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The Best GPS Dog Trackers of 2024

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tractive dog tracker

Few things are as terrifying as losing a pet. Thankfully, GPS dog trackers can ensure you can find your pets if they get off the leash and run off, giving you peace of mind. We’ve got options for you, whether you need a subscription or not.


UPDATE: 01/08/2024

We’ve reviewed our recommendations and updated our picks for the best for walks and the GPS dog trackers without a subscription you can buy.

What to Look for in a GPS Dog Tracker in 2024

Many products on the market promise to track your pets if they go missing. Some are designed specifically for pet tracking, and others are general tracking devices. The right type of tracker depends on your use case, but we’ve only included trackers that use GPS technology for tracking your dog.

Devices such as Apple’s AirTags aren’t included here because they don’t use GPS technology for positioning. GPS trackers are more expensive and have a much shorter battery life than Bluetooth trackers, but you get instant and precise location data for your pet.

Speaking of battery life, GPS trackers can vary considerably from device to device. Some of this depends on the size of the tracker, which influences the size of the battery. But additional features such as Bluetooth or WiFi connectivity usually mean the device is more power-hungry. Some trackers, such as those used with hunting dogs, only offer half a day’s battery life. General-purpose GPS trackers may need a recharge every few days.

Then there are the two general types of GPS trackers. The first contains a cellular modem and a SIM card. GPS is a one-way network, so you need some way to send those coordinates back to the dog’s owner. Using cellular data is generally the best way since cellular coverage is generally immense. However, these services almost always have a subscription fee, usually one that quickly dwarfs how much you spend on the tracker itself.

The second type of tracker doesn’t have a cellular modem and doesn’t require a subscription in most cases. Instead, the tracker uses radio to communicate with a unit you keep. However, the downside to these radio trackers is that you’re typically limited to only a few miles of coverage.

Radio trackers are used with working dogs for hunting, search and rescue, or any situation where you’re close to the dogs but can’t always keep your eyes on them. The tracker or tracking collar only represents half the cost since you also need to purchase a receiver. However, receivers can usually track multiple dogs, so you don’t need to buy multiple.

Apart from basic tracking, many dog trackers, regardless of type, have extra features. Geofencing, for example, is a common additional feature on these trackers and can alert you when the animal leaves a certain area. Some apps can track your dog’s behavior and fitness activities.

The tracker may also have other technologies besides GPS to enhance its accuracy so that you can determine the precise direction of the animal when you’re getting close to the GPS coordinates. Whether these extra features are worth paying for depends on why you want a tracker in the first place.

Now that you’ve figured out what you’re looking for in a GPS dog tracker, here are the best available today.

How Did We Research

Models Evaluated

Hours Researched

Reviews Analyzed

30

4

50

How-To Geek’s product recommendations come from the same team of experts that have helped people fix their gadgets over one billion times. We only recommend the best products based on our research and expertise. We never accept payment to endorse or review a product. Read More »

Tractive GPS tracker on green background
Tractive

Pros

Cons

Good price

Requires subscription

Works with AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Viaero USA

Fits any collar

Works worldwide

Waterproof

The Tractive LTE GPS Dog Tracker is probably the most full-featured tracker you can buy. It offers live tracking as long as the dog is within cellular coverage, location history, and virtual fencing, so you’ll be alerted if your pet escapes or is stolen.

One highly impressive feature is compatibility with almost all carriers in the US and carriers in over 150 countries worldwide. So if you’re going overseas, you just pick up a compatible SIM card at your destination and never worry about losing your pet in a foreign country.

Apart from having almost all the features anyone would need, the Tractive is waterproof and rugged, so there won’t be any problems with your dog running through a river or rolling in the mud and shorting out their collar.

Battery life is also great, lasting up to 6 days, according to users. The required subscription starts at $5 a month, which isn’t the highest we’ve seen. As long as you don’t mind paying a subscription, this is a fantastic tracker for your dog.

tractive dog tracker

The Best GPS Dog Trackers of 2024
Tractive Waterproof GPS Dog Tracker

Best GPS Dog Tracker Overall

Tractive’s device is everything you could want in a GPS dog tracker. From worldwide coverage to a waterproof design, this is a tracker that’s perfect for most users.

Best Small GPS Dog Tracker: Jiobit

Two dogs wearing Jiobit tags
Jiobit

Pros

Cons

Very small

Subscription required

Long battery life

May require additional attachment accessories depending on your pet

Smart features such as geofencing and location-based alerts

Pricey

Bluetooth for proximity tracking

The Jiobit tracker has a few things that make it stand out from the pack. It’s significantly smaller than much of the competition, so if you have a small dog or a cat, this is a light and comfortable option for them.

