The Best Pet GPS Trackers and Collars

If you’ve got a pooch or kitty who loves to roam free, a GPS pet tracker can help you keep tabs on them. Imagine: Instead of wandering around town searching for Fido after he sneaks outside the yard, you can know exactly when he’s gone out and where he is now, with just a little help from technology.

The bonus is that many cat and dog tracking collars also note how much ground your pet has covered, which is perfect for making sure your fur baby is getting plenty of exercise.

These pet tracker reviews will help you make the right choice for you and your pet.

The Top Picks

Our Favorite Pet GPS Trackers

Whistle 3 $99.95 $9.95 1 meter (IPX7) 7 days Here
Findster Duo+ $149.99 None 1 meter (IPX7) 7 days Here
Link AKC Smart Collar $99 $9.95 IP67 3 1/2 days Here
Tractive GPS 3G $69.99 $6.99 1 meter (IPX7) 2-5 days Here
Trax 4G North America $139.00 $9 IP68 1-3 days Here
Pod 3 GPS Tracker $129.00 $8.95 1 meter (IPX7) 5 days Here

Whistle 3 GPS Pet Tracker Review

Our #1 cat and dog GPS tracker is the Whistle 3. This model has a ton of useful features, including continuous tracking of a pet’s whereabouts, customizable safe zones and the ability to set weight and activity goals for your pet.

This dog GPS tracker sends notifications to your phone quickly and accurately. It’s also relatively affordable and has a long battery life.

Pricing and Tech Specs

  • Price: $99.95
  • Monthly fee: $9.95; $7.95 when prepaying for 12 months; $6.95 when prepaying for 24 months (AT&T)
  • Accompanying apps: Apple iOS 10.0+; Android 5.0+
  • Dimensions: 1.45”x1.82”x0.61”
  • Weight: .092 oz

Nerd Pros

  • Lots of bells and whistles, including customizable safe zones and the ability to set weight and activity goals for your pet.
  • Quick notification with little lag time.
  • Long battery life: lasts up to 7 days.
  • Shock resistant and waterproof.
  • Uses GPS, WiFi and cellular tracking, so can be super accurate.
  • Coordinating collar is also available in four colors.

Nerd Cons

  • Only available in one size. Pet must be over 8 pounds.
  • Only available with AT&T, with relatively high monthly fee.

Findster Duo+ GPS Pet Tracker Review

The Findster Duo+ is truly an exception because there’s no monthly fee for its service. Instead of working with a cell service provider, this pet tracker has special MAZE technology. To use it, you and your pooch each get a module, and they communicate wirelessly when they’re within up to three miles of each other.

Pricing and Tech Specs

  • Price: $149.99
  • Monthly fee: none
  • Accompanying apps: iPhone 5+; Apple iOS 9+; Android 5.0+
  • Dimensions: 2”x2.1”x0.5”
  • Weight: 0.74 oz

Nerd Pros

  • No monthly fee!
  • It includes a virtual leash feature that encourages you pet to stay with you on walks.
  • Multiple pets can be added on and tracked in the same app.

Nerd Cons

  • You’ll need to be within three miles’ range to locate your pet. In urban areas, where the signal can get blocked by buildings, you may need to be even closer.

Link AKC Smart Collar GPS Pet Tracker Review

With the AKC Smart Collar, the GPS unit and the collar are all one piece, so it feels less likely your pet will lose his tracker than he would with an add-on device. This dog tracking collar is available in a variety of different sizes, so you can get the perfect fit for your pet.

Pricing and Tech Specs

  • Price: $99
  • Monthly fee: $9.95; $7.95 when pre-paying for 12 months; $6.95 when prepaying for 24 months
  • Accompanying apps: iOS and Android
  • Dimensions: 9” to 31” in length, depending on size and model
  • Weight: We spoke to customer service and they said it depends on the size of the collar, but anywhere from 34 to 45 grams.

Nerd Pros

  • This GPS dog collar will work no matter your cell phone provider (but uses the AT&T cellular network).
  • It includes wellness tracking and reminders for your pet.
  • It comes with a 90-day risk free trial, 3-year limited warranty, free shipping and free collar size exchange.
  • You can turn on the dog-tracking collar’s sound or light remotely.

Nerd Cons

  • Tracking won’t work where there isn’t a stable AT&T connection.
  • The app is only able to be used with one pet.

Tractive GPS 3G Pet Tracker Review

The price is right for the Tractive unit. And while it’s relatively streamlined and simple, it offers the most essential functions: a safe zone you can easily set up, and live tracking that updates you on your pooch’s whereabouts every 2 to 3 seconds.

Pricing and Tech Specs

  • Price: $69.99
  • Monthly fee: $6.99; $5.42 when prepaying for 12 months; $5.00 when prepaying for 24 months. Premium service is $6.25 per month when prepaying for 12 months or $5.21 when prepaying for 24 months.
  • Accompanying apps: Apple iOS 11+; Android 5.0+, computer or mobile browser
  • Dimensions: 51 mm x 41 mm x 15 mm
  • Weight: 1.2 oz

Nerd Pros

  • You can also share your pet’s location with friends and family.
  • This tracker works anywhere there’s 3G coverage.

