A growing and important purchase for dog owners and prospective dog owners is dog GPS trackers. Our dogs are precious to us, and the thought of losing them can keep us up at night. Because our pets are family, we naturally worry about things happening to them.
That’s why many pet owners have considered purchasing GPS dog collars, dog GPS trackers, or a pet tracker with location tracking. Location tracking helps owners know where their beloved pets are at all times with an adequate tracking range, activity tracking, and long battery life.
With improved technology, tracking your pet and preventing a missing dog or missing cat has never been easier. Why wouldn’t you invest in such an important technology?
While you’ve heard of traditional wireless fences that deliver an unpleasant shock to keep your pets in line, the following pet trackers offer safe and humane directions to your pets to keep them safe and close.
Many pet tracker models are out there, promising different capabilities beyond location tracking. Take a look at your pet’s activity rate and receive alerts, all on your handheld device. This GPS-tracking device is durable to withstand all of his adventures. With so many options, you might need help figuring out where to start.
Read on below to decide for yourself the best GPS dog collar or the right GPS pet tracker for you and your furry friend.
#1 Halo Dog Collar – Best Overall
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The Halo Dog Collar brand has quite a few benefits in this one-time pet GPS tracker purchase and is attractive for pet parents living in cities or places without a lot of backyard space and for those who love to bring their dog along on their daily travels.
The collar acts as an invisible fence, and with an app, users can dictate the boundaries for the virtual fence in up to 20 different locations. That can be awfully handy if you take your pet on camping trips and let them wander off on their own.
A friend of mine recently moved to the city and was concerned about how her dog would behave without a traditional invisible fence, since her new place lacked a backyard.
Since she and her partner are currently long-distance, she was also worried about being able to handle her larger dog on her own when taking him to the dog park with other dogs.
After doing some research, she came across this Halo dog tracking collar and thought it was perfect for her and her Siberian Husky, Moose.
After trying it out, she was pleased and found that the built-in wireless fence helped her dog stay in line during walks through the city. She was also able to give him special training with the classes provided, so he became friendly with other dogs without issue and heeded all of her commands.
The collar was also perfect for when she visited her family in the countryside. Moose frolicked as far as he wanted, and she always knew where he was. She could also adjust the safe zone at the new location with ease, so the Halo Dog collar was her personal favorite. We even featured Halo on our best portable dog fence list.
Pros of Halo Dog Collar
- Return Whistle will call dogs back to where they need to be, eliminating shocking features.
- Nighttime visibility lights if your dog is wandering after the sun goes down.
- Smart dog collar includes online training classes with Cesar Millan to encourage better behavior and listening techniques.
- 20+ hours of battery life.
- Adjustable collar to suit your dog as he grows.
Cons of Halo Dog Collar
- Your dog must weigh a minimum of 20 lbs to use this collar.
#2 SpotOn Virtual Smart Fence
The SpotOn Virtual Smart Fence is another pet GPS-tracking device that can be helpful for many pet owners, especially for those with large yards and endless spots for their dogs to run off to.
If you have a pretty expansive yard and don’t want your pets running around certain areas, this dog GPS tracker is perfect to set boundaries to keep your dog away from any unfavorable areas. It will work to keep them in range so they don’t leave the property.
SpotOn recommends that potential buyers have at least a 1/2 acre; any smaller and your dog will constantly hear the warning tones that tell them when they’re approaching the ending boundary. This warning tone is a feature that helps eliminate shock; instead, your dog will be trained by ear for the areas that are appropriate for them to be in.
You can set up a safe zone so your pet knows when they’re about to breach it with this smart dog collar. The safe zone can be helpful in reminding your pet, and within time, they’ll learn to steer clear of the boundaries on their own.
Back when I was a kid living with my parents in the countryside, this would’ve been perfect for our two beagles, Boon and Jade. Those pups would trek into the little ravine in the backyard all the time; while they were strong swimmers, my mom didn’t appreciate the dirt they constantly trekked in after rolling in the mud.
SpotOn Virtual Smart Fence Pros
- Waterproof, so your dog can enjoy rain and snow with ease
- 22 hours, providing a long battery life for this GPS collar
- Works well without a wi-fi connection
- Compatible with Verizon and AT&T cellular networks
SpotOn Virtual Smart Fence Cons
- The yard must be of a certain size (1/2 acre) for the collar to work, so this is not good for pet owners living in cities.
- You must purchase a cellular subscription to receive notifications without wi-fi.
- It has only 14 hours of battery life in lost mode or tracking, which can be shorter than other dog GPS trackers out there.
#3 Wagz Dog Collar
The Wagz collar is another GPS tracker that lacks a corrective shock; if your pet is going out of bounds, gentle vibrations and sounds will keep them in check, eliminating the need for shocks.
