5+ Best Pet Tracking Systems - Reviews and Recommendations

 Looking for the best pet locator for your dog or cat?  Today's pet tracking systems are so sophisticated that they can find your cat, dog, farm animal or even tortoise, on your property, at your neighbor's across the street, or clear across town.  An investment in one can definitely ease that sense of powerlessness and fear that can overcome you when you've lost your pet.More importantly, a tracker can help you find your pet and possibly save your pet's life. There are powerful systems that come with a hefty price tag, but there are also less expensive trackers on the market too that work pretty well; it all depends on your needs. 

 

While the technology is changing rapidly, there are still no standouts that are clearly better than the rest in pet tracking systems although the POD GPS (#2) looks promising. Many of the dog trackers and cat trackers available today are very good but all have some limitations. In choosing a pet tracker for your dog or cat, you will need to choose which set of features are important to you. You may also want to consider combining two trackers to get the set of featured you are looking for, perhaps one that is very good for close by location and one for longer distances.

Here are 5 pet tracking systems that have the best reputations among U.S. and Canadian customers. They are listed from highest price to lowest. 
 

Best Pet Tracking System No 1: Marco Polo Pet Monitoring/Tracking and Locating System 

Marco Polo Pet Monitoring SystemMarco Polo Pet Monitoring System

The Marco Polo Pet Monitoring System is simple to set up, simple to use and simple to maintain.  The best feature of the Marco Polo system is that it has no monthly services fees so it can save you hundreds of dollars over your lifetime use of the product. So for this tracker the price for the tracker is all you need to invest in the system.

The Marco Polo includes a hand-held portable locator, a collar tag and charger and works like a radio frequency portable tracking unit. You can also add tags for monitoring two additional pets. The collar tags are suitable for use on medium and large pets ( recommended for 10 lbs or more but you can probably use it on large cats). It also has a very long battery life.   The system range is up to 2 miles depending on terrain and obstructions so your happiness with the product will very much depend on where you live. You can select one of four safety zone settings for your pet and receive warnings in less than 80 seconds when your pet wanders. You can then set the system to tracking mode to go and find your pet.  No internet or cellular access is needed so it is great for areas with spotty or no service. Many folks really like the ease of use of the Marco Polo trackers.

Best Pet Tracking System No. 2:  Pod GPS and Wifi Tracker

 

Pod GPS and Wifi Tracker claims to be the smallest and lightest real-time GPS pet tracker in the world. It helps you locate your dog or cat anytime on demand using GPS, WIFI and the 2G cell network and it also alerts you when your pet leaves the safe zone You can monitor their activity with their fitness tracking app and even record their adventures. The new Pod 2 also features Wifi capability which allows for faster location locks and even accurate enough for finding pets indoors as well. 

The POD GPS is tiny and waterproof and fits on any dog or cat collar. It weighs about 1 ounce and is around 2 inches by 1 inches.  It includes two interchangeable batteries so there is never a down time when your pet is without the tracker. 

The POD GPS just launched in late December 2015 so there are not many reviews of this tracker but the reviews so far have been overall great reviews.  I have not personally tried the item yet but the POD GPS seems to have many of the features I've been hoping for from a good pet tracker. 

You can purchase the POD GPS at PetSmart here (with free shipping and free easy returns). The POD is a subscription based service. The first year is included in the price and each year thereafter is currently priced at $49 per year. Coverage for the POD tracker is good using almost any cell phone in the United States and also in Canada. 

 

Best Pet Tracking System No. 3: Tractive GPS Pet Tracker

 

The Tractive GPS Pet Tracker is a device designed specifically to track your pets and it works well for smaller pets. It offer accurate real time GPS tracking (with a few minute delay) from your computer or your Android or iPhone smartphone. One interesting feature of the tracker is the Tractive Safe Zone which allows you to set an area where your pets should be, and if you pet leaves that areas, will notify you on your smartphone.  Another nice feature of the Tractive is the light and beeper which can be activated to make it easier to locate your dog or cat, especially in the dark. There is an optional subscription service (currently $6.99 per month) that you can turn on and off at your convenience when you want to use their GPS service. Complaints about the system are about the short battery life of the system. It is also important that you have strong cell service to enjoy the features of this system. 

