Top 13 GPS Pet Trackers (Dog and Cat Cell Phones) [Best of 2016 Reviewed]


February 11, 2016 18 Comments

Top 13 GPS Trackers for your Pets

by: Scott Roberts

Revised: July 1, 2016

Pet GPS Tracking Application iOS and Android
It's 2016 and we are off to a great start!  With the advances in Smart Watch Technology, Fitbit's Increasing Popularity, and the Apple Watch Launching during 2015... What do we have to look Forward to in 2016? It looks to be the year of the Pet Wearables - or should we say "Petables"? haha...

It's not a secret that we all love our pets and we are willing to try new methods of keeping them Safe and Healthy.  Grain Free Organic Foods, Personal Dog-Walkers, Pet Hotels, Doggy Go Pro's, and Now GPS Trackers for Cats and Dogs! (Basically Pet Cell Phones)

But what Exactly are GPS Pet Trackers?  Which ones are the Best?  How do they work? How much do they cost? How will they keep my dog and cat safe?  We are going to dig deep into the topic.  We have compiled a unique list and reviewed  our choice for the Top 13 Pet Tracker for 2016.

We need to start by splitting them into 2 categories.  Radio Trackers and GSM (Cellular) GPS Trackers.  

Radio Trackers utilize a somewhat dated technology and have been used for decades.   These devices don't require a monthly subscription.  Radio Trackers are commonly used by hunting dogs, and cover roughly the same distance of a Walkie Talkie's Range.  It's important to note that the more you spend the greater your range will be.  These units can range from $200-$1000+ for the top of the line units. 

GPS Trackers are cutting edge technology that allows you to pinpoint your pets location in real time.  You can see a history of locations reported by the device to see every place your pet went while you were away.  Some of these GPS Trackers even give an alert when you pet leaves a pre-determined area (geo-fence).  In order to transmit the GPS location from almost anywhere and anytime use of cellular data and towers are required.  So the following would be classified as IoT and require a SIM card or cellular service of some kind.

 

GPS Trackers (Real Time Tracking)

1. The Paw Tracker 

The Paw Tracker uses GPS satellites to determine it location then Cellular Service to send those coordinates back to our servers. They are a USA based company and  have good customer service they called us back within a couple hours to answer some questions we had. They have recently expanded their coverage area to include Canada and parts of Mexico. Buy direct from their website.  Similar devices sold on Amazon or eBay may not come with an activated SIM card.

The Paw Tracker Pet GPS Tracker GSMCute Design and 3 color options make this very popular for the Fashionable Pets. It comes with Application Download for iOS and Android   Being the lightest in weight the paw tracker is a clear choice for all cat owners.   Stash it in your car or track anything its attached to.  This device comes with a SIM card already activated so you won't have to change your cellular plan. (Except on Amazon and eBay)

Price: $99.99
Subscription Cost: $9.95
Battery Life: 2-5 days
Weight: 33 Grams

 

2. Gibi Pet Locator 

 

The Gibi pet locator is a tough, waterproof, lightweight GPS tracking device for your active dog. The stylish tracking device uses Gibi’s online browser-based app; Gibi Pet Tracker Imageaccessible from anywhere an internet connection is available, using your mobile device or computer to instantly locate your four-legged family member on google maps. The Gibi browser-based app allows you to create safe zones. If your dog leaves your preset safe zone borders, you’ll receive alerts via email and/or text. Check your dog’s location with real-time updates, precise location information, and directions using Gibi’s one-click button. The Gibi pet locator is thoughtfully designed to securely attach to just about any collar, so you can keep using your favorite collar.

 

Price: $99.99
Subscription Cost: $9.95
Battery Life: 1-4 days
Transmitter Weight: 43 Grams

3. Garmin GTU 10

(Recently Discontinued by Garmin) The GTU 10 is small, lightweight and waterproof. It Garmin GTU 10 GPS Tracker for Dogs and Whatevereasily attaches to a backpack, pet collar or whatever is important to you.
 When you purchase a new GTU 10, it comes with 1 year of Standard Tracking (coverage dependent on GSM wireless service within the U.S.), so you'll be ready to go once you register and activate it in your Garmin account.  You may still be able to find some units for sale on amazon or ebay. 

Price: $189.99
Subscription Cost: $49.99/Year
Battery Life: 1-4 days
Transmitter Weight: 28 Grams

4. WÜF

Still in the Pre-Order Stage, this connected collar is available in three different sizes. The doggie wearable packs Wuf Pet GPS Tracking CollarGPS tracking along with activity monitoring. WÜF also includes two-way audio for keeping in contact with your pooch if he's out of earshot, while a virtual leash will keep him from straying too far. The outside is soft and flexible, making sure it fits comfortable around any neck, while the inside where the electronics sit is encased in an ultra-stiff, waterproof and durable elastomer.  Now Accepting Pre-Orders!

