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Best Dog Trackers for 2020

Have you ever wondered what your dog gets up to during the day when you aren’t around? Or how much exercise they *actually* get when you take them out for 2 hours but they spend most of it sniffing the grass?

A dog tracker can do a host of different things. There are some which will monitor activity levels, ones which will give a picture of their overall health, some which will tell you where your dog is (a GPS Tracker), and others which will do all of the above.

They can sync up to our smartphones for immediate results and monitoring, and batteries often last for ages so you won’t be caught out. Plus, they’re a good size for comfortably staying on collars.

To see which pet trackers we rated as the best, as well as what to look out for (and avoid), check out our round-up below.

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    Our Top Picks

    Image Product Details
    Tractive GPS Dog Tracker and Activity Monitor
    • Virtually unbreakable
    • Attaches to any collar with a rubber clip
    • Includes USB charging cable
    Check Price
    PitPat 2
    • Replaceable CR2032 battery
    • Feather light
    Check Price
    Petkit Pet Activity Monitor P2
    • Monitors sleep and other health issues
    • Simple app interface
    • Also for cats
    Check Price

    The Top 10 Dog Trackers (GPS & Activity Monitors) Reviewed

    1.
    Tractive GPS Dog Tracker and Activity Monitor

    The newer model of Tractive tracker, which doesn’t just contain the GPS feature but also an activity monitor for anybody who wants an all-round picture of their dog’s behaviour.

    It gives real-time results through the free app, which is great if they aren’t where they were in the park two seconds ago. Location updates are every 2-3 seconds, which is good news if you are hot on their heels.

    This can also be displayed in a web browser, in case you’re at home or don’t have your phone on you and need to borrow one. There is an option to view location history so you can see where they were when with the dog walker or at doggy daycare.

    We love the virtual fence feature as well, which allows you to set a customised safe area and will alert you if your dog ventures from that distance – great if they have free reign of a large garden or you live on open land.

    Also given is their daily activity, with useful information which gives a picture of their health. You have the option to set a daily activity goal as well, say if they should ideally be getting 2 hours of activity per day to stop them piling on the pounds or getting bored at night.

    The battery is rechargeable, taking ~2 hours to fully charge and then lasting for 2-5 days, so charging overnight ready for the next day would be ideal. Subscription is £3.33/month, but with that, you get worldwide coverage, unlimited location tracking and the option to share with friends and family.

    Features

    • Virtually unbreakable
    • Attaches to any collar with a rubber clip
    • Includes USB charging cable

    Specifications

    • Dimensions: 2.9 x 7.2 x 1.6cm
    • Battery Life: 2-5 Days
    • Weight: 30g
    • App: Free
    • Waterproof: Yes
    • Data: GPS, Exercise, Distance, Calories

    2.
    PitPat 2

    Is your dog getting enough exercise? Are they eating too much and not working it off?

    The PitPat 2 will attach to their collar and tell you everything you need to know. This includes how much running, walking and resting they have done, how far they have been and how many calories they have burnt – fab if you have been asked by the vet to help them lose a bit of weight.

    You also get exercise recommendations based on the breed of your dog, with over 200 set up ready to choose from. This will give calorie, distance and time cues in a general term, which you can use as a baseline.

    There is no GPS, but this is not an issue if they don’t run off or go where they shouldn’t. The ability to set and track exercise goals, as well as keeping a history of their weight for easy comparison, will make it a handy piece of kit for long-term aims.

    Even better is the fact that there is no subscription fee, no rechargeable battery (just replace it when it runs out) and it gives you a really simple free app.

    Features

    • Replaceable CR2032 battery
    • Feather light

    Specifications

    • Dimensions: 3.2 x 3.4 x 1.5cm
    • Battery Life: 1 Year
    • Weight: 18g
    • App: Free
    • Waterproof: Yes
    • Data: Exercise, Distance, Calories

    3.
    Tractive GPS Dog Tracker Classic

    Just want a simple GPS tracker which is comfortable for your dog to wear and not overly comfortable?

    This one enables you to see their location in real-time, anywhere in the world. Chances are they are close by of course, but we mean that it will also work if you go on holiday in the UK or abroad.

    The free app shows you the location, although there is a small subscription fee to cover costs every month as well. Different levels are available, however, in case there are some unnecessary add-ons or you need to go all-out.

    The highest level of an annual subscription will also give you breakage, stolen or lost insurance, which could be a small price to pay if your dog has a habit of losing their collar or being where they shouldn’t. 

    It could give you peace of mind if you’re unsure about letting your dog off the lead in a public place, or if they have a dog walker and you want to ensure everything seems okay. The option of setting a virtual fence is also there, so you get an alert if they venture too far.

    The battery will last 2-5 days, with a 2 hour recharge time.

