9 Best Dog GPS Collar Trackers: Keep Your Pup Safe (2022 Reviews)

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As much as you want to keep your dog close to you and ensure they are safe, the truth is that it is not always possible, especially if you have an escape artist who manages to free themselves all the time.

Also, there will be times that you will let your canine off-leash to provide them with a little bit more freedom. And unfortunately, that also means your curious pup will potentially stray away to explore.

In fact, according to the American Humane Association, there are roughly 10 million lost pets in the US each year and end up in the nation’s animal shelters. Unfortunately, of those, only 15% of dogs without ID tags or microchips reunite with their owners.

Thankfully, with the help of the GPS dog collars, you can keep tabs on your furry friend’s whereabouts and have the ability to locate them and keep them safe when they are out of your sight.

Below you will find the 9 top-rated GPS trackers for dogs in 2021.

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Are Dog GPS Trackers Necessary?

In short, yes.

GPS dog collar trackers are necessary.

Just think how awful it would be to go out for a hike with your pup, enjoying the peace and serenity of nature, only to have your furkid wander off and not know where they went. You frantically look around, but all you see around you are trees, meadows, and fields.

As much as you want to believe that your canine will come back, it does not always work out that way.

Another scenario that could occur is if your pet decides to run off during a walk or jog at night, leaving you with no way of knowing where they went. It doesn’t matter if your dog’s collar has a tag with identification on it or not because it will be difficult to locate them as you can hardly see anything in the dark.

You feel panicked and helpless because you have no idea where they are! This is scary for both you and the pup.

And the sad reality is that dogs sometimes do stray off, even if you have trained them well. It can be due to a distraction or something interesting in their environment catching their attention so much that they cannot help but wander off to explore.

That’s when you will be thankful that you have a GPS tracker on your dog.

With these little gadgets attached to your canine’s collar, there won’t be any more worries about your dog potentially getting lost and ending up in an animal shelter, or worse, never being found again. 

How Do GPS Dog Collars Work?

Dog GPS trackers work by sending your canine’s location to satellites that then backtrack and display it on your smartphone app or the receiver unit.

As long as the GPS tracker is worn on your dog’s collar and that there are cellular networks in the area (models that need subscriptions to work), you will be able to see where your furkid is at any given time. Some of these collars even allow for two-way communication, so if your furry friend does happen to wander off, you can speak through the device and call them back.

You will also find some higher-end ones like the Garmin Dog Tracker that uses GPS and GLONASS technology, making them even more accurate when tracking your pooch’s location.

How About Bluetooth Trackers? Can They Keep My Dog Safe?

You will soon find that I didn’t recommend any dog trackers that solely rely on Bluetooth technology.

While they may seem like a good option, given their prices are way lower, they have a short tracking range. For instance, the popular Tile Mate Bluetooth Tracker can only track up to 200 feet, which most dogs can easily run out of that range in just a matter of minutes. And that is not something that you would want, especially when out in the outdoors.

Not to mention, you will usually get a delay notification, meaning even if you manage to get to the place where your pooch was at, they would’ve been gone by the time you get there.

Our Top Picks for Cellular Pet GPS Tracking Devices

1. Best Overall Performance - Whistle Go Explore GPS Pet Tracker

Whistle Go Explore
Photo Credit : Whistle

Whistle was founded in 2012 and is a subsidiary of Mars Petcare, which has operated for over 100 years. Their smart GPS trackers for pets are one of the favorites among most dog owners.

Whistle Go Explore is a smart device that can help you quickly locate your dog with real-time location tracking using AT&T network and Google maps, which means it requires a subscription. It also features geofencing that will alert you by email, text, or app when your dog leaves the designated place.

The Go Explore goes beyond tracking location. You can set activity goals for your dog and have a 24-hour timeline that provides you with a breakdown of how they spent their time so that you know whether they have gone outside or just stayed home.

Additionally, you can also use the nutrition calculator to ensure you are feeding your dog the right portion of food based on the breed, age, and exercise level. To those who have been using Whistle 3, this tracking device is an upgraded version, which will tell you if there is any irregular behavior like excessive scratching and licking. This information is valuable as it could be the signs or symptoms of any potential health issues.

There is also an in-built beacon light that you can switch on using the app, making it easier for you to spot your dog at night. It has an extended battery life that can last up to twenty days, but this depends on how you use it. If you are a heavy user, it could probably last up to five to ten days. This pet GPS collar tracker is a great all-in-one device that allows you to do lots of things, from tracking your pooch’s location to monitoring their health.

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Read More: Whistle vs. PetFON

Link AKC Smart Dog Collar With GPS Tracker
Photo Credit : Link AKC

Link AKC is a pet tech company that has won the “Best of Innovation” award at CES 2017 in the Wearable Technology category.