 

 

 

 

Price: $129.99
Subscription Cost: $49.99/Year
Battery Life: 1-4 days
Transmitter Weight: Attached to Collar

 

5. Tractive GPS Tracker

 The Tractive Real-time GPS tracker device for pets and other animals will always let youTractive GPS Pet Tracker know where your pet is. Check your app in iOS or Android to get your pets GPS coordinates.  You can use your smartphone or tablet to sooth your mind when you are not with your pet.

 

Price: $129.99
Subscription Cost: $9.95 
Battery Life: 2-4 Days
Transmitter Weight: 35g 10lbs+ Animals can use

 

6. PetPace

Is more designed for the Health and Health Monitoring features.  It has a lot of featuresPet Pace Health Monitoring system for dogs that most of the GPS trackers do not have.  They are marketing more towards Vets. They do offer great features. With the high monthly cost and the size/weight of the device.  This is more suited for people who are trying to diagnose or monitor the health of a pet.  

Price: $149.99
Subscription Cost: $14.95 Month
Battery Life: 1-2 days

7. Nuzzle 

Pre-Order stage - This smart collar will keep you up to date with what your pet is doing throughout the day using GPS, Bluetooth and an activity tracker. Suitable for both cats and dogs, the gadget comes fitted to a collar but can also be mounted on your own collar or harness using the supplied attachment. Various factors such as temperature can be monitored using the Nuzzle GPS tracker for dogsdedicated app and you can even add multiple pets. You can also set up a geofence so that you get notified if your pet wanders off. Unlike some other animal trackers, there are no subscription fees. 1 Problem we cant figure out how to purchase a Nuzzle...???

Price: $170.00
Subscription Cost: No Subscription Fee
Battery Life: Changeable Battery
Transmitter Weight: Depends on size Collar attached

 

8. Squeaker Buddy 

 

Buddy GPS Tracker for DogsGPS is the next generation in smart wearables for your pet and the first smart collar to incorporate illuminating LED lighting with cellular GPS tracking and activity monitoring. Activity monitoring and temperature sensor with information displayed on a tiny OLED screen. Billed as the "FitBit" for your dog. Buddy is paired with the Poochlight LED lighted collar and leashes. Buddy is available in three sizes. An Insulated Wiring Loom protects wires from fraying. Water resistant*, 1 hour quick charge with charge indicator, will include a heart monitor, and is now fully funded on Indiegogo.com. 

Price: $250.00
Subscription Cost: $99.99/Year
Battery Life: 7-14 days
Transmitter Weight: 55 grams

 

 

 

9. Voyce

The Voyce is worn comfortably around the neck like a collar and tracks key wellnessVoyce GPS Tracker for Dogs  indicators, such as resting heart and respiratory rates, quality of rest, activity and intensity of activity, calories burned, distance, and more!  The data syncs to your Voyce Wellness Management Center via WiFi. This would be a good alternative to the PetPace

Price: $199.99
Subscription Cost: $9.50
Battery Life: About a week
Transmitter Weight: 40 Grams

10. Whistle

This GPS Tracker uses Cellular Technology and Verizon's Coverage area. The sleek Whistle GPS Tracker for Dogs and Catsdesign attaches to your existing collar. You can track your Pet from an Android or iOS phone. They offer a range of features that are comparable to Tractive and The Paw Tracker.

Price: $99.99
Subscription Cost: $9.99
Battery Life: 2-6 days
Transmitter Weight: 50 Grams

 

 

 

 

Radio Trackers 

11. Garmin Astro 320 T5 Dog GPS Bundle

The Astro offers a variety of GPS collars intended for hunting dogs.  They combine GPS
garmin GPS Trackerwith portable invisible boundaries, training features, and capability for tracking up to 10 dogs.  This setup is designed for Bird Hunting Dogs. Not so much for the Urban Pets. 

 

Price: $499-$799
Range: Up to 9 Miles
Subscription Cost: No monthly fee
Battery Life: 20 Hours (AA Batteries Required)
Transmitter Weight: 6.5 Ounces (without batteries)

12. Marco Polo Pet Monitoring/Tracking and Locating System

Uses radio frequency band that passes through walls and barriers.  You can set one Marco Polo Pet Tracker boundary to sound an alarm if your Pet leaves. One receiver (larger than a cell phone but still pocket-sized) can track three dogs at once. 