    Features

    • Multiple levels of subscription
    • Simple, clear interface

    Specifications

    • Dimensions: 1.5 x 4.1 x 5.1cm
    • Battery Life: 2-5 Days
    • Weight: 36g
    • App: Free
    • Waterproof: Yes
    • Data: GPS, Distance

    4.
    Petkit Pet Activity Monitor P2

    Thanks to the advanced motion sensor technology, this Activity Monitor can record your pet’s activities 24/7. This data is then sent to the cloud, where it is analysed and assessed, before being sent to your phone for easy reading and comparison.

    But what data does it collect? Well, it is one of the few which can analyse sleep to ensure they are getting enough throughout the day (which is particularly handy if you are away or they tend to nap). This also monitors the quality of their sleep, so if they tend to be woken up frequently throughout the night, you can assess why this might be and what disturbs them.

    There’s a consumption record too, analysing the calories they have burnt and activity levels, as well as allowing you to put in data about what they eat and their breed so it can help you control how much they eat.

    You get a daily Health Report which includes the above as well as Mood Alerts – say, if they are happy or seem a bit off-colour. It will also give you a quick breakdown of whether they have had enough deep sleep or exercise over the previous 24 hours, so you can make losses up.

    Made from Magnalium, it is strong and unbreakable while still being lightweight enough to be used on smaller dogs and cats, too. The battery will last ~4 months and is replaceable, but be aware there is no GPS.

    Features

    • Monitors sleep and other health issues
    • Simple app interface
    • Also for cats

    Specifications

    • Dimensions: 3.02 x 3.02 x 0.79cm
    • Battery Life: 4 Months
    • Weight: 8.8g
    • App: Free
    • Waterproof: Resistant
    • Data: Sleep, Consumption, Calories, Activity, Mood

    5.
    SureFlap Animo Activity and Behaviour Monitor

    This collar-mounted tracker, from the brand which has brought us microchip cat flaps and food bowls, learns and interprets behaviour from your dog.

    It will sync with the Sure Petcare Animo app on your phone via Bluetooth and gives you a good picture of their overall behaviour and activities day-to-day. Because it learns what they usually do, it can then alert you if there is anything out of the ordinary.

    Say they are scratching, barking or shaking more than usual – this may indicate that they are stressed or unhappy with recent changes to your home or family, or that something is disturbing them during the day (which could be as simple as a cat coming into your garden).

    It will also let you know how long they have been active for each day, as well as when they last exercised, and how many calories have been burnt. There is also data for sleep quality, so you know whether they are getting enough and can rule this out if their behaviour changes.

    There is no GPS and the fixing band is thin so only works with collars up to 30mm. Pairing it can also take a while, and the data wasn’t the most accurate of all of those reviewed, but it is one of the few which can monitor behaviour to such a high degree if this is your main concern.

    Features

    • Multiple people can access data on their phones
    • Long-lasting battery
    • Simple app interface

    Specifications

    • Dimensions: 14 x 10 x 2.5cm
    • Battery Life: 6 Months
    • Weight: 15g
    • App: Free
    • Waterproof: Yes
    • Data: Behaviour, Sleep, Calories

    6.
    V-Multi Pet Tracker

    This tracker from Vodafone can track your dog in real-time, but the technology it uses to do this makes it one of the most reliable ones on the market.

    Some other trackers just use Bluetooth, so can only pick up the collar when your phone is nearby. But thanks to an embedded sim, your dog could travel quite the distance and you can still see where they are.

    You can set safe zones which will alert you if your dog goes beyond them, and there are extra clips included in case you have multiple collars, or one day want to attach it to your bag instead. You also have flexibility with how often you want it to update, which can be every minute.

    This precision does mean that a V-Sim subscription is required at £2 per month, but the first 6 months are included free so you can get a good feel of whether it is the product for you. There’s also a rechargeable battery so that is one less cost every month.

    Features

    • Small size for collars
    • Very accurate with a location outside

    Specifications

    • Dimensions: 1.2 x 3.9 x 3.9cm
    • Battery Life: 2 Days
    • Weight: 20g
    • App: Free
    • Waterproof: Resistant
    • Data: GPS

    Buying Guide

    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.

    Data Types

    • 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

    Battery

    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.

    Durability

    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.

    Subscription Costs

    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.

    Other Buyers Ask...

    How does a dog wear a tracker?

    They will usually wear the tracker on their collar. A simple clip will go onto the collar, and the clip is often universal when it comes to size.

    Of course, if your dog is quite active and tends to run through bushes and undergrowth, a simple clip may not be reliable enough so you could need to adapt this.

    Where can I buy a pet activity tracker from?

    We have included reliable, trusted brands and stores above so you can have peace of mind that the product you buy is legitimate.

    A big issue with activity monitors or similar, which give you access to an app and your phone, is trust. There are many copycat, cheap GPS trackers out there from brands which aren’t well-known and are used in other countries, but the use of fake reviews can make them seem popular.

    This throws up a lot of questions about safety and security, as well as their reliability when it comes to showing true data. Always be wary when buying from sites such as Amazon or eBay, and use committed sites such as Petz for reliable recommendations.