This pet tracker is incredible for its multiple capabilities. While it will alert you about your pet’s whereabouts, it will also track your dog’s exercise and rest, so you can make sure your dog is being active while also receiving the appropriate amount of downtime.
It also benefits you, as you can record your fitness based on the walks you take together. I enjoy being able to look back and track my heart rate on my fitness watch, and having this collar gives users a 2-in-1 capability.
If you’re looking for a collar that can do a bit more, the Wagz Dog collar is a dog tracker worth considering since it does more than track your dog’s location. It’s the best dog GPS tracker when considering fitness levels and corralling your dog without harmful shocks.
I enjoy the fitness feature not only for tracking my dog’s health habits but that I can record my fitness on our walks and hikes together.
Wagz Dog Collar Pros
- Fitness tracking and health data for exercise and sleep are evaluated according to your dog’s breed.
- No shock is involved when using this GPS dog collar.
- It helps train your pup effectively
- Doesn’t use electric shocks
Wagz Dog Collar Cons
- Requires a yard 1/2 acre or larger to support a boundary of 15 ft away from the house and street.
- No set battery life for this dog’s collar; it just varies depending on the amount of activity and your network connection. Not having a set number can be a little frustrating.
- Your dog needs to have a minimum weight of 15 lbs to use this collar.
- You must purchase an additional subscription plan to access your pup’s wellness and location, along with a GPS pet tracker purchase.
#4 Tractive GPS Dog Tracker
This pet tracker is ideal for those who have both cats and dogs; there are two different GPS tracking collar options depending on if you have a furry feline or a cute canine companion.
The Tractive GPS pet tracker also has two different plans, so users can customize their subscriptions based on the features they want most and at different payments. Pick from a monthly fee or an annual subscription fee, whatever is most convenient for you, to access all the features.
Part of the premium plan allows users to share tracking with family members, so everyone receives updates if their dog exits the designated safe zone. That can be handy if family members travel or if someone takes the pet on a walk and forgets to let everyone else know.
This feature would’ve been wonderful for when I lost my sister’s Pomeranian Ajax; it turns out he had wandered across the street back to my sister’s yard. Thankfully, my son was home, and he was able to let him in and keep him there. Having the family-sharing app would’ve saved me some stress!
Tractive GPS Dog Tracker Pros
- Suitable products for both dogs and cats
- Monitor activity levels and sleep with health data
- Fantastic battery; you can go seven days without charging this GPS collar
- Good for dogs eight pounds and heavier
Tractive GPS Dog Tracker Cons
- You must purchase a plan with a GPS collar that renews annually, so this collar is a long-time financial commitment.
#5 Fi Smart Collar
This dog GPS tracker is a smart tracker and has about 78 satellites working to locate your dog as soon as possible. A missing pet is easily recovered with this fast-acting GPS collar from Fi Smart collar.
No matter the quality of your cellular service, pet parents can trust that this dog’s GPS collar will alert them to their pet’s whereabouts in a snap. As soon as your furbaby crosses a boundary cue, you’ll get an alert.
The collar is also waterproof and built to resist wear and tear, so each dog can go explore while his whereabouts will be accessible without worry. And if your dog is notorious for destroying things to shreds, you can rest knowing he won’t be able to destroy this.
Another advantage is access to the fitness reports recorded within the app for your dog. Monitoring your dog’s habits in sleep and exercise to make sure he’s getting the activity and rest required to keep him happy and healthy can be really important. You might not know if your dog is sleeping enough, or being active enough; luckily, these fitness reports eliminate that mystery.
I discovered my Akita Alex wasn’t sleeping properly. When we tried the Fi tracker, we determined that the room with his bed was too warm, so we were able to make proper adjustments to help him have a better sleep.
After we made the change, Alex became more energetic and excited during our morning and evening walks together. We never would’ve noticed without access to our dog’s habits with this activity-tracking collar. Now, he’s sleeping perfectly.
Fi Smart Pros
- Fun custom collars to pick from to reflect your dog’s personality
- Sleep tracking is available with your Fi tracker
- Quick, escape notifications so you’re alerted as soon as possible to take action minutes after they exit the safe zone
- The Fi collar has an up to three-month battery life.
- The Fi collar is Chew resistant, so even those notorious for destroying chew toys won’t be able to chew through this.
Fi Smart Cons
- Users must purchase a membership with the dog’s collar, so it’s not a one-time fee
#6 Whistle Go Explore
Whistle Go Explore has some amazing benefits not found on other trackers. Users receive the location of their dog in real-time, while health and fitness are also tracked. It’s amazing to see the abilities beyond sharing your dog’s location with this GPS tracker.
You can also view the location history; if your dog has been wandering on the edge of the safe zone, you can intervene and adjust the fence accordingly or work on training with them.