 

Best Pet Tracking System No 4: Whistle GPS Pet Tracker

The Whistle GPS Pet Tracker is a pet locator and an activity tracker that helps you monitor your pet's health.  The locator functions with GPS technology and the Verizon network and works with any phone or computer with SMS capability, as it messages you by their app or text and then enables you to find your pet on a map.  Free apps are available for Android and iPhones even give you driving directions, but the tracking service is not free; it's about $10.00 a month, and you cannot use the system without paying that service fee.

Pet owners define the areas where their pets are supposed to be in the "Whistle Zone", and whenever they leave that vicinity, they are alerted. Some users of the Whistle noted that there is a lag between the time the dog leaves the Whistle Zone and they received the alert. While the delay is unfortunate and reduces the usefulness of the tracker, it is still  better than most tracker out there. 

The collar attachments are lightweight but too large for pets under 15 pounds. It has around a ten day battery life for the tracker which is great.  The Whistle GPS Pet Tracker is available here.  

Whistle GPS Pet TrackerWhistle GPS Pet Tracker

 

Best Pet Tracking System No 5: Gibi Pet Location GPS Service Unit

Gibi Pet TrackerGibi Pet Tracker
 

The Gibi Pet Location Service Unit is a waterproof lightweight locator for tracking and finding your pets in real time. The Gibi tracking device uses an online web-based application for your computer (and using your mobile device without a mobile app yet) to locate your pet on  Google maps. You have to sign up for their monthly service for about $10 per month. It does not have a limited range and should work anywhere there is satellite and internet service. You can set custom safe zones for your pet which is a great feature. Reviews of the product are a bit mixed on Amazon and Walmart. It is clear that the device is new and they are still working out some of the kinks but some of its unique features like the real time tracking and custom zones make it worthy of consideration.

In Britain, one of the favorites is the Retrieva GPS Pet Tracker, but I have not found it available in the U.S. If you are looking for a serious tracker and willing to pay for it, the Garmin has a pet tracker for sporting dogs

 

Popular Item Finders Not Suitable As Pet Locators

A number of readers have asked if the Tile Item Finder would be a good tracker for pets. I don't recommend it.  It only works for a range of about 150 feet. That's not enough of a range to really find your pet if it gets lost outside of a very small range. It's definitely better than nothing and if you already have the Tile, it makes sense to add one to your pets collar but it's not reliable enough for me to recommend it. 

Others have asked about  XY Find It. This device does not provide real time data. Rather, it just reminds you of the last time they had a reading   It's great for  finding things lost around you but not reliable or really that useful for finding a lost pet.

Some of these small tracking devices can definitely help you find your pet, especially if you are constantly looking for your pet indoors. But they really don't have the features that make them suitable for locating a missing pet reliably. Luckily, a number of companies have products in the works. But for now, the ones I listed above are the ones that are most worthy of consideration.Overall, the folks who like the tracker and got working ones are very happy with it.

Hopefully with one of these helpful devices, you will never lose your pet....even for a few minutes.


That's the buzz for today!



 Originally published in October 2014 and last updated April 2016.

Some of the sites we link to are affiliates. We may earn a small commission if you use our links.

Lady Bee
Pet News
PetsLady.com

Comments
Dec 11, 2012
by Anonymous
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No 4: Tagg -The Pet Tracker

No 4: Tagg -The Pet Tracker Master Kit
This device does support Continuous Tracking and does allow for pets to be tracked continuously for 30 minute sessions during a breached condition.

Track - If you are trying to find a lost pet, you can initiate Track, and the Tagg system will provide you an updated location every 3 minutes for 30 minutes. The Track button will be available to you after performing a Locate, if the pet is outside the Tagg Zone

Jul 23, 2014
by Anonymous
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Nice system, had for almost

Nice system, had for almost three years-quit yesterday. The telephone support at first was wonderful, now terrible-difficult to understand poorly trained operators. Will rely on the chip. 7/23/14

Aug 8, 2015
by Anonymous
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Nice article, I did some

Nice article, I did some further research and went with the iota. I missed the kickstarter but it said it was shipping in November on the website. The homebase station and 4 mile radius with no monthly fees was the game changer. The long range radio technology will blow all other pet trackers out of the water.

just my 2 cents

Aug 18, 2015
by Anonymous
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What is the tracker on the

What is the tracker on the Bengal type kitty at the bottom of this page? It doesn't appear to be any of the 5 recommended trackers or the 2 non-recommended.

Aug 24, 2015
by Anonymous
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Is there anything ;outhere

Is there anything ;outhere for the birds?