Price: $219.99 (Additional tags are $90)
Range: Up to 2 Miles
Subscription Cost: No monthly fee
Battery Life: 1 week to 3 months
Transmitter Weight: 1.7 Ounces

 

13. Loc8tor Pet The Ultimate Locator

The smallest of all the locators;  with the shortest range. This is best suited for small catsLoc8tor Pet Tracking  and dogs. Covers up to four dogs. Visually impaired people can use it with audio cues. This locator also comes in at only $99.99 so its affordable for everyone. 

Price: $99.99 (2 locators not water resistant)
Range: 400 Feet
Subscription Cost: No monthly fee
Battery Life: 2 to 5 Months
Transmitter Weight: .175 Ounces

 

 Extra Check out Pod GPS Tracker as well here is a quick video of how it works!

While all these devices are used to help keep you pets safe, understanding their limitations can be a huge value.  Remember, none of these devices are made for you to allow your pet to "roam free'.  They are a backup system if you actually lose you pet. 

The Paw Tracker is the only device that is suitable for cats as well as dogs.  

The Paw Tracker and Tractive our the top 2 GPS Pet Trackers picks for 2016.  The seem to have the best customer service, and are USA based companies tend to be more responsive to issues that may arise after purchase.  We found that Whistle has some negative reviews after they merged with Tagg.  Some Tagg customers, who switched to the Whistle Application, were not able to get proper customer service.  

The Paw Tracker is designed with a clip allows you to have multiple uses for this GPS tracker.  You can tracking your kids route after school by attaching it to their backpack. It is also small enough for cats.  They have a very cool story about a cat rescue on their facebook page.

For the Radio Trackers, we like the Garmin Astro 320 and the Marco Polo.  These represent the top of the line Radio Transmitter Collars.   The Radio Collars are great for certain households and great for hunting dogs. For all Urban and Suburban Real Time GPS trackers are recommended.  

 Suggested Article11 Kids GPS Tracker for the Modern Families of 2016

 



18 Responses

PEte
PEte

September 09, 2016

Like COLLeen, I started with Tagg, and I really loved them. The tags would stay charged for a long time, and the service was awesome! With whistle, you have to charge the units all the time, you get false alerts, sometimes the commands do not work, so it’s more of a hands on , paying closer attention to what’s going on with the tracking, and locate. with whistle, I,am paying more a month now, and getting less.

RIck WIlliams
RIck WIlliams

September 07, 2016

We just cancelled our whistle account today. These people are terrible. Zero tech support, and if you buy a whistle,, you will definitely NEED tech support. Very hard company to work with

Sumu
Sumu

September 06, 2016

I switched from Tagg-Whistle to Pod. I love the technology and the low subscription costs, but it’s casing breaks after about seven, eight weeks. Since 12 days I am waiting for my fifth replacement and start looking for an alternative.
Anybody?

Thanks

COlleen
COlleen

August 24, 2016

I have a Whistle tracker and previously had the Tagg before they sold out to Whistle. I never had a problem with Tagg, unfortunately I can’t say the same for Whisle, although the customer service tech’s get back to you they just want to keep trouble shooting a device that clearly needs to be replaced. I’ve wasted a lot of my valuable time with these tech’s going over what the last tech already had me try! So frustrating! In the mean time I’m getting false notifications and constantly have to charge the device. There are lots of other companies out there, I’m amazed that they would rather pay all these tech’s to keep “trouble shooting” and loose a customer rather then send us a new device! Very disappointed!! My advice… Don’t buy a whistle product!!

Keshia
Keshia

August 08, 2016

We need a gps tracker for cats and dogs that go under the skin. While it’s okay for dogs to have collars on, it’s not the same with cats. When cats ware collars they usally end up getting those collars off. So seriously someone try to make a gps tracker that goes under the skin.

Peter
Peter

August 04, 2016

We’ve been using Tractive for a year. It’s pretty good – probably still the best out there. But for us it has these drawbacks:

1. Battery life – having to charge it every three days is a pain – just worth doing. Only improved hardware can fix that issue.

2. False positives – GPS (especially when indoors) can sometimes erroneously put the dog miles away for a second – unfortunately the Tractive service seems to respond immediately to short-term errors like that, instead of filtering them out as it should. They could and should improve the software to fix this.

3. Inflexible boundary system – it’s just a circle centred on your chosen home location. Since we take the dog for a daily walk, we’d like to be able to make the rough path of that walk “safe” – otherwise we have to turn the tracker off to avoid getting a false positive. THEN remember to turn it back on – and there’s the problem, all too often we forget. It would be great if they could do software tweaks needed to allow a more flexible safe zone, but I suspect it would need hardware changes in the unit as well. Tractive 2 perhaps?

