Knowing your pet’s whereabouts is incredibly important, especially if they tend to escape from home regularly. A pet tracker can be incredibly useful in bringing them back home, but what kind should you choose?
There are two well-known options on the market: pet GPS trackers and microchips. But is either right for your pet–and is there an alternative? Let’s dive in and find out.
A pet GPS tracker utilizes a satellite signal or cellular network to track your pet’s location at all times. You can use pet GPS not only to find your pet, but also to get directions once they’re located. Just contact the device via phone or text message, and you’re all set.
Pros: Pet GPS trackers provide your pet’s location data in real-time. When your dog or cat is wearing a GPS device, you can see where they are at all times. A GPS tracker for your pet is non-invasive and may be attached to their collar.
Cons: A GPS tracker for your pet is the most expensive location-tracking option. You may also need to pay a monthly fee to keep your subscription active. Cell phone networks don’t work in all locations, so there’s no guaranteed return on your investment. If you have a small dog, a GPS device might be too heavy.
Additionally, many pet owners are reluctant to use a GPS device due to the low levels of radiation (EMFs) it emits. They’re concerned about their pet’s health and safety, and they feel that any radiation at all–however low the amount–could be detrimental to their pet’s wellbeing.
A pet microchip is a tiny transponder the size of a rice grain that works through low-frequency radio waves. Microchips contain identifying information about your pet, and are placed just beneath the skin–often near your dog or cat’s shoulder, where the skin is looser.
When a lost microchipped pet is found, a vet or animal shelter can use a device to scan the chip and retrieve your pet’s information. You’ll be notified via a database of found pets when your dog or cat is located.
Pros: Microchips are permanent and can’t be lost or damaged like an external tag or collar. They’re inserted via injection, and the procedure is quick with minimal discomfort.
In addition to their convenience and durability, microchips are healthier for your pet’s body than GPS devices. They’re encased in soda-lime glass, which doesn’t cause inflammation at the insertion point. Their radio waves are also lower-frequency than AM stations–definitely lower than EMFs.
Cons: Perhaps the biggest con of microchipping your pet is not knowing whether its chip will be able to be scanned and read successfully. There’s no one scanner that works on all microchips, so it’s always possible your pet might be found, but their chip can’t be scanned and read.
Your pet’s microchip also won’t be able to tell you anything about their whereabouts in real-time. Instead, your pet will have to be found and successfully scanned before you learn what happened to them.
An Alternative Pet Finder: Huan Smart Tags
When it comes to keeping your pet safe at home–and getting a lost pet home safely–GPS trackers and microchips aren’t your only options. Huan Smart Tags are a durable, lightweight alternative. Our tags are powered by Bluetooth and a community of app users who can help you get your pet home, safe and sound.
Huan tags don’t emit harmful radiation that could endanger your pet, and they’re not invasive like a microchip. And, they alert you (and your fellow app users) automatically when your pet is detected away from home or away from you.
Smart Tags come in a variety of brightly-colored silicone sleeves and fit on collars up to one inch wide. They’re also an affordable alternative, with a monthly subscription of just $2.99.
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