For dogs 25 lbs and heavier, Whistle Go Explore watches more than your dog’s activity and restfulness. Count on it to monitor activities like scratching and drinking water; the app will even recommend you make a vet appointment if they notice an unnerving frequency in telltale behaviors of infection.
This was handy when I noted an irritated spot on my dog Alex’s neck; after a recommendation to visit the vet and a report of Alex scratching it non-stop, we discovered it was an infection and I was able to get medicine that cleared it up within a week.
Whistle Go Explore Pros
- Ask a Vet Feature allows you to contact licensed professionals with care questions without having to make a vet appointment, which is convenient when things happen late at night or for minor health concerns when you are far away from a vet
- Food portion calculator that takes exercise, breed, age, and other factors into account to keep your dog at a healthy weight
- 24-hour location history to track if your dog walker took your dog on that walk and what path they took
Whistle Go Explore Cons
- The pup must weigh at least 25 lbs to use this dog tracking device.
- Annual payment is required in addition to the original purchase of the collar.
- Must purchase a subscription plan along with a dog GPS tracker, so not ideal for those wanting a one-time purchase fee.
#7 Petfon Pet GPS Tracker
The Petfon Pet GPS Tracker is a great option if someone is just looking for a dog GPS tracking device without the extra add-ons. And, if you have more than one canine needing a collar, there are plans available for up to three dogs.
This is one of the best pet trackers; my friend Julia has been a loyal Petfon customer for years and stands by their GPS collars. The past three dogs that she’s owned have always worn Petfon collars.
She is a frequent traveler and hates to abandon her furry companions; with these collars, she can trust that each dog can explore without exiting safe zones as they adventure with her.
Small and convenient, this little tracking device on your dog’s collar requires no monthly service fees and provides live tracking, so you always have the latest update for your dog or cat’s activities.
The only thing you need to purchase is the accompanying collar to hold the GPS tracker. With it, you can enjoy a long-lasting battery with 8-16 hours and a compact charging station. So, if you’re camping and have brought your pet with you, you’ll be able to charge it throughout your stay.
Petfon Pet GPS Tracker Pros
- Deals are available for families with more than one dog, so multiple-pet families can get multiple collars at the same place and for a deal.
- No monthly service fees – this is a one-time purchase.
- Users can record voice commands to communicate with pets remotely.
- Charging station for traveling off the grid.
Petfon Pet GPS Tracker Cons
- At 8-16 hours, there is a shorter battery life on the Petfon GPS dog collar compared to other GPS dog trackers out there.
- While it records your pet’s traveling activities, it lacks other activity tracking, such as exercise and sleeping habits, so there are lower capabilities.
- Though you can secure it any way you want, you may have to purchase the collar with the holding frame for the tracker, which comes separately at an additional price.
#8 Fitbark GPS Dog Tracker
Fitbark GPS dog tracker is another smart dog collar to help keep your pet’s location with you at all times. The newest model has improved battery power and will accommodate a dog of any size, so you can kiss those worries of a lost dog goodbye, no matter how big or small the dog is.
The Fitbark GPS also can differentiate between an emergency or a friendly stroll, so you can expect fewer false alarms about your dog’s whereabouts, just messages when it counts.
My grandmother lives alone, and she had concerns about her dogs running off and not being able to catch them again on her own. Francis is a large chocolate lab, and Minty is a small but speedy chihuahua. She worried about corralling them if they ever ran away, but with these trackers, she now doesn’t have to.
She enjoyed the Fitbark GPS plan because the pet trackers had a long-lasting battery life, and she could get pet trackers that would be compatible with both her small Minty and her larger chocolate lab Francis from the same company.
Fitbark GPS Dog Tracker Pros
- Bluetooth Connectivity capabilities
- Will fit dogs of any size and weight
- Waterproof, so suitable for camping trips involving rivers and streams or unplanned snow and rain
- Three months of battery life from one charge
- Fun colors to customize your GPS dog collars
Fitbark GPS Tracker Cons
- Requires a membership purchase to use
- Depending on your location and specific model, some Fitbark Bluetooth trackers only work in the United States.
Preventing a lost dog or lost cat situation has never been easier. With location tracking and history, Bluetooth range, and cellular service at your fingertips, using your handheld device to keep your pet in your chosen range has never been more convenient.
There are endless abilities found in all the trackers out there today, and doing research will help you determine the best dog GPS for you and your family. While a GPS dog collar will be expensive, there are models with extra features you may or may not be interested in using.
Or, if you enjoy having access to the health data of your dog, among other neat features, there are options like the Whistle Go Explore or the Halo collar. All pet parents and dog breeds are different, as are their needs depending on budget, lifestyle, and extra features in their GPS devices.
Whatever will guarantee your best peace of mind is worth investing in to keep you and your furry friends near and safe, right where they belong. Happy shopping!