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Pet Tracker Picks: 6 Smart Tags and Collars to Keep Your Dog Safe

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All featured products are chosen at the discretion of the author. However, Great Pet Care may make a small affiliate commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Being a dog mom or dad requires vigilance. You worry about your pooches on a daily basis, whether it’s regarding their overall health and well being or general safety. Taking your dog for a walk can sometimes bring about anxiety. What if he comes off the leash and runs so fast and far that he gets lost? How ever will you find him? Fret not, as there are many smart pet tags and pet tracking collar options available on the market that can keep tabs on our furry friends. 

As it turns out, you’re not the only one willing to spend extra money to help protect your pet. According to research from Global Market Insights, pet owner spend on wearable devices to keep pets healthy and safe is on the rise (1). In 2020 alone, pet owners in the United States spent $99 billion on their fur babies. That figure was previously $69.4 billion in 2017. Of the $99 billion, about $40.9 billion was spent on pet tech, vet care, training, grooming, and insurance. 

In the last 10 years, many innovations have been made in pet tracking devices. Take the Huan Smart Tag, for instance, a sleek Bluetooth pet tracker that attaches to your dog’s collar. While choosing the best pet tracker for your pooch may be daunting because of the immense amount of options out there, the good news is, you can find the one that offers solutions and benefits to your specific needs. 

From versatile collars that do more than just tracking your dog to collars that are affordable and stylish, we scoured retailers for all of the best pet trackers on the market to make it easier for you to narrow things down. 

What Is a Pet Tracker?

Beagle dog looking up and confused

Simply put, a pet tracker is a device you attach to your dog’s collar to help you find him, should he get lost. Using specific location technology—which varies from GPS to Bluetooth to radio—you can use a receiver (your phone when you buy a GPS or Bluetooth tracker or a handheld device the radio tracker comes with) to help find your pooch.

The most important thing to understand about pet trackers, however, is that they’re not all created equal. Depending on the technology and price point, the location range may differ. You can also go simple with just a location tracker or “fancy” with other features like fitness and health tracking offerings. 

The wide range of choices means you can find the best pet tracker that is ideal for you and your dog’s needs.

Woman sitting at her couch with her laptop, smartphone and dog

As mentioned above, the different types of pet trackers include:

Bluetooth: Bluetooth trackers connect to your phone. If your dog is within range of your phone or another user’s phone (signal range varies by device), you’ll be able to locate him or her. 

GPS: This technology, which requires cellular data and towers, can find your pet’s location in real-time in far ranges. In many cases, the device (using cell service or SIM card) can also list out the different places where your pet has been. 

Radio: As it reads, radio trackers are a bit dated, but have been used for decades. While these don’t require you to pay for a monthly subscription, they don’t have as wide of a range as GPS trackers.

Shopping for a Pet Tracker: What to Look For

Dog tilted head outdoors looking to camera

There are several factors to consider when shopping for a pet tracker, including:

Range: How far can you track your dog?

Functionality: If your dog is lost, how will you find him? How does the tracking functionality work and how effective is it at finding your dog? Will you need to use your phone or will the tracker come with a receiving device of some kind? 

Battery life: How long will your pet tracker last on its battery? And how will you know when you need to replace or recharge the battery? 

Style: How does the tracker attach to your dog’s collar? Does it clip on, slide on, or hang on, and how will your dog feel about that? Will he be comfortable? 

Subscription fees: Some dog trackers require you to sign up and pay monthly. Make sure you understand what’s required for your dog tracker to actually track. 

How We Chose Our Favorite Dog Trackers

So how did we narrow down the options for you? We sought pet trackers with top-notch ratings and with hundreds if not thousands of reviews. We researched and studied each product’s features, looking specifically at efficacy, safety, ease of use, and benefits. We also looked at the overall cost to assess whether or not the product was of good value when compared to the others on the market. 

Pet Tracker Picks: 6 Best Smart Tags and Collars

Best Overall Pet Tracker

Our pick: Huan Smart Tags

Huan pet tracker

Huan Smart Tags are by far our favorite pick among all the pet trackers out there. Not only are these Bluetooth-enabled smart pet tags innovative (with their fab silicone sleeve design), they also are versatile. Available in dozens of colors and in three different sizes, you can customize it for your pet. And if your pet goes missing, the app and its many users can also help locate him, if you simply mark your pooch as “lost.”

Highlights

  • Huan Smart Tags are lightweight, yet durable.
  • They’re also water-resistant, so you don’t need to worry about your dog jumping in water or being out in the rain. 
  • Choose from tags that hang off collars, tags that slip onto collars, and really tiny tags that slip onto the collars of smaller dogs or cats.
  • The Huan app will alert you and others with the app if a lost dog is within a 300-foot range. That means, if your dog is lost, other Huan users can help you find him!
  • You can also laser engrave your Huan Smart Tags with your contact info.
  • A live map in the Huan app will anonymously show all users in your area.

Things to Consider

  • If there aren’t many Huan users in your area yet, you won’t be able to lean as heavily on the Huan community to find your lost pet, but keep in mind that you can easily mark your pet as “lost” and share their information and last known location on social media. Engraving your tag can add an extra layer of safety and security.
  • You will have to enable location services on your phone or it won’t work. 

