If you have a pet, you need a pet tracker.
It’s a simple fact that any pet can go missing. The American Humane Association estimates that one out of every three pets will go missing at some point in its life, which amounts to almost 10 million missing pets every year. And what’s even worse is that the Coalition for Reuniting Pets and Families says only 23 percent of missing pets get reunited with their owners.
Nobody wants their pet to be one of those statistics. That’s why it’s vital to do everything you can to ensure your pet is safe, including getting a tracker that will help you find them if they ever get lost.
That’s where the hard part starts. There are so many GPS dog collars and other pet trackers on the market. How do you know which one will best protect your beloved pet?
We’re here to help. Read on for everything you need to know about GPS dog collars and pet trackers, the technology they use, and which one is best for keeping pets safe.
What Is a Pet Tracker?
Let’s start with the basics: What is a pet tracker, and how does it work?
A pet tracker is a device that can help you track the location of your pet. It usually comes in the form of a device or tag that you can attach to your pet’s collar or harness, but some GPS dog collars have devices built into them.
Pet trackers are different from microchips, which are tiny, scannable ID chips that are embedded under your pet’s skin. A microchip can help you reunite with a lost pet after they’re found, but you can’t track your pet via its microchip like you can with a pet tracker.
Pet trackers can use a few different technologies, which we’ll compare below.
Bluetooth vs Radio vs GPS Dog Collars
The most common technologies you’ll find in pet trackers are GPS, radio, and bluetooth. Here’s how they compare to one another.
How We Ranked the Best Pet Trackers and GPS Dog Collars
To rank the many, many pet trackers available on the market, we looked at the same factors that are in the pros and cons list above.
We looked at the type of technology each tracker uses, keeping in mind that the tech with the most pros and fewest cons is bluetooth.
Then, we compared the price of each tracker, any monthly costs, its size and weight, range, battery life, water resistance, and whether any additional equipment was required to use it.
With all that in mind, here is the best pet tracker you can get.
The Best Pet Tracker: Huan Smart Tag
Huan doesn’t make GPS dog collars — it makes Smart Tags, which are small, lightweight, bluetooth tags you can attach to your pet’s collar or harness.
Because they use bluetooth technology, Huan Smart Tags have all the pros we talked about above: Their batteries last up to a year, they’re affordable with no monthly fees, they’re small and lightweight enough for any sized pet to wear, and you can track their location via an app right from your smartphone. Smart Tags are also water resistant, so they’ll keep working no matter where your lost pet goes.
Bluetooth trackers like Huan don’t have the same range as GPS or radio trackers, but we’ve helped make up for that — Huan users can join their local Pet Protection Network, which means that any other Huan user in your community can help find your lost pet. Not only can you track them on your own phone, but if they get lost, their Smart Tag will send a push notification to any Huan user who comes within range.
In other words, Huan is the only pet tracker that will work for any sized pet and uses the power of an entire pet-loving community to help keep your furry friends safe. It’s the best pet tracker on the market, and an essential tool for all pet lovers to have.
See for yourself — join our pack today.
Honorable Mention: 10 Other Pet Trackers and GPS Dog Collars
Want to see how Huan stacks up against other popular pet trackers and GPS dog collars? Check out all the details below to see why we picked Huan as the best of the best.
PetFon’s GPS tracker attaches to your pet’s collar, and can be tracked via a smartphone app. However, it has a few notable drawbacks: Its high price tag and short battery life, just to name a few. Plus, at one pound, it’s far too heavy for most small dogs and cats to wear.
The LINK AKC GPS dog collar has a lot of cool features, like an LED light that can be turned on remotely, and alerts if your pet’s environment gets too hot or too cold. But since this is a collar and not a GPS device, it isn’t made to fit pets of all sizes — in fact, LINK doesn’t recommend it for any pets under 10 pounds.
One of the best features about Tractive’s GPS pet tracker is that it works in 150 countries, meaning you can track your pet’s location from virtually anywhere. However, it’s another tracker that’s too big for small pets. Another drawback is that the monthly data plan for this tracker must be purchased in yearly increments, which makes for a higher upfront cost and less flexibility for customers.
Whistle has created many pet trackers, and this is the newest and most feature heavy of them all. Some of its features are novel and useful, like a three-mode night light and feeding recommendations based on your pet’s activity level. However, this is one of the most expensive trackers on the market (and you still have to pay a monthly fee to use it), and it’s yet another tracker that’s too big for small pets.
Unlike most GPS trackers, Bartun’s is small enough for small dogs and cats! But it has some other drawbacks that rank it low on our list of trackers, like its short battery life, high price, and monthly fees.
Findster is a popular GPS option, but like most GPS trackers, it’s too big for small pets. It also has an extremely short battery life and a high price tag. There’s no monthly fee to use Findster as just a pet tracker, but you will have to pay a monthly fee to access its full suite of features, like health tracking for your pet.
MARCOPOLO is the first radio tracker on our list, which means it has a better battery life than most of the GPS trackers on the market. Radio technology comes with its own drawbacks, though. This tracker is extremely expensive, and requires a proprietary tracking device, which is less convenient than being able to track with your phone. It also has a limited range, compared to other options.
Loc8tor makes tile-like devices that are meant for any object, but it advertises that they can be used as pet trackers. They use radio technology, so their battery life is longer than GPS devices. However, their range is much shorter than other tracking options, and they aren’t waterproof, which makes them a less appealing choice, especially for dog owners.
Fi makes a GPS dog collar that has an unlimited range, which will definitely attract some pet owners. However, it’s expensive, and its smallest size is still too big for small dogs and cats. Its short battery life is yet another drawback that makes this a less reliable option for finding a lost pet.
Garmin is a popular and trusted name for all kinds of wearable technology — for humans, anyway. So how does its GPS dog collar stack up? As it turns out, not great — this is one of the most expensive trackers out there, and the $250 purchase price doesn’t even include the proprietary device you need to track your pet. It also has a very short battery life — less than one day, in some cases.
Huan Is Better than Any GPS Dog Collar
Huan offers small, lightweight Smart Tags that are comfortable for pets of all sizes. It has a long-lasting battery you can count on. It’s affordable with no added costs for a monthly plan. And, most importantly, Huan is the only pet tracker on the market that gives you a community of animal lovers to help keep your pet safe.