Nerd Cons

  • You’ll need to pay for a premium subscription to access all the available features, which is a little pricier per month.
  • Battery life could be shorter than other brands’.
  • It’s recommended the pet be over 9 pounds, so it may not work for the really little guys.

Trax 4G North America Pet Tracker Review

The Trax 4G is truly a souped up dog DPS tracker. It comes with a ton of features, including augmented reality, in which you can use the camera on your smartphone to find the Trax’s location. The safe zones you can create with the app are said to be super-customizable, and it also gets bonus points for its highly functional real time tracking.

Pricing and Tech Specs

  • Price: $139.00
  • Monthly fee: $9 with 6 months prepaid; $6 with 12 months prepaid; $4 with 24 months prepaid
  • Accompanying apps: iOS, Android and internet browser
  • Dimensions: 2.2”x1.5”x0.4”
  • Weight: 0.92 oz

Nerd Pros

  • You can track an unlimited number of devices from the same account.
  • You can get proximity alerts, for if your dog gets more than a certain distance away from you.
  • Speed alerts tell you if your pet goes above a certain speed (alerting you that they’re on the run or in a vehicle).
  • It also comes with a wireless charging pad.

Nerd Cons

  • This model is made specifically for USA and Canada, so it won’t work in other parts of the world.
  • It doesn’t offer activity tracking the way some other dog tracking collars do.

Pod 3 GPS Pet Tracker Review

The Pod 3 isn’t made specifically for pets—you can track a bike, a boat or almost anything you like with it. But it works great for Fido or Tabby; its sleek black cylinder simply attaches to the pet’s collar with two included straps. And it uses a combo of 2G/3G cellular coverage, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to keep tabs on your BFF.

Pricing and Tech Specs

  • Price: $129
  • Monthly fee: $8.95, $4.95 with 12 months prepaid
  • Accompanying apps: iOS 8+, Android 5.0+ and internet browser
  • Dimensions: 2” length x 0.9” diameter
  • Weight: 1.1 oz

Nerd Pros

  • The Pod 3 offers the major bells and whistles, including real-time tracking and health monitoring.
  • Movement monitoring can help you identify if there’s something out of the ordinary with your pet while you’re apart.
  • You can create several safe zones for your pet.
  • Plus, it keeps a location history, so you also know where your pet has been.
  • It comes with two batteries, so you can immediately change out a low battery to a full one.

Nerd Cons

  • Notification may lag a bit. We’ve seen a couple of reports of notifications being sometimes delayed or not appearing at all.
  • The cylindrical unit has a black, modern look, which may not appeal aesthetically to all pet owners.

How Pet GPS Trackers Work

Pet GPS trackers work similarly to how step trackers and smartwatches do. You’ll get a GPS chip for your pet to wear. That chip will communicate its position with your phone and/or a base station or other unit, using cell service, WiFi, Bluetooth and/or other technology.

Most GPS dog collars and trackers available today require a cell service plan, often around $5 to $10 per month, and you can sometimes get a slightly lower rate if you pay in advance or sign a contract. Most also use an app to deliver information to your smartphone on your pet’s whereabouts and activity, but are a few options for those who prefer not to use an app.

For many dog GPS trackers, you can set up a “safe zone,” which is the area where your pet is normally allowed to roam. This might be your yard or a fenced-in area. Then, you’ll get an alert that your pet has left the safe zone. You may also be able to see your pet’s position on a map.

Some dog GPS trackers have additional features, such as monitoring the pet’s activity (maybe Chief needs to lose a couple pounds, so he needs to walk a certain distance every day) and sleep habits.

Look for a GPS dog collar or tracker that’s not likely to fall off your pet. Different brands attach in different ways—some come with two pieces that snap over a pet’s collar. Others attach with thick rubber bands. A few are sold as a GPS dog collar with everything you need in one piece.

Be wary of GPS units that seem really bulky or don’t seem to attach securely to the collar. They may be more likely to come off an active pet.

Note that a cat or dog GPS collar isn’t a replacement for an ID tag or a microchip; it’s an additional way to keep tabs on your pet. An ID tag and/or microchip is important because it gives other people the info they need to contact you if they find your pet. 99% of vets and animal shelters have microchip technology, so having your pet microchipped will give you major peace of mind that you’ll get notified if someone else finds your fuzzy friend. Plus, a microchip could be your pet’s saving grace if the GPS unit breaks, falls off your pet or the battery dies. It can also carry valuable information about your pet, including health issues, medications and immunizations.

The bottom line on buying a GPS tracker

Any of these six dog GPS trackers can help you stay abreast of what’s going on with your pet while you’re apart. Choose the one that best fits your budget, your needs and your biggest concerns, whether it’s know where your pet is when they leave the yard, to keep tabs on their activity while you’re out of the house, or to make sure they’re getting plenty of exercise to stay happy and healthy.

This article has been reviewed and approved by Officer Banta.

Officer James Banta

Officer Banta is the official SecurityNerd home security and safety expert. A member of the Biloxi Police Department for over 24 years, Officer Banta reviews all articles before lending his stamp of approval. Click here for more information on Officer Banta and the rest of our team.