The Link AKC Smart Collar is one of the best pet trackers on the market and has nationwide coverage in the United States. Like any other smart device, it requires service plan connectivity to trace your dog and features a geofence that will notify you when your canine companion leaves the safe zone.

This smart collar works like a dog smartphone, which can consolidate vet records, set reminders, and has precise activity tracking. It also monitors the temperature surrounding your dog and will notify you if it is too hot or too cold for them.

This pet GPS collar tracker has a battery life of up to three days with regular use. In addition, it is water-resistant and impact-resistant. You can also turn on the in-built LED light to provide added visibility and have sound features to help with training.

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3. Toughest Pet GPS Tracker for Dogs - Fi Smart Dog Collar Series 2

Fi Smart Dog Collar Series 2
Photo Credit : Fi

This GPS device for dogs has been one of the most famous pet GPS trackers on the market. If you own a dog, the chances are that they’ve targeted your social media feed with ads and tried to get you excited about their product! And it’s hard not to see all those commercials popping up around us every day. In fact, lots of pet owners are starting to recommend them, including me.

So, what’s so good about these GPS collars?

The Fi Collar Series 2 is the newest model in their product line. Focused on your dog’s activities and built for the outdoors and lost dogs, Series 2 comes at a retail price of $149.00. It comes with the standard features you expect from standard GPS trackers, including geofencing, which enables you to set up virtual boundaries for your dog, and real-time 24/7 location tracking, so you’ll always know where your dog is in real-time.

This GPS dog collar also has a built-in activity tracker, which measures and tracks your dog’s activity levels during the day. There’s also a sleep-tracking mode that will help you understand your dog’s sleeping pattern, including how long they sleep, the duration of their active sleep cycle, and how many times they wake up during the night.

This GPS tracking collar has a sleek and stylish design. It also has an adjustable size with a buckle clasp, making it easy to fit onto most breeds of dogs. You can also remotely control the LED light through Fi’s app, which can be helpful for nighttime walks.

But what makes this tracker so special is it is the first tracking collar that uses the LTE-M network to keep you updated with your dog’s location. LTE-M is a new technology that allows faster data transmission, less power consumption, and wider coverage. In fact, its signal can travel 30% farther than the distance of 3G/4G/5G/LTE networks. What that means for you is that you’ll have an even more accurate location of your dog!

What’s even better, you can activate “lost dog mode” on the app to help find your pup when they go missing. What that does is it will attempt to locate your canine and refresh their location every minute, helping speed up the process of finding them! With this feature alone, it almost makes the monthly fee worth it!

I also like that this GPS dog tracker is waterproof, with a rating of IP68, tested to be able to immerse at 1.5 meters deep in water for 30 minutes! Plus, it is dirt-proof and adventure-proof, armored with reinforced metal and aluminum faceplate, tested to withstand over 300 pounds of static pull force, making it the toughest dog GPS tracker on the list. And that certainly makes it safe and secure during all kinds of activities, from running to hiking and swimming!

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4. Best for Budget - Tractive GPS Tracker

Tractive 3G GPS Dog Tracker
Photo Credit : Tractive

Tractive is an Austrian company that prides itself on developing affordable real-time GPS trackers for pets.

The Tractive 3G GPS Tracker allows you to trace your dog live on a smartphone app or any browser. You will need to have an ongoing subscription to use 3G cellular service to pinpoint the location correctly. And of course, you can also create a virtual fence to keep your dog safe by instantly being notified if they leave the defined area.

Not to mention, it has worldwide coverage, meaning there is no range limit, and you will be able to track your dog anytime, regardless if you are home or overseas. With the location history feature, it will show you where your dog has been.

Not only is this best GPS tracker waterproof, lightweight, and budget-friendly, but also effective at tracking locations. If you are on a budget, you may want to consider this.

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5. Most Lightweight - Bartun GPS Pet Tracker

Bartun LTE GPS Pet Tracker
Photo Credit : Bartun

If you want a GPS tracker that doesn’t restrict your dog’s activities, look no further than the Bartun GPS Pet Tracker.

This gadget is another tracker that needs a subscription plan to provide you with real-time location tracking. That also means you can monitor your dog remotely as long as you have cellular coverage. And with the historical data you can get from the app, you will be able to see where your dog has been.

This dog GPS collar tracker only weighs 20.6g and is pretty small, designed to ensure it is comfortable to wear without putting too much pressure on your fido. It has an IP67 waterproof rating and is shockproof to make sure it is sturdy and allows your dog to play freely in any environment. Also, it will alert you when it is low in battery.