Aug 25, 2015
by Anonymous
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Tractive GPS remove the

Tractive GPS remove the beeper function. It's very sad because if your animal lose the gps you can't find it because de range is too large. And if your cat is hiding you can't find it without the beeper feature :/

Sep 16, 2015
by Anonymous
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Wow, okay

Wow, okay

Sep 26, 2015
by Anonymous
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Hi guys, Has anyone tried

Hi guys,

Has anyone tried the loc8tor pet tracker? This seems to configured specifically for different types of pets and has the benefit of 7 month battery life.

The only downside for me is I am looking for something where I can use my phone rather than a proprietary locator. Other than that I'm thinking of giving it a go.

Oct 1, 2015
by Anonymous
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I started this quest looking

I started this quest looking for a GPS tracking and not one is global position tracking.It seems to me that none of these use a satellite and an animal can be out of range before you know its gone unless you sleep with your phone. If some one steals your pet and takes the collar off your SOL.A microchip is injected why cant a tracking device also be injected.Also solar energy should be the battery source.I'm no tech geek but solar charged watch's have been around a long time.I've lost my $2000 Rottweiler and i would pay a lot to insure she is never lost or stolen again. I think most people who love there animals as much as i do would pay for that kind of product. I believe the technology is available today i wish i could afford to develop it.

Oct 3, 2015
by Anonymous
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I'm looking for the best

I'm looking for the best system for my cat. He just returned after being gone for almost a week. I don't think the radio collars will work bc I don't have "line of sight" in several areas close to my house. I'd also like the ability to know if he was inside another building bc there is a small college nearby and maybe he's made friends with a student. There is a lot of wildlife, some predators, close to my house and I was really upset when he was gone. This was a first for him. He's neutered and 3 y/o.

Oct 10, 2015
by Anonymous
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I got the locator for my cat

I got the locator for my cat and I am really happy with it. I don't know how it will do if my cat ever leaves the house. But for my 5000 square foot house, it makes finding the cat so easy. I can't believe took so long to get one. Thanks for the reviews. It really helped me make my decision and am so happy I did.

Oct 18, 2015
by Anonymous
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The problem for me with

The problem for me with these is if someone steals your dog they will just remove the collar. Maybe someday there will be a chip like the micro chip that a thief will not know is there.

Oct 23, 2015
by Anonymous
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We agree, my husband thought

We agree, my husband thought of this - a solar powered gps tracker would be ideal.

Oct 30, 2015
by Anonymous
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Yes. Seed and houses.

Yes. Seed and houses.

Nov 4, 2015
by Anonymous
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locator is very light and

locator is very light and small. range is very limited. we often have to do a lot of walking or driving to get in range when 1 of our savannahs escapes the compound

Nov 29, 2015
by Anonymous
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Looks to be #4 after zooming

Looks to be #4 after zooming in on higher resolution actually.

Dec 17, 2015
by Anonymous
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Ok, well I have been

Ok, well I have been Researching these devices and I believe that some new names are going to emerge as the top Petables... Check out The Paw Tracker for starters. They gave me a Discount code to pass along its PawPaw and you get 50% off the retail price. They also back their hardware with a replacement program for life. So you never have to worry about keeping your Cat or Dog safe. There are a few others I like like Whistle but I really like the look of The Paw Tracker more.

Paw Paw Out
thepawtracker.com

Dec 19, 2015
by Anonymous
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LOC8TOR makes a fine

LOC8TOR makes a fine product, but it's been around for more than five years now. And 2.4 GHz technology surely has advanced a great deal from when LOC8TOR was designed. Especially now in the winter weather (32 F) it's often hard to find a signal at distances more than 150 feet with intervening houses and cinder-block walls.

Yes, the fob batteries (three AG13/LR44 silver oxide 1.5 V) do seem to last forever, always far outlasting the CR 2032 lithium 3V in the handheld unit which becomes inoperable if the voltage drops only as low as 2.9 V.

But after years of use it's time for something new in the hope of being better able to pick up a signal when my 9.5-pound very active Maine Coon hunter/killer is on the other side of a neighbors house. Because the fobs are so small and only 5 grams I've put two of them on my cat and if I can't get a signal with one I try the other. At least that gives me something to do when I'm worrying about not being able to find my cat who has failed to come running as usual when I clap my hands. Right.

I don't need a fancy system using GPS or cell phone because my cat doesn't go more than 500 feet from my house, and it took more than walking around the neighboring blocks I could do it on a bicycle if necessary.

