Want some sober stats about everyday threats to your furry little companions? Dogs and cats are as prone to getting fat as usa humans, specially older pets. PetMD says 17.6% of U.s. dogs (13.ix million) are obese and 35.1% (29.9 one thousand thousand) are overweight. And co-ordinate to the American Humane Clan, more than 10 million pets—cats and dogs—become missing every twelvemonth, either lost or stolen.
Those numbers are disconcerting, especially when you lot consider just how much happiness our fluffy friends bring into our lives. It’s our duty to go along them happy, healthy, and safe. And while regular trips to the vet along with some skillful old-fashioned TLC do wonders, technology can help play a pivotal role likewise. Nosotros’ve tested plenty of pet trackers and GPS collars designed to trace your pet’s activity, location, and more. Here’s what to look for, forth with our favorites.
How Pet Trackers Connect
All the trackers we’ve tested employ apps for Android or iOS devices to give you a quick read on the data they collect. Few provide a web-based interface—PetPace does, but only to veterinarians who pay extra for information technology.
Base stations are sometimes used to plant a line of communication between the tracker and your telephone. They come in lots of shapes and sizes, and sometimes double equally battery chargers. These trackers typically apply Bluetooth to talk to your smartphone and their base station/charger—as long as it’southward within range of either, your pet is considered to exist in a safe zone. It isn’t until your pet wanders out of range that the alerts arrive alarm it might exist on safari. Just go on in mind that if you have a very large house, you may need multiple base stations.
The Whistle doesn’t come with a split up base station; it has Wi-Fi congenital in, and uses your home router to create the base of operations station. The 2nd-generation Fi comes with a Bluetooth-enabled charging base of operations, and also supports Wi-Fi, with the ability to connect to up to six networks at a fourth dimension.
Tracking Your Pet’s Action
The very first pet trackers were all well-nigh activeness, like fitness trackers—we quantified them as “Fitbits for pets,” and that description still largely stands. Well-nigh of the trackers we’ve tested quantify activity to varying degrees.
Some have thrown themselves into the activity tracking business concern in a large way. PetPace, with a deep focus on canis familiaris health and working with vets, is all most generating reports on fitness, showing various movement levels from resting to loftier-activity, plus pulse and respiration.
A few of these devices try to rail more than than but activeness and location. Temperature is one that comes up a lot, because hot cars are killers. Don’t leave your dog or cat inside, even with the windows down! That said, we’ve found temperature to exist adequately inaccurate, be it from dogs sitting close to wood-fired stoves on a common cold day, laying in the sunday by the bay window, or but folding the tracker up into their neck while sleeping. It might not be a bad feature to accept, simply the warnings sometimes take on a kid-who-cried-wolf aspect.
Finding Your Pet Via GPS
GPS location is a primary reason for getting a tracker now. Notation that trackers should be used in conjunction with microchips in a pet, not as a substitute. Most vets charge less than $50 to put the rice-sized permanent fleck inside a pet. Ninety-nine pct of shelters and vet clinics accept scanners. It’due south almost equally foolproof a way of being reunited with a lost pet as exists.
If you’re in an surface area with coverage, the tracker sends your pet’s whereabouts to its companion app. It’south not always instantaneous—there can exist a few minutes filibuster while the device realizes your pet is out of the prophylactic zone. That’s plenty time for a fast pet to make a getaway, only better than not knowing at all that Fido jumped the fence.
Note that there are typically monthly or annual fees associated with GPS tracking; nosotros break them downwardly in each of our reviews.
Best Trackers for Cats
Many of the devices bachelor are a trifle also large to effectively work on cats, or the algorithms used simply don’t take the slinky movements of the feline into account the style they do a dopey, lumbering canine. If you want to rail your cat, we’ve highlighted which devices do double-duty in the chart above.
Also consider size and weight for the different breeds of dogs. The smallest dedicated tracker on this list is the Whistle FIT at only a one-half ounce.
Using Other Bluetooth Trackers for Pets
Bluetooth trackers from Apple tree, Samsung, and Tile are condign popular ways to find lost keys, phones, remotes, wallets, and anything else that’southward like shooting fish in a barrel to lose. And in some cases, that applies to pets.
Now, Apple says AirTags aren’t meant for pets, merely that ultimately seems like it’southward for liability reasons and many people all the same use them to track their fur babies. Tile, on the other manus, encourages pet owners to attach the Mate and Pro to their creatures. “Many people take had great success using Tile as a Bluetooth pet tracker to aid them locate dogs, cats, bunnies, and even tortoises!” Tile says.
So a full general-purpose Bluetooth tracker is definitely a practiced way to test the waters before diving into a pet-specific model. We’ve included our favorites here.
Finally, for more on taking care of your hirsuite little friends, cheque out our picks for the best domestic dog NDA testing kits.