Which Dog Tracker To Buy
You may want your tracker to do a certain thing, such as showing where your dog is if they tend to run off or you have a lot of land, or show activity levels.
One big positive is being able to see changing health, activity, or sleep issues over a long period, which can be hard to spot. With the app, you can see and compare minor changes over a few months, which can be valuable when spotting early issues.
Which you buy will depend on your dog, what data you want to see, and how user friendly you need the tracker to be.
- GPS – These can tell you where your dog is in real-time, or very recently. Great if they tend to run away or venture too far. Some will use Bluetooth but others will use chips or SIMS to monitor if they are even further away
- Activity – Like a human activity tracker. Can often measure how far they have gone, how long they have been active/inactive for and how many calories they have burnt (although some may only monitor one or two things out of this)
- Consumption – Can usually monitor the above but in relation to how much food they also eat, to help you control their diet
- Sleep – If they wear it overnight, it can alert you to how long they have slept, as well as how long they have been in deep sleep and if/when they have woken, so you can rectify anything waking them up
- Mood – Can learn your dog’s day-to-day regular behaviour and then alert you if anything changes, such as if they are barking more or are a lot less active
The battery of a pet tracker will either be replaceable. There is no major way in which one is better than the other – you will likely have a preference, however.
Rechargeable ones usually last 2-3 days on one charge so you need to keep on top of recharging them, but this can easily be done while you sleep as most only take a few hours to reach capacity.
Replaceable ones will be good for anyone who thinks they may forget to do this. They will usually last anywhere between 4 and 12 months, but there may not be a way to tell how much battery life is left, so you would have to remember when it was changed and possibly change it more frequently to be on the safe side.
The majority are waterproof, knowing that we can never stop our four-legged friends from going for a dip. But some are only water-resistant, which will deal with rain and puddles but not a swim in the lake.
Also, look for how durable it is – most are indestructible, but you may also want to pay attention to how it is attached to their collar and the materials it is made from.
A monthly subscription fee will only apply to GPS trackers, so they can use the UK’s 2G/3G signals.
They will charge a monthly or annual subscription fee in order to use all of the features, which covers the cost of keeping everything updated and running smoothly, as well as signal access. This can range from around £2 per month to over £5.
Some will charge less if you pay upfront, and others have customisable layers of cover. Don’t go for a GPS tracker which doesn’t have a subscription option, as they may not use 2G/3G signals which is an issue if your pet has already got miles away.
Trackers without a GPS won’t charge monthly fees, although you may have the option to buy extras through the app.