Now the best part – the unit has a buzzer to help you find the dog, which is handy in itself. But for us, it’s way better than that: when we remotely turn the buzzer on, our dog immediately heads for home, so we don’t have to try and use the GPS map and clamber around neighbouring houses to find her. This is a wonderful bonus for us – your mileage may vary.

Given all the above, we’re looking for a medium-range RF based (not bluetooth) device which we can use to simply sound a buzzer on her collar, because it would have the same effect. Haven’t found a good candidate yet – all the decent key finder devices are BT these days, with line-of-sight and range limits that would be too restricting.

By the way Christina (June 17): The Tractive works in a whole range of countries, no SIM change.

Michele
Michele

August 03, 2016

So, these all look like great devices as long as your dog (or cat) keeps his collar on. Many lost dogs lose their collars fairly early on in their lost stage. And if someone steals your dog, which happens more frequently than you may realize, the first thing the thief will do is remove the collar. Overall, while this seems like a great idea it might be so only in theory.

Casey779
Casey779

July 25, 2016

I’m not sure why Pod Trackers isn’t on this list because it’s one of the top trackers (and the best in my opinion). Like someone said, it is one of the only ones still on the market. Someone also asked if there is a tracker that you can use outside of the USA – Pod does. The website says it works in 175 countries and we took ours to London where it worked. Like someone mentioned about the cracking we had the same thing happen with our Pod but the customer service is great. Apparently they have cleared their shelves and replaced all of old ones with new pod trackers which seem to be much stronger. So far so good anyway. We used to have two of the other trackers on this site and I can personally say that the Pod is the only one that has worked for us. Add them to the list!

C
C

July 11, 2016

The Garmin GTU was discontinued a while back. It was a decent tracker, but unfortunately the device is not supported anymore by garmin and you cannot get a subscription anymore.

Corine
Corine

July 10, 2016

PawTracker,

Im curious about your dog tracker. Im aware that your must purchase your product in order to work. I have a question. Does your system only track in your product only and the reason for my question is can Paw tracker enter a Micro chip ona dogs already existing to be input to your system to see if the dog can be tracked. Im just curious.

Thank you

Corine

MES Chalmers
MES Chalmers

June 29, 2016

I have had the Pod Tracker since January 2016. The customer service is phenomenal – absolutely terrific. That said, I live in a rural area and struggle sometimes to have our pet located. Pod Trackers operate on a 2G network. At my office in an urban area, the accuracy is very good.
Also, there was a design flaw with the rim of the receiver breaking and the battery no longer staying attached. The company was terrific about replacing it quickly, with no expense. The reason given was that it was an error on the part of the manufacturer that they had corrected. Unfortunately the replacement that they sent has now broken in the same place. Not sure what I will do next as I really like their customer service and am researching new devices. Nuzzle is available for pre-order to ship in November…

Christina
Christina

June 17, 2016

What I need is a GPS tracker that I can use with a dog while traveling abroad. Does anyone know of one where I can change out the SIM card from one country to another? Many of these are currently only available in North America requiring a cell plan in North American.

Doug
Doug

June 08, 2016

Has anyone looked at the fetch system? How is it?

Amanda
Amanda

June 01, 2016

I’ve had the whistle tracker (formerly T@gg) for a few years now. False notifications have become a big problem for me. I’ve rushed home too many times to find my dog sitting inside. The ONE time I’ve actually had to use the tracker, which helped me find my dog and bring him home, is worth having a tracker of some kind. But I am shopping other companies now.

Kathy
Kathy

May 31, 2016

I can’t seem to locate any info as to the accuracy of the gps trackers. Do any of the above listed give you exact coordinates or are they just ranges within say a 200 ft area? If my indoor cat gets outside, searching all directions 200 ft out from a given point would be useless. Any insight would be much appreciated.

Sharon Cannoy
Sharon Cannoy

May 28, 2016

I have the Whistle GPS tracker for my dog. Its premise is good. It will automatically notify you when your pet has strayed away from the base unit with the actual location. Even while traveling with your pet it will tell you where you are. However…..it has given me many false reports, sometimes with my dog sitting next to me. One false report was when we were out of the country and someone else was watching him. I am now looking for another option.

Todd
Todd

May 04, 2016

I wish this article would list gps trackers that are actually available today. Three of them accept only pre-orders and one is sold out until who-knows-when…I haven’t heard back from their customer service to find out. Looking at reviews, Gibi and Whistle must be the bottom of the barrel, leaving Tractive as the best option on this list. Have you reviewed Pod Trackers? How do they stack up? I can assume not well since they didn’t make your list of gps trackers (some of which aren’t even gps trackers as the title indicates).

Daniel
Daniel

March 08, 2016

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