You Can Use GPS to Track Your Pet (Because a Microchip Won’t)

You Can Use GPS to Track Your Pet (Because a Microchip Won’t)
Photo: Linda George, Shutterstock

Microchipping is a common practice among pet owners as a way to embed their contact information into their pet. If your pet gets lost, and then found — and the finder thinks to have the animal scanned for a chip — you will be identified and thus happily reunited with your buddy. However, in addition to the fact that you may not like the idea of implanting a foreign object into an animal, microchips also can’t actually track them if the pet gets lost. GPS trackers, on the other hand, can.

GPS trackers have their own pros and cons. They can be expensive (and they might require a monthly subscription), they need to be charged, and they can break. But if the animals gets lost and they’ve got it on, you’ve got a much better shot at finding them. Here are some of the best on the market.

Tractive

Many pet owners use Tractive collars to locate their pets while hiking or if they get lost. The GPS box on the collar shows their location on a map available through the collar’s smartphone app. Tractive batteries last for five days on a single charge, and all three subscription plans are less than $US10 (AU$13) a month.

Garmin T5

The Garmin T5 is an impressive tool for anyone who wants tracking tech for their pet. If you’re one of the 76% of young adults who splurge on their pets rather than themselves, this tracking collar is a great investment. Garmin collars track dogs and cats for up to nine miles and use LED beacon lights to help owners locate their animals if they’re searching at night.

Kippy

Kippy trackers use cellular technology to display a pet’s location over any distance. Their app traces current activity and past movements within a two-month timespan. Information like calories burned and steps taken are also helpful information for pet owners who want more health stats on their animals.

Pawtrack

Cat owners can utilise Pawtrack technology to keep up specifically on their feline friends. Pawtrack uses a small, lightweight collar device to display a cat’s location from any distance. The detachable battery also makes Pawtrack collars easy to recharge while pets are safely inside. It’s another way to prevent a family cat from becoming one of the 3.2 million lost cats that enter shelters every year.

Findster

Anyone who wants a pet tracker without a subscription fee should consider Findster. This waterproof collar displays an animal’s location to authorised users through its smartphone app. Use the same account to find up to three pets and access Findster’s 24/7 virtual vet care.

Whistle

Bluetooth fans can use their smartphone’s built-in Bluetooth technology to find their pets using Whistle. It locates animals up to 50 feet away from their owners, and the upgraded model can reach over 4,828 km. Text and email notifications alert pet owners with their preferred contact method while using an extra-small collar attachment to keep animals comfortable.

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