risks of gps for pets

What are the Risks of GPS for Pets?

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Modern pet owners have the luxury of choosing between a range of devices that help to track or detect pets that escape from home. GPS for pets is a widely-used option, but there is also a growing concern among many pet owners that GPS comes with a price: radiation exposure. 

So what’s the deal? Should pet owners be worried about using GPS trackers? 

Do GPS pet trackers emit radiation? 

All GPS devices emit radiofrequency radiation, such as phones, tablets, and wearable tech. Pet GPS trackers also fall into this category. (You’re probably familiar with the term EMFs–electric & magnetic fields–which is another name for radiation.)

Radiofrequency radiation is considered non-ionizing radiation, and it hasn’t yet been definitively proven to damage DNA or cause cancer. Non-ionizing radiation from mobile phones and similar devices falls in the middle of the electromagnetic spectrum. In contrast, ionizing radiation can damage DNA and cause cancer. It is associated with UV rays, X-rays, and radiation therapies used for cancer treatment. 

There have been a number of scientific studies on the relationship between radiofrequency radiation and cancer risk, but the results are inconsistent. Still, many individuals are concerned that putting GPS pet trackers on their dogs could put their beloved pets at risk for cancer, DNA damage, or other long-term health issues. 

The advantage of using GPS trackers for your pet is that you can track their every move. But that comes with a major risk for pet owners who are concerned about radiation exposure: in order to track your pet continually, you’ll have to leave the GPS device turned on at all times (except, of course, while it’s charging). That means continual exposure to EMFs.

Other disadvantages associated with GPS for pets include:

  • Expensive devices 
  • Cellular data plans for GPS tracking
  • Bulky, heavy size
  • Constant need for battery recharging 

If you’ve determined that GPS might not be right for you and your pet, is there another way to track your pets if they escape from home? 

Bluetooth Low Energy: a viable alternative? 

Bluetooth Low Energy (LE) technology is an alternative way to keep up with your pets if they leave home. This form of Bluetooth tech is designed to operate on an incredibly low level of power. Bluetooth LE devices emit a low, harmless signal that’s similar to a radio broadcast–much lower than the cellular signal emitted by GPS and other mobile devices.

According to this EDN writeup on Bluetooth LE tech, “Everything from physical design to use models is designed to keep power consumption at a minimum. To reduce power consumption, a BLE device is kept in sleep mode most of the time. When an event occurs, the device wakes and a short message is transferred to a gateway, PC, or smartphone.”

Devices equipped with Bluetooth LE don’t require battery re-charging, and they don’t drain the battery on your device. Generally speaking, these devices work for about a year (sometimes more) before the battery requires replacement. 

Huan: keeping your pets safe with Bluetooth LE

If you’re looking for an alternative to GPS devices, Huan offers Bluetooth-powered Smart Tags that are safe for your pet and affordable for you. Our lightweight tags are durable, colorful, and sized just right for your dog, cat, or tiny pet. 

Huan transmits a Bluetooth LE signal from your pet’s Smart Tag to Huan app users and Sensors when your pet is detected away from home or away from you. As an added bonus, the app doesn’t drain your phone battery, and it activates automatically when a pet’s Smart Tag is within range (about 300 feet). 

Best of all, Huan doesn’t emit a continuous GPS or cellular signal in order to work. Our batteries last for about a year and are easy to replace–no recharging required. 

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