Despite being so small, it has a much better battery life than other larger trackers. Jiobit rates the battery endurance at up to two weeks, which is at least twice as much as other GPS trackers we’ve seen. Jiobit also has plenty of smart functionality in the Android and iPhone app, including geofencing, movement history, and more.

The Jiobit makes great use of Bluetooth technology. If your pet is close enough to a registered carer, you can track them via Bluetooth instead of GPS. If your pet does get lost, it can also use Bluetooth signal strength as a more precise indication of the dog’s distance from you.

Jiobit’s tracker is water-resistant (not waterproof) and will work with virtually any collar, although you may have to buy additional attachment accessories depending on what you want to clip it on. The device does require a subscription but at least it doesn’t need a SIM card for cellular service.

The data plan includes international data, so you can take your dog overseas to a supported country and won’t have to do anything special to keep tracking them. Subscriptions start at $15 for a month-to-month plan but work out progressively cheaper if you take a longer contract. The six-month contract comes to $13 per month, and the 2-year contract will cost you $9 per month.

image-1

The Best GPS Dog Trackers of 2024
Jiobit Pet Tracker

Best Small GPS Dog Tracker

The Jiobit offers a tiny tracker with up to two weeks of battery life and a full deck of smart features. Well worth a look if you need something comfortable and has some endurance.

Pawfit<\/em>“”>

Pawfit 3s GPS Dog Tracker on gradient background
Pawfit

Pros

Cons

Real-time GPS tracking

Subscription required

Fast-charging, long-lasting battery

Up to 10 virtual fences with alerts

LED lights for when lost or walking in the dark

If you’re looking for a reliable dog tracker and activity monitor well-suited for dog walks, we recommend the Pawfit 3s Dog GPS tracker. The Pawfit 3s Dog GPS Tracker is a versatile GPS location and activity tracker for your furry friends that easily lets you keep track of their whereabouts while also keeping tabs on their health.

The Pawfit 3s Dog GPS Tracker features real-time GPS location tracking and a long-lasting battery that takes less than three hours to top up and lasts days. It lets you set up to 10 virtual fences and sends you alerts whenever your dog crosses these boundaries. It has blue LED lights that are great for locating your dog in the dark or for warning others when walking your dog in the dark.

While taking your dog out for a walk, you can set personalized daily activity goals in the Pawfit App and easily track their steps, calorie consumption, distance walked, and daily activity/inactivity levels. These features help you to keep your dog on its feet and stay active. It also features fun fitness badges to help you stay motivated after every activity milestone.

The Pawfit 3s Dog GPS Tracker is waterproof down to 9.8ft with an IP68 rating, allowing you to take your dog out on walks on rainy days or across small water bodies. And if your dog wanders out of sight, you can easily recall it with pre-recorded voice commands. What’s more, at only 27g, the Pawfit 3s is lightweight and won’t be an additional burden when your pet has to get moving.

While out on walks, the Pawfit 3s will alert you if the temperature climbs too high for your furry friend. All in all, the Pawfit 3s is a solid dog and cat tracker for pets weighing 3.5kg and above.

pawfit 3s

The Best GPS Dog Trackers of 2024
Pawfit Dog GPS Tracker

Best GPS Dog Tracker for Walks

The Pawfit 3s Dog GPS Tracker is a great option for dog walks. It features real-time GPS tracking and a host of activity tracking features, plus a long-lasting battery.

Garmin<\/em>“”>

Garmin TT15X Dog Tracker and Trainer on gradient background
Garmin

Pros

Cons

Real-time GPS tracker and trainer

Requires a Garmin tracker unit

Nine-mile range

No subscription fees

LED Lights

Water resistance up to 10 meters

While dog GPS trackers like the Pawfit 3s cost less initially, they often come with monthly subscription fees, which can quickly add up. If you want a dog tracker that doesn’t require a monthly or annual subscription and are willing to spend some more money upfront, then we recommend the Garmin TT15X GPS Dog Tracker and Trainer.

Garmin makes excellent trackers and smart devices for pets and humans, and the TT15X is no exception. This feature-packed dog tracker also doubles as a trainer, meaning you can both monitor their whereabouts and help them outgrow bad habits and cultivate new ones. It offers up to 80 hours of battery life, allowing you to observe and keep track of your dog for long periods.

When paired with a compatible Garmin handheld (sold separately), you can easily track your doggo for up to nine miles. The handheld also allows you to extend battery life by remotely putting the tracker-trainer in sleep mode. Once the tracker is active again, the handheld allows you to activate LED beacon lights, so you can track your dog’s movements even in the dark.

