The best GPS trackers for your dogs and cats

A GPS tracker can help you better control your dog or cat. It can be especially helpful if your cat walks freely around the neighborhood or if your dog tends to run away. In our guide to buying the best GPS trackers for your dog or cat, we show you the most popular models and tell you if Apple’s AirTag or Samsung’s SmartTag are good alternatives.

Comparing the Best GPS Trackers for Your Dogs and Cats

Comparing GPS Trackers for Your Dogs and Cats
Product GPS Traction Dog 4 Vodafone Curve Pet Apple Air Tag Samsung Smart Tag Kippy EVO Product
Drawing Vodafone Curve Pet Apple Air Tag * GPS Kippy EVO Drawing
GPS GPS
Bluetooth Bluetooth
Activity monitoring Activity monitoring
leak alarm leak alarm
SIM card SIM card
application application
Mandatory subscription
  • Yes, from € 4 per month.
  • Yes, from € 1.99 per month.
  • Yes, from € 3.33 per month.
Mandatory subscription
Waterproof Waterproof
Autonomy Autonomy
Necklace Necklace
Price Price
Offers*

To buy

To buy

To buy

To buy

To buy

Offers*
Variant for cats

To buy

Variant for cats

Summary

What is a GPS tracker for dogs and cats and how does it work?

A GPS tracker for dogs and cats lets you know the location of your four-legged friends when they’re out of your line of sight. As its name suggests, it incorporates a GPS. the Global positioning System can locate the location a few meters away and is used, among other things, on smartphones for Google Maps or Pokémon GO.

In this article, we’ve also included Apple’s AirTag and Samsung’s SmartTags, models that make up for the lack of a GPS module by connecting to a network of other devices. We will return later with details on the advantages and disadvantages of this solution. To help you decide whether or not to use a GPS tracker for dogs or cats, we’ll go into more detail on certain items.

Buying Guide: What You Need to Know Before Buying a GPS Tracker for Your Dog or Cat

Should I subscribe or not?

The first question you should ask yourself when buying a GPS tracker for your pet is whether or not you are willing to pay for a subscription. This rate is required because many trackers connect to the mobile network via a modem. Only in this way is it possible to see the location independently of a radio link with your smartphone. If this feature is important to you, you’ll need to plan a monthly fee of 2 to 10 euros.

Ein Hund, der einen Tracker von Tractive am Halsband trägt.

Tractive Dog 2 sticks to your dog’s collar / © Tractive.

If you want to unsubscribe, you must use Bluetooth or UWB for location. The range of the radio is limited to a few meters, so you should be within walking distance of your four-legged friend when searching. With Apple’s AirTag and Samsung’s SmartTag, you’ll get a more accurate location in densely populated areas. In fact, object trackers share their position through connected devices such as smartphones or tablets with the manufacturers’ servers, where you can in turn consult them.

Comfort features such as activity tracking or leak alarms

In addition to tracking your pet’s location, many crawlers offer other useful features. In the following table, we have selected the most popular features of GPS trackers for dogs and cats, with a brief explanation:

Convenience features for pet GPS trackers

Function Utility
Activity monitoring It informs you about the phases of activity and rest
Virtual lock / leak alarm It alerts you when the animal leaves a certain area
Tracking the position Record your pet’s trip
Acoustic signal It emits a sound with which you can condition your pet (mainly for dogs).

In this product category, special features for animals are, of course, only available for models designed specifically for dogs and cats. See the table at the top of this article to find out which model offers which feature.

Autonomy

The autonomy of object and pet trackers varies greatly. With at least 7 days, the models presented in this article are all durable. Models equipped with a modem and a GPS module generally offer shorter battery life. Apple AirTags and Samsung SmartTags offer much longer battery life without these features.

Der AirTag an einem Schlüsselbund.

Instead of attaching it to a keychain, you can also attach the AirTag to your dog’s collar. / © NextPit

In addition, they are powered by a single button battery. Models with shorter battery life should be charged as a fitness tracker using a supplied charging cable.

Mounting clip or external collar?

Although GPS trackers for dogs and cats are offered in a niche, none of the above models include a collar. On the other hand, some models come with a plastic clip so they can be attached to an existing necklace.

For Apple AirTags, Samsung SmartTags, and Vodafone Curve Pet, you’ll need to purchase an additional necklace or clip. You can also attach the SmartTags to your dog’s collar with a keychain.

The price of the GPS tracker

In addition to the monthly fees we mentioned at the beginning of our buying guide, there is the purchase cost. This varies depending on the model between 30 and more than 50 euros.

AirTag vs. SmartTag vs. GPS Tracker: Which One to Choose?

When looking for a GPS tracker for your dog or cat, the question often arises on the web whether you can use Apple AirTags or other object trackers as an alternative. The answer is simple: yes, because they offer a much more limited range of features than real GPS trackers.

This is because Apple AirTags and Samsung SmartTags do not use GPS and rely on a network of devices to locate objects. If you attach an AirTag to your dog, you can first locate it in your own apartment. Because dogs are usually quite attached to their owners, this feature is quite useful for cats. However, the AirTag becomes interesting in case your dog escapes.

In this case, you can report the theft of your AirTag to the “Where’s the Dog” app and get an approximate location. But this technique only works if your dog walks past someone with an Apple device in their pocket. If you flee into the woods, it will obviously be very unlikely.

Therefore, object trackers do not provide absolute security, but they can be quite useful. In addition to the location of your dog, you will also be able to record your address on the tracker. If someone is filming your dog and sees the tracker around their neck, that person will be able to read your data on their smartphone and contact you.

Alternatives to GPS Trackers for Dogs and Cats

If you are looking for alternatives to GPS trackers for dogs and cats, there are no digital solutions other than the article trackers already mentioned. In a classic way, of course, you can stick a plaque with your address on your pet’s collar. If your dog is picked up, he or she will at best contact you.

If your dog or cat has been away for a long time, it is also recommended that you report it to law enforcement. In addition, experts recommend installing a feeder near your apartment or house. If possible, it is also advisable to leave a door open for the street animal.

What is your experience with GPS trackers for dogs or cats? Let us know in the comments!

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