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Our Top Picks for Non-Cellular Dog Tracker Collars

1. Best Overall Performance - Garmin Astro 430/ T5 Dog Tracking Bundle

Garmin Astro 430 and T5 Dog Tracking Bundle
Photo Credit : Garmin

Garmin was founded in 1989 and is one of the biggest companies in GPS navigation. Due to their development in wearable technology, they now have GPS trackers for dogs.

With this tracking bundle, you will have the ability to track up to twenty dogs at a time with a range of up to nine miles. And is capable of tracking your pooch in a wooded area thanks to its high sensitivity GPS and Global Navigation Satellite System (GLONASS) satellite reception. It also has a 2.5 seconds update rate to provide you with more accurate location tracking.

Additionally, it includes a preloaded TOPO U.S. 100k mapping, which covers the outdoors’ finer points, such as terrain contours, summits, and rivers. Not to mention, it is water-resistant and long-lasting due to the durable materials used for construction.

This dog GPS collar also features hunting metrics to help analyze your dog’s hunting behavior and patterns, which will show you the distances traveled and an overall score, plus capturing the number of times of “on point” or “treed”. Making this one of the best hunting dog tracking systems on the market.

The Garmin Astro 430 and T5 Dog Tracking Bundle don’t require a subscription plan, meaning no cellular coverage is needed. An excellent option if you hit the trail a lot with your four-legged friend and love hunting, especially in a challenging environment.

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2. Runner-Up Overall Performance - Petfon GPS Pet Tracker

Petfon GPS Tracker
Photo Credit : Petfon

The Petfon GPS Tracker has better quality and performance than the Findster Duo+ Pet Tracker. It uses the technology that combines GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and long-distance transmission to locate your dog’s position and track their activity in real-time.

It can track up to 0.65 miles in congested areas and 3.5 miles in an open space. It also has other great features like geofencing, multi-color night lights, and customizable voice, allowing you to communicate with your dog and locate them in a low-light environment, ultimately keeping them safe.

This best dog GPS tracker can track up to three pets. It is lightweight, dustproof, and rainproof to minimize the impact on the performance under light rain or bad weather. If you don’t feel like paying a monthly fee, you might want to consider this. 

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3. Best for Multi-Days Use - Eureka Technology MARCOPOLO Advanced Pet Monitoring, Tracking and Locating System

Eureka Technology MARCOPOLO Advanced Pet Monitoring, Tracking and Locating System
Photo Credit : Marco Polo

Marco Polo uses radio frequency to track your dog. It works like a radar that scans the surrounding area and sends the radio waves to the tag that you put on your dog. When you are in range, the handheld locator will point you to the tag displayed on the screen. And the closer you are, the stronger the signal.

This radio dog tracker weighs 22.7g and can track up to 2 miles depending on your surroundings. Not only that, but the Marco Polo can operate in extreme environments, given that it is waterproof and the tracking tag is crush-resistant. If you love multi-day trips, this will be great for you as it uses patented technology, in which the battery can last up to 6 weeks without recharging.

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4. Best for Training - SportDOG TEK 2.0 Series GPS Tracking System

SportDOG TEK 2.0 Series
Photo Credit : SportDog

The SportDog TEK 2.0 series can track up to 21 dogs and 10 miles long, making it one of the longest range non-cellular GPS tracking collars on the market.

It is preloaded with 100k TOPO maps with unlimited lifetime map updates. Also, it uses similar tracking technology to the Garmin Astro 430/ T5 Dog Tracking Bundle, which combines GPS and Global Navigation Satellite System (GLONASS) to give you a more precise location when tracing your dog.

The GPS collar receiver is waterproof up to 25 feet and has a 3-second update rate. The rechargeable batteries can last up to 24 hours for the collar and 12 hours for the handheld unit. You will also have the ability to set geofences to ensure safety.

And with the voice update, it will tell you the direction your dog is heading, how far, and how fast they are without looking at the screen. Not only can it track your pooch, but it also has 99 continuous or momentary stimulation levels, vibration, and tone options for training purposes.

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Best Dog GPS Tracker Buyer's Guide: Features to Consider

Best Dog GPS Trackers

I’m sure you have already done a lot trying to protect and keep your furry friend safe, especially when going on hikes, like keeping them on the leash, putting hiking boots on them to protect their feet, or even letting them wear a dog backpack to build up their stamina.

And if you haven’t had a dog GPS tracking unit already, it is a good idea to get one as it offers even more protection. That said, there are a few things you need to consider when it comes to choosing the best dog GPS tracker, and below are some of them.

1. Cellular vs. Non-Cellular

Depending on the area that you live in or the trail you are taking, some areas may not have network coverage. If that is the case for you, picking a dog GPS tracker that works without a cellular network may be better.