Best Smart Pet Tracker

Our pick: Pawscout

Another Bluetooth pet tracker, the Pawscout smart tag is here to help you locate your pooch if needed. Its pet-finding range is 300 feet of you or another Pawscouter. The Pawscout app can send you alerts, as well.

Highlights

  • Pawscout tags are water-resistant.
  • A customized nameplate can also be purchased. 
  • The community of Pawscout users can also help you locate a lost pup.

Things to Consider

  • Pawscout tags do not come in cool colors and designs like Huan, but the custom nameplates are available in a variety of patterns, and the tag itself operates similarly. 
  • You will have to customize the app with your personal info, so people can contact you if your dog should go missing, and you need to enlist other people’s help. 
  • You will have to enable location services on your phone or it won’t work. 

Best Pet GPS Tracker

Our pick: Tractive LTE GPS Dog Tracker

Tractive Dog GPS

We love this affordable GPS pet tracker for its range and the fact that you can virtually see where your pet is in real-time in over 150 countries. And if that’s not enough to entice you, it also comes with fitness features so you can track your dog’s health, too. While it doesn’t come with a collar, it can easily attach to your dog’s current one. 

Highlights

  • This Tractive GPS tracker has unlimited range.
  • It’s also waterproof in case your dog likes to take dips or walk in the rain.
  • You can track your pet across the globe—specifically in the United States, Canada, and 150 other countries. 
  • This tracker also shows your dog’s active time, rest and calories burned.

Things to Consider

  • A subscription plan is required, which starts at $4.99 per month.
  • The device, which will need to attach to your dog’s existing collar, might be bulkier than other trackers out there. 

Best Budget Pet Tracker

Our pick: Chipolo ONE Bluetooth Pet Tag

Chipolo pet tracker

You don’t have to spend big bucks on a pet tracker. This Bluetooth tag can be attached to your dog’s collar. You can use the Chipolo app to ring the tag or get alerts when your pet goes out of range (up to 200 feet). As a bonus, you can double click the tag to find your phone if you misplace it (which happens more than we’d like to admit).

Highlights

  • Comes in six colors: white, yellow, red, blue, green, and black.
  • Use the Bluetooth connection to your smartphone to ring your tag, get free out of range alerts, and share your Chipolo with friends and family to help find lost pets or items.
  • Coin battery can last for up to two years, and the app sends a notification when it starts to get low. 
  • This tracker can also help you locate your phone. 

Things to Consider

  • Primarily marketed as a locator for missing items like keys and wallets but also works for pets.
  • Range is only 200 feet, which is less than other Bluetooth pet trackers on our list.
  • The alarm is loud at 120 decibels, which may upset your dog.

Best Stylish Pet Tracker

Our pick: Cube Real Time GPS Dog & Cat Tracker

Cube pet tracker

We love the sleek and chic look of the Cube tracker. This pet GPS tracker comes equipped with a SIM card and will connect to your smartphone or computer, where you can set up geofences and notifications. 

Highlights

  • Battery life can last from 10 to 60 days.
  • You’ll be notified when your rechargeable battery is low.
  • You can also set it up to let you know if your dog has crossed boundaries that you’ve set.

Things to Consider

  • This device connects to Verizon’s network, which will require monthly payments to operate. 
  • Cube’s customer service is top-notch in case you need help navigating setup and beyond. 
  • Can fit collars up to 1-inch wide, otherwise collar clips may need to be purchased separately

Best Key Finder That Doubles as a Pet Tracker

Our pick: Tile Pro High Performance Bluetooth Tracker

Tile for Pets Bluetooth Tracker

Although this Bluetooth tracker was developed to help you find your keys and other valuables, it can work for your dog just as well. With a 400-foot range and a replaceable battery (which will last for about a year without a charge), this Tile tracker, which requires an iOS or Android for tracking purposes, can easily attach to your dog’s collar. 

Highlights

  • This tracker has a 400-foot range.
  • Use your smartphone, Alexa, Google Assistant or Siri to find your dog when he is within range.
  • When you’re out of range, simply use Tile’s “recent location” option to see where he last was. 

Things to Consider

  • It doesn’t do much else for your pet (like provide fitness tracking) since this product was not specifically designed for pets.
  • Like the Chipolo, the loud ring may upset your pet.
  • You can subscribe to a premium plan (about $30 per year) to get other features, like smart alerts and battery replacement, which many don’t truly find worth it. 

Using a Pet Tracker: Tips and Advice

Girl sitting while on her phone next to her dog

Your pet tracker will only be as effective as you allow it. If your pet tracker comes with special features that are not automatically enabled, such as alerts or geofencing, you will need to do some of the initial setup to make the most out of your device. 

And if your battery is dead, it won’t be of much use to you. So make it a point to always charge up or replace the battery as needed. 

It’s important to also understand your tracker’s range. If you’re just too far from your lost pooch—unless you’re using a tracker like Huan or Pawscout that enlists a community of users to help you find your dog—you won’t be able to locate him. If you’re not within range, you will need to drive around in order to trigger the dog’s location on your receiving device. 

Lastly, while pet trackers are there to help you, it’s always important to stay vigilant about keeping your pet safe. Make sure your dog is wearing a collar with up-to-date ID tags and has a registered microchip. Keep him on-leash as much as possible, practice a solid “recall” command so he comes when called, and just be generally aware so you can quickly react if your dog strays a bit.

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