Best GPS Tracking Devices For Dogs

Every day thousands of dogs go missing. Only 84% of them make it back home safely. Each year, millions of lost pets end up in shelters, and according to the Humane Society, almost 50% of them are euthanized. Every dog owner’s worse nightmare is to have their dog go missing. It results in the owner frantically driving around the neighborhood looking for their lost pup, and putting up “lost dog” posters in hopes that someone else will find the dog and return it home safely to its owner. Take a look at all that is required to find your lost dog the old fashioned way.

Thanks to the advent of GPS systems, there is now a better and faster way. The same GPS technology that guides you turn by turn to your destination, can now be used to find your lost dog. GPS tracking devices have gotten so small, that they can now be attached to your dog’s collar in order to monitor its location. If your dog runs off, your GPS tracking device will alert you immediately, let you know exactly where it’s at, and provide you with turn by turn directions to find your lost pup within minutes.

There are basically two types of GPS technology used for dog tracking devices. One is cell phone based and the other uses radio transmissions. If you’re a city dweller and mainly concerned about finding your dog if it escapes from your home or runs away in any other area where there is cell phone reception, then the cell based devices are your best bet. One of the great things about the cell devices is that even if you are away from home, no matter how far away, as long as you are in an area with cell phone reception, you can check on the location of your dog. The products that fall into this category are the Tagg Pet Tracker, Tractive GPS Pet Tracker, PocketFinder GPS Pet Locator, Gibi, Zoombak, and Secure a Pet . Although the radio transmission devices work in the city where cell phone reception is available, they are most appropriate for keeping tabs on your dog while hiking, camping, or hunting in a remote area where there is no cell reception. A draw back to this type of device is that it’s range is limited to 1 – 9 miles. The products that fall into this category are RoamEO, Garmin, and SportDog TEK. The Garmin and SportDog TEK models are designed specifically for sporting dogs and hunting.  There is another radio transmission device, however, it does not use GPS.  The device is the Marco Polo Dog Tracking System.  The advantage of this system is, because it does not use GPS, there are no contracts and no monthly fees.  That can save you hundreds of dollars over the other devices during the lifetime of the system.

Smart Tags (QR Codes) are a cheap but less effective alternative to GPS Tracking devices.  They are lightweight tags that you attach to your pet’s collar.  Associated with the tag is your own unique web page containing all the information you wish to provide about your pet including, but not limited to, contact info, your pet’s photo, and vet information.  If someone finds your lost pet, they can either use their QR app on their smart phone to access your pet’s info on the web page, or they can obtain your web page URL which is physically printed on the tag, and use a web browser to access your pet’s information.

Although it doesn’t fall into the GPS Tracking category, Home Again micro-chipping is a way to save your dog from being euthanized if it becomes lost and is turned in to an animal shelter. You can purchase the chip and have it injected into your dog by a vet. Your contact information is registered under the ID of the injected chip. If your dog ends up in a shelter, it will be scanned for the chip, your contact information will be retrieved, and you will be contacted to pick up your pet.

Although going the poster and word of mouth route to find your lost pet is not nearly as efficient or productive as using a GPS device, it is much cheaper.  The best alternative in that case is to use a service to distribute your posters and get the word out about your lost dog. is a nationwide service that will help you find your pet by automatically distributing posters in your area.  You provide them with photos of your dog plus detailed information about its breed, weight, color, etc.  They will then create custom posters and fax and email them to local vets, animal shelters, Animal Control, pet stores, police stations, and neighborhood watch volunteers within a 10-70 mile radius of where your dog was last seen.  In addition, they will place automated calls to thousands of your neighbors, notifying them of your lost pet along with its description.

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