The best pet trackers to track your dog or cat and keep them safe
Is your furry friend a secret escapologist? If you need a little extra help keeping an eye on your pet's whereabouts, you’re in the right place - we’ve together our top picks of the best trackers.
If we’re being honest, most of us prefer our pets to people, and keeping our dogs, cats and other furry friends safe is a top priority. A pet tracker is a great way to get some added peace of mind. Using live-location technology and GPS tracking, pet trackers can help you see where your pets are at all times and come in a variety of designs to suit every pet.
From tracking collars to removable monitors, pet trackers come in all shapes and sizes. So, where do you start? Well, that's where we come in.
At The Recommended, we know that your pet deserves the best, so we scoured the web to find the best pet trackers, from live-location designs to Bluetooth trackers; we’ve covered all bases and pulled together our top picks to help you breathe a little easier.
The best pet trackers at a glance:
- Best pet tracker for dogs: Tractive DOG 4 GPS Dog Tracker
- Best pet tracker for cats: Tractive CAT Mini with weight-adjustable collar
- Best pet tracker for training: Weenect GPS Pet Tracker
- Best waterproof pet tracker: Pawfit Pet GPS Tracker
- Best 4G pet tracker: PAJ GPS PET Finder
- Best pet activity monitor: PitPat Pet Activity and Fitness Monitor
The best pet trackers
Best pet tracker for dogs: Tractive DOG 4 GPS Dog Tracker
Tracker type: GPS | Subscription fee: from £7 per month (billed annually)
This pet tracker works via a subscription service and offers the ultimate solution to keeping track of your furry friend. The Tractive GPS Pet Tracker delivers live GPS tracking and allows you to set up tailored safe zones that alert you if your pet wanders too far.
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It fits onto any standard pet collar and is lightweight and waterproof for convenient, long-lasting quality. It also has a location history option so you can see where your pet has been in the last few hours.
Best pet tracker for cats: Tractive CAT Mini with weight-adjustable collar
Tracker type: GPS | Subscription fee: from £7 per month (billed annually)
This GPS tracker comes with a weight-adjustable Rogs Breakaway Collar and offers an unlimited worldwide range. The Tractive GPS Cat Tracker delivers live location 2-3 second updates and stores location history for you to review at a time that suits you.
The pet tracker will attach to most cat collars and is lightweight, scratch-proof, and waterproof. It has a battery life that can last up to a week, so is great for owners going on holiday or a weekend away.
Best pet tracker for training: Weenect GPS Pet Tracker
Tracker type: GPS | Subscription fee: from £5.83 per month (billed annually)
The Weenect GPS Tracker has no distance limit, allowing you to track your pet via your phone from anywhere in the world. This tracker features a ring function that can help with associative training and recall.
The pet tracker offers up to 3 days of battery life and features location history and territory analysis functions, giving you an insight into your pet’s day. You can also set up boundaries to alert you when your cat has left the safety of the home.
Best waterproof pet tracker: Pawfit Pet GPS Tracker
Tracker type: GPS | Subscription fee: None
The Pawfit GPS tracker is one of the only trackers we’ve seen that offers live and unlimited location tracking with no subscription fee. It allows you to establish tailored safe zones for your pet, alerting you if they wander too far.
The pet tracker is waterproof and offers several safety features, including the option to record contact details and necessary information should your pet get lost. The tracker also estimates how many steps your pet has taken and the calories burnt.
Best 4G pet tracker: PAJ GPS PET Finder
Tracker type: GPS | Subscription fee: from £3.75 per month (billed every 2 years)
This small GPS pet tracker can be attached to any standard collar and weighs only 32g for comfortable use. The pet tracker is easy to set up with a pre-loaded SIM and supports 4G roaming on a variety of flexible subscriptions.
You can set up Geofences to keep your pet safe with this tracker, and these work with the precise, worldwide live location tracking. The tracker can also store up to 365 days of historical data on your pet's whereabouts.
Best activity monitor: PitPat Pet Activity and Fitness Monitor
Tracker type: Activity monitor | Subscription fee: None
It’s important to note that, unlike the other trackers on this list, the PitPat Pet Activity Monitor is not a GPS tracker and, therefore, cannot give you a live tracking location for your pet.
However, this affordable, compact and waterproof pet activity monitor gets a spot on our list as it requires no subscription and allows you to monitor your pet's activity levels to keep on top of their health and fitness needs.
It offers breed-specific recommendations and goal-tracking features to help you and your pet reach your goals and has a very impressive battery life of one year - the battery can easily be replaced when this has run out.
Pet tracker buyer’s guide
If you want a better insight into the world of your pet, are worried about their safety, want to help them lose weight, or even stay out of a certain area, a GPS tracker might be for you. The handy accessory helps you keep an eye on your pet even when you can’t see them, and it can all be done from the comfort of your home. But, with hundreds of options on the market, how do you choose the best pet tracker?
Well, we’ve put together a buyer’s guide to answer this very question. It will help you find out how a pet tracker can help you, the benefits of owning one, and what to think about before making a purchase. We also take a look at how much a tracker is going to cost you in the long term and how to match a tracker to your pet.
What are GPS trackers, and how do they work?
