How Effective Are GPS Dog Collars?

Many innovations in the digital era have not increased our quality of life at all, for example, Twitter Bots and Facebook’s “Poke” feature. But an advancement that has clearly made our lives easier and better has been GPS. Just ask anyone who’s been stuck on the BQE in gridlock only to be rerouted to quaint and vacant side streets for smooth and happy driving. Amazing!

Now, for us dog people, are GPS dog collars, which use digital technology to track your dog's location and activity. How it works is you set up a home base for your dog’s GPS collar—your home or some other location they would frequent—and then whenever your dog leaves that location, you receive a text/email notification that your dog is not home. As long as your dog’s GPS collar’s battery is charged, there’s no reason why you'd ever lose sight of them again! 

It is estimated that every year approximately ten million pets are reported lost or stolen. GPS collars are currently the most effective solution to this problem.  

In addition to tracking your dogs realtime location you can also view your dogs walking history, monitor their exercise output and set daily/monthly exercise goals for them.

Which GPS Collar Should I Buy?

There are a few differences in GPS collars’ functionality that are important to point out. Here are a few of the most common GPS collar brands:

Whistle, $79.95


Waterproof and durable, Whistle is a standard in the industry that allows you to set up a home base for your dog. After purchasing the collar, you pay a monthly fee ($6.95-$9.95/monthly depending upon how long you sign up for) for GPS and activity tracking.

Pod, $129

With advanced tracking that allows you to always know your pet’s location and activity, this lightweight GPS collar is waterproof and with batteries last up to five days. The monthly service ranges from $4.95-8.95.

Tractive, $76.94

With options to export your dog’s location history in their premium plan, Tractive is another fantastic GPS and location device with a monthly subscription that costs $5.00.

Fitbark, $69.95

Fitbark is Fitbit for dogs. It’s actually not a GPS tracker, but it does monitor your dog’s health: heart rate, sleeping patterns, calorie index, and exercise habits.  Also, you can share your dog’s health information directly with other people, including your veterinarian. It doesn’t come with WiFi, so you’d have to buy that separately.

Link AKC, $177.00

This price tag is considerably higher than the others, but for good reason. If Whistle and Tractive’s GPS tracker was fused with Fitbark’s health monitor, you’d have Link AKC from the American Kennel Club, which does both. It’s a GPS collar that can track your dog’s location, and can monitor your dog’s heart rate, temperature, and optimal exercise habits. The monthly fee for GPS and health monitoring ranges from $5.50-$9.95.

GPS collars are absolutely an effective way to keep your dog safe and sound. Which GPS collar is right for you? That all depends on what your priorities are. If you have any questions, just let us know. Along with our Park Slope dog walking services, we’ll help you get your GPS collar set up!