So I just now ordered the very similar 2.4 GHz handheld-locator system that is sold under the names Girafus, Ardi, and TrackerOne.

Jan 23, 2016
by Anonymous
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Without a replaceable

Without a replaceable battery, these units are useless once the battery runs out for however long it takes to recharge the unit while you hold your pet down under your butt or stick them in a cage. You only mention this feature for one of these trackers. Is this supposed to mean that only ONE tracker on the market has a replaceable battery(+additional battery)??

Jan 30, 2016
by Anonymous
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I found another GPS collar

I found another GPS collar (for cats only) which looks and works even better than the pawtrack collar which I purchased/received a few month ago. Unfortunately the KADDZ GPS Collar is currently only available in Europe. More about: http://www.kaddz.com/en/.

Or watch this short introduction video:
https://www.facebook.com/kaddz.gps.cat.collar/videos/1688386348112627/

It would be great if the KADDZ collar could be also tested/presented in this article in order to get an better overview of all current available GPS cat collars. Thanks

Feb 20, 2016
by Anonymous
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Due to the high number of

Due to the high number of dog thefts in the UK I am looking for a system which is hidden in a collar and is not easily noticed should the dog be stolen.

All of the trackers I have seen are highly visible and in many cases have the name or function plastered all over them.

I wouldn't have thought it was that difficult to hide one in a collar meaning thieves might not bother to remove the collar

Feb 22, 2016
by Anonymous
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I got the POD tracker as a

I got the POD tracker as a present. Sadly, it's practically useless.
Battery life: less than a day.
Changing the battery: You need non slip gloves it's so tight. (I'm a 6ft bloke)
Safe zone: Nope. Would go off with dog at my feet!
Activity: Sometimes. Then misses 2-3 days for no reason.
Adventure: Doesn't record either. Completed one, synced to phone, and it just vanished!
Bluetooth sync: very, very slow, even if it finds the pod at a distance of 6 feet. (and my BT is working just fine).

I would send it back, but you have to pay the postage!

Keep your money in your pocket.

Mar 5, 2016
by Anonymous
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How about actually making a

How about actually making a decision on what is the best one and why.. not listing 5

Mar 29, 2016
by Anonymous
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I bought the POD tracker and

I bought the POD tracker and the battery was lost because a lug had snapped off the device.A lady from Petbarn had the same thing happen to her.She had it on her cat and mine was on a dog.They told her they had a batch that this was happening to.They are replacing mine but the customer service is a bit of a run around.They come back with emails asking one question at a time so it takes a while to get the problem sorted.They ask for the faulty one back and you have to pay the postage to return it.I wouldnt recommend this brand.

Mar 31, 2016
by Anonymous
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If anyone is looking for a

If anyone is looking for a basic GPS Collar that does one thing and not several I saw this product yesterday http://www.ultimatebarkcontrol.com/GPS-dog-tracking-collar.htm Worth a look!

May 23, 2016
by Anonymous
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Check out the Kyon tracker.

Check out the Kyon tracker. Not yet available but it's the kind you're looking for tho I'm sure any thief eventually would figure it out

May 24, 2016
by Anonymous
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I've been doing a lot of

I've been doing a lot of research as well..to much even. I want with the iota and I am considering putting the pod 2 on as well and see which one works best...

May 24, 2016
by Anonymous
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Stop sandbagging and admit

Stop sandbagging and admit you work for pawpaw...and change the unit. it looks terribly cheap and childish.

Jun 1, 2016
by Anonymous
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We have high traffic in and

We have high traffic in and out of our house with kids and neighbors coming and going. My dogs often wander out the door when someone leaves it open. I'd like a system that sets off an alarm in our home when our dogs leave our property. My phone wouldn't work as that only helps if I'm home but doesn't help if I'm gone and someone else in the family lets the dogs out. I'd rather have an alarm that goes off in the house the second they step off the curb. Any suggestions? I'm in the US.

Jun 4, 2016
by Anonymous
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Our lab retriever of 13

Our lab retriever of 13 years had a TAGG tracker on her collar for the past three years. We needed a monitor because she would wander to neighbors who also had dogs just to visit, or for an outdoor bar-be-que, but remained on our cul-de sac street. As soon as she left the premises of our house, we would be alerted on our phones by the TAGG app wherever we were, we could see where she was, and also would tell us when she returned home. The app also alerts you when the charge is running low. It worked for us.........

Now we are looking for a cat collar..... that's how I found your post.

Good luck!

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