So what actually are GPS trackers, and how do they work? For the most part, GPS trackers for pets are lightweight accessories that attach to your pet’s collar or harness. Housed inside a plastic case is a GPS tracker which pings your pet’s real-time location to you.
The GPS tracker then works like all other systems supporting this form of location technology - satellite. It determines your pet's location by pinging signals to various satellites around the world.
This information is then sent to your phone or computer, allowing you to monitor your pet's movements and receive alerts. Some GPS pet trackers also offer additional features such as health and fitness tracking, remote training, and temperature monitoring. This information is accessed via an app on your phone or computer, and sometimes you have to pay a monthly subscription to continue seeing it.
What types of pet trackers are there?
There are several types of trackers on the market, and each comes with its own unique features. Generally speaking, the more features the tracker has, the more expensive it will be. There are four types of GPS trackers that are most commonly sold, these are:
- Collar GPS trackers: These GPS trackers are often the most common and attach to your pet's collar. They track the pet’s location in real-time and are easy to use as well as attach.
- Tag GPS trackers: Tag GPS trackers are small and lightweight and can be attached to your pet's existing collar or harness. They offer basic location tracking features.
- Dedicated GPS trackers: These are standalone devices that require a separate data plan and can track your pet's location even if they're not connected to your phone. They can either be in a tag or collar form.
- Activity trackers: Some GPS pet trackers offer activity tracking features that allow you to monitor your pet's exercise levels and overall health. Some activity trackers don’t come with GPS features, so it’s important to check before you buy.
How can GPS trackers help me keep my pet safe?
Using a GPS tracker can result in peace of mind and help you worry less about your pet. After all, one of the main reasons people invest in a GPS tracker is to try and keep their pets safer, but how do trackers do this?
One of the biggest benefits of GPS tracking is real-time location. This allows owners to see where the pet is at all times and quickly locate them if something goes wrong. You can check your pet’s location on your phone or desktop, and most trackers come with an accompanying app to do this. Knowing where your pet is can keep them out of danger and avoid you from losing them.
One good safety feature that a lot of pet trackers allow is geofencing. This is a virtual boundary that you can set up on the app where you choose an area your pet isn’t allowed to go. If your pet crosses this virtual boundary area, you’ll receive an alert on your phone. One boundary you might set up is one near a main road so you can make sure your pet is avoiding this and take action if they get too close to it.
Some GPS pet trackers offer features that allow you to monitor your pet's activity levels and ensure they're getting enough exercise. This is particularly helpful if your dog is over or underweight so you can feed them accordingly. It can also help you make sure they’re getting enough exercise throughout the day (or spy on how long the dog walker is taking your pup out for).
GPS pet trackers with temperature monitoring features can alert you if your pet is in an environment that is too hot or too cold. This is particularly useful during warmer times to see if your pet is overheating. You can use this to decide if it’s appropriate to take them on a walk or if they need some cool water.
How do I choose the best tracker for my pet?
If you know you want a pet tracker but can’t work out which one will be best for your pet, then we’re here to help. There are important personal factors to think about, and you need to consider which features match your priorities best.
Range and accuracy
Consider the range and accuracy of the GPS pet tracker, as some may be better suited for larger or smaller areas. If you only allow your pet in the garden, then there would be no point in getting a tracker that reaches miles around. Likewise, if you have a cat that may wander quite far away from the house, you need a range that will encompass this.
Look for a GPS pet tracker that is durable and can withstand wear and tear from your pet's daily activities. You should look at how weatherproof the tracker is and what its reviews are like online. It also depends on your pet. If you have a dog, you would want a more robust tracker than a cat, as dogs get dirty and interact with other dogs and humans on a more regular basis.
Costs and subscription fees
Some GPS pet trackers require a monthly subscription fee for access to features like real-time tracking, geofencing, and more. The subscription fee can add a significant cost to the tracker, so make sure you choose one that will be within your budget. (See our section below.)
What are the ongoing costs of pet trackers?
One thing that most pet owners don’t know is that when buying a tracker, you usually have to sign up for a monthly subscription. This is a cost that isn’t well advertised when you buy the tracker, so is worth digging deeper into when choosing a tracker.
The charge that you will have to pay for your GPS is so you can access features like real-time tracking, geofencing, and training games. Subscription fees can range from a few pounds a month to more than £20, depending on the device and the features included.
When choosing a GPS pet tracker, be sure to consider any subscription fees and factor them into your budget. Some GPS pet trackers offer basic features without a subscription, while others require a subscription for full functionality.
Want to read more expert-recommended pet product round-ups? Check out our pets page for a full list of recommendations, including our list of the best dog beds, the best dog toys and the best dog treats, all recommended by dog experts.
Finn Byrne is a Digital Writer for Immediate Media. He works across several brands including The Recommended, RadioTimes.com, MadeforMums and BBC Gardeners’ World. Finn has previously written for publications including MyLondon, The Mirror, The Express, and The Star. When not writing Finn enjoys spending time on the football pitch and getting stuck into a book.
Isobel Nutbrown is a Staff Writer at The Recommended and works with leading industry experts to help readers make informed decisions and shop smarter online.