  • Uses a secure fabric pouch, so you can be sure it won’t randomly fall off
  • Works as part of your cell-phone with real time data and tracking
  • Attaches to the collar easily and does not slip off

Cons:

  • It’s a larger unit, and may be more visible on your pet
  • It can take a little longer to get the real time data, so there’s a bit of a lag

Gibi Pet Locator

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You do need to register with Gibi for this GPS tracker collar to work, but real-time location will eliminate any sort of agonizing worry for your lost pets. You can share your pet’s location with Google Maps too. It might have a few extra steps, but it’s more than worth it with the collar you’re getting.

Pros:

  • Custom safe zones are very desirable, and multiple ones can be designed
  • The device is waterproof and inconspicuous
  • Customer service is excellent even if you do have problems

Cons:

  • Relies on certain cell networks, and will not work for everyone
  • There’s a lag, which is up to 10 minutes
  • There’s no app and the website is erratic and shorts out frequently

What is a GPS Tracker?

GPS trackers provide you with real-time information on your dog’s location. Many of them are attached to a smartphone app that will show you exactly where they are. This is incredibly valuable if your dog gets lost, as you can instantly know where they are and go find them.

How GPS Dog Trackers Help:

While we’re looking a little more at dogs rather than cats here, any pet owner will find that dog trackers are important. They help you find your pet when they’re out of your sight, whether they’re lost or just running around in the yard.

Also Read: How Pet Strollers Can Help​

Harmless Containment

Having a large yard doesn’t have to be a problem if you set up dog trackers along the boundaries. Your dog will stop before they get too far and you’ll be able to manage their behavior. You can even use these trackers for training.

Also Read: Top Dog Shock Collars To Help With Training​

Instant Location

Every pet owner’s biggest fear is losing their dog in the dog park and being unable to find them. When you have a dog tracker, you can locate them instantly. Even if they’re just around the corner, the peace of mind you’ll get is more than worth it.

Types of GPS Dog Trackers:

As with any product, you’ve got to scour the internet and the store to find exactly the right one. There are multiple kinds out there, including collars and smart-phone trackers, but the basic types fall under radio and GPS.

Radio trackers are usually used with hunting dogs to pick up dogs at different ranges. The range increases when the price does unfortunately. GPS Trackers are more cutting edge and new. They allow you to pinpoint your pet’s location in real time, see a history of their locations, and beep you if your pet goes outside of boundaries. These work the same way as cell phones by using data or cell towers.

What To Look Out For:

It’s sometimes difficult to look for GPS tracking collars thanks to how quickly technology changes. One day some feature is preferred, but other days, you end up buying something you just don’t need! There are specific features that should be in any tracker you buy though.

  • Main Features

It’s important to consider how the GPS data is being updated when you buy a tracker. Is it live and real time? How much time does it take to send the GPS data to your handheld device? You also have to consider accuracy. If your dog gets lost, an accurate tracker will benefit you the most.

  • Fees: Buying or Subscription

Collars can be either smart-phone based or independent. Smart-phone trackers send directly to your phone, but are completely dependent on your phone and cell plan. They require a monthly subscription fee to ensure it continues to work. Independent trackers that you buy don’t need the same subscription, but they do require a fairly high initial investment.

whistle-gps-review

  • Size

Ideally, you’ll choose something low profile and lightweight. You don’t want something that’s bulky and uncomfortable for your dog. Consider your dog’s size and shape before buying anything. Every dog is different and you want to make sure it will properly fit them.

  • Durability

The GPS tracker is going to be useless if it breaks while your dog is out and about. Look for something very durable and waterproof, to protect it from rain or swimming. It should also have a very secure attachment method, to prevent it from falling off at any point and leading you to the wrong spot.

  • Distance Range

Good signal is a must when it comes to GPS trackers. Since the majority of trackers use cellular signals, the signal should be pretty solid in areas where there are cellular towers that send signal to your phone. If you’re going to be using the tracker in more rural areas where cellular signal might not be as strong, try to find a tracker that uses more than one signal, just to be safe.

  • Battery

Look for the longest lasting battery possible. It will be useless if the battery dies while you’re trying to find your lost dog.

Frequently Asked Questions

My dog has a microchip, is that GPS tracker?

No, your dog’s microchip, which is embedded under their skin, only works as an identifier and links them to you if they’re found and their microchip is read by a shelter or vet with a scanner. A GPS tracker worn externally will show exactly where your dog is located, even without being found by someone else.

How does a dog GPS tracker work?

Your dog wears the GPS device on their collar. Most trackers these days connect to a smartphone app that will show you exactly where your dog is in real-time. If your tracker uses cellular signaling, it will bounce signals off of a cellular tower which can be accessed by your app. 

Who Should Buy It?

Although every dog owner would benefit from having the best GPS dog tracker on-hand for emergencies. They are especially great for those with very active dogs that like to run off and adventure. It’s also extremely useful if you enjoy taking your dog out camping, hunting or hiking.

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