And if your dog wades into the water while away, the Garmin TT15X is waterproof down to 10 meters and rugged enough to handle all that and more. If your hunting dog gets stuck in the swamp and is unable to move, the Garmin TT15X will let you know, so you can rush to their rescue. With the handheld, you can track and train up to three different dogs.

The Garmin TT15X supports dog training with 18 levels of continuous and momentary stimulation to help get your dog’s attention and make them comply with instructions. When paired with the handheld, it offers audible tone and vibration for even better results.

The Garmin TT15X is compatible with all existing Garmin Alpha, Garmin PRO 550 Plus, and Garmin Astro 430 devices, which can be costly. However, if you need multi-dog tracking in rough conditions, investing in Garmin’s system is well worth it.

Garmin TT15X Dog Tracker and Trainer pfp on transparent background

The Best GPS Dog Trackers of 2024
Garmin TT15X GPS Dog Tracker

The Best Subscription-Free Tracker

The Garmin TT15X GPS Dog Tracker is a ideal for dog owners who want a quality tracker and trainer without the monthly subscription fee. It offers GPS tracking, activity monitoring, dog training features.

Cube GPS tracker on blue and purple background
Cube

Pros

Cons

Very inexpensive by itself

Collar clips are an extra purchase

Between 10 and 60 days of battery life

Subscription is pricier than most

Geofencing alerts

The Cube Real-Time Tracker is a compact unit with a SIM card and a subscription ranging from $17 to $20, depending on your commitment. This general tracker is not specifically designed for pets, but it’s part of the use cases Cube had in mind.

This is one of the best alternatives to long-term tracking devices that don’t use GPS, like Tile or Apple AirTags. The battery on the Cube can last anywhere from 10 to 60 days, depending on which features you activate.

The tracker is packed with GPS, cellular, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth. It can use all four to pinpoint position, but that will give you the lowest battery life. Depending on your needs, you can keep some on and others off to extend the battery life.

The Cube is inexpensive, but you’ll have to buy a third-party collar mounting solution or the OEM clips from Cube, which cost $25. If you’re mainly concerned about your pet being stolen or escaping, rather than real-time tracking during activities or walks, Cube is a great choice.

cube tracker

The Best GPS Dog Trackers of 2024
Cube Real-Time Tracker

Best AirTag Alternative

$25 $100 Save $75

The Real-Time tracker is a general purpose tracker that’s perfect for recovering a lost or stolen pet, with exceptional battery life and a wide array of radio technologies.

FAQ:

Question 1: Should I use a Bluetooth Tracker as a GPS pet tracker? Why or why not?

Answer: You may use a Bluetooth tracker to track your dogs if they are not in the habit of escaping far away because Bluetooth trackers can only go so far. For wanderlust dogs, you’d be better off with a GPS tracker.

Question 2: How far can a dog tracker track a dog?

Answer: How far a dog tracker covers will depend on a number of factors. For instance, dog trackers with GPS can cover larger areas than ones with Bluetooth trackers which have more limited range. Even among GPS trackers, range differs, with some trackers able to cover more distances than others.

Question 3: How do I connect my dog tracker to my phone?

Answer: To connect your dog tracker to your phone, you’ll need to download the companion app for your dog tracker. Once installed, you can connect the app to the tracker and start using it.

Question 4: Can I use a dog tracker on a cat?

Answer: Yes, you can use a dog tracker on a cat if it fits. While most dog trackers will be too large for cats, some trackers are actually designed for bigger cats and small dogs, for example, the Pawfit 3s Dog Tracker.

FAQ

Should I use a Bluetooth Tracker as a GPS pet tracker? Why or why not?

You may use a Bluetooth tracker to track your dogs if they are not in the habit of running too far away because Bluetooth trackers have a limited range. For the most part, you’d be better off with a GPS tracker.

How far can a dog tracker track a dog?

How far a dog tracker covers will depend on a number of factors. For instance, dog trackers with GPS can cover larger areas than ones with Bluetooth trackers, which have a more limited range. Even among GPS trackers, range differs, with some trackers able to cover more distances than others.

How do I connect my dog tracker to my phone?

To connect your dog tracker to your phone, you’ll need to download the companion app for your dog tracker. Once installed, you can connect the app to the tracker and start using it.

Can I use a dog tracker on a cat?

Yes, you can use a dog tracker on a cat if it fits. While most dog trackers will be too large for cats, some trackers are actually designed for bigger cats and small dogs, like the Pawfit 3s Dog Tracker.

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