Also, if you love letting your four-legged friend run off-leash, particularly in a no-signal environment, and that they are very energetic and always runs out of your sight, consider the ones with a long tracking range like the Garmin Astro 430/ T5 Dog Tracking Bundle or SportDOG TEK 2.0 Series. That way, you will be able to keep tabs on them at all times.

The benefits of cellular GPS tracking collars are, of course, the unlimited tracking range. Not only that, but lots of them also give you the ability to store vet records, and like the Whistle Go Explore, even allow you to monitor your fido’s behavior, ensuring that they are in tip-top shape.

The drawbacks of cellular dog tracking collars are that they require subscription fees and can only operate on cellular networks. And note that if you are going to get a cellular GPS tracker, make sure they are compatible with your phone’s operating system like IOS and Android.

2. Tracking Range and Accuracy

Another feature you need to consider is the tracking range and accuracy. While most cellular dog GPS trackers should have unlimited range, non-cellular trackers don’t. And that’s why you have to pay attention to this as you need to be able to pinpoint their location, which is also the main reason for getting the device. 

3. Waterproof

A waterproof GPS dog tracker is crucial as well, as you want the device to be in working condition and allow you to locate your dog if they decide to jump into the water or, if unfortunate, that both you and your dog are caught in unexpected rain.

4. Weight

The weight of GPS pet trackers is also something to consider as you don’t want them to feel uncomfortable wearing it. So, keep this in mind and pick one that’s lightweight to prevent it from weighing down your dog.

5. Battery Life

Of course, the battery life is crucial, too! Think about this. If your dog tracker has a short battery life and that the battery dies when your canine gets lost. How much sense does it make to have that GPS dog tracker in the first place? That completely defeats the purpose. Thus, always choose one with a long-lasting battery.

6. Additional Features

Keep additional features like geofence, audible check-in, and activity and health monitoring in mind when purchasing one, as they can be very handy.

Geofencing, for instance, will alert you when your dog leaves the predetermined safe area, so you’ll always know if they are safe.

On the other hand, the audible check-in allows you to communicate with your furry best friend, which is especially useful for hunting.

As for activity and health monitoring, it enables you to monitor your dog’s behavior and wellness. This way, you will be able to keep tabs on the daily activities of your four-legged friend to ensure that they are in good health.

Best Dog GPS Trackers FAQ

Do I Still Need a GPS Tracker if My Dog is Microchipped?

Yes, I would recommend you to get a dog tracker even if your four-legged friend has the microchip embedded under their skin. The reason is that the person who found your dog won’t know your contact details without the help of veterinarians or shelters reading the microchip.

Do All Dog Collar GPS Trackers Require Subscription Fees?

No. It depends on which pet GPS tracker you choose. There are two main types of dog GPS devices on the market, cellular and non-cellular.

Cellular trackers will undoubtedly need a monthly subscription as they rely on cellular services to give you your dog’s live location.

A non-cellular dog GPS tracking device, on the other hand, doesn’t need a service plan. Instead, they have a map preloaded into the gadget and use their unique technology or radiofrequency to allow both modules to communicate. This type of tracking system is, however, more expensive.

Are Cellular GPS Dog Trackers Better Than Non-Cellular Dog Trackers?

No, not necessarily. Both types of dog trackers have their pros and cons. Cellular GPS tracking devices are especially useful if the area you live in or places you plan to take your dog to has internet coverage. And often, they allow you to do more than just pinpoint locations, which you will have the ability to monitor your dog’s activity and behavior.

But remember, they won’t work without Wi-Fi or cellular coverage. Meaning if you are going on hikes with your pup in a heavily wooded area with no 4G coverage, this type of tracking device is pretty much useless. And that makes non-cellular pet tracking devices a better choice.

Should I Get a GPS Dog Collar With a Built-in Fitness Tracker?

According to a clinical survey done in October 2018, 55.8% of dogs are obese or overweight, and that’s about 50 million dogs! Meaning one of every two dogs is carrying a little bit of extra weight. So yes, I would recommend getting a dog tracker with a fitness tracker.

While you can’t force your dog to lose weight by putting on a GPS tracker with an activity monitor built-in, it will give you great insights into whether or not they’ve got enough exercise, ultimately ensuring your pup stays at their ideal weight.

How Much Does a Dog Collar Tracker Usually Cost?

Well, that depends on the type of dog GPS trackers (cellular or non-cellular) you choose.

The price of cellular GPS tracking devices may vary from $50 to $300, and expect to spend around $150 or more to get a decent one. You will find them a lot cheaper than their non-cellular counterparts, and the reason for that is because there are ongoing running costs associated with them.

On the other hand, dog collar trackers that don’t need cellular networks to work will require a substantial upfront payment depending on the model you decide to go for, which can easily cost you $200-$1,000. But there won’t be any monthly subscription fees that you need to pay.