Best GPS Dog Collars and Pet Trackers 2022

Find the right GPS pet tracker for your pet—whether you’re looking for a smart tracker or a cheap GPS tracker, our reviews give you the info you need.
Best overall
findster duo pet tracker
Findster Duo
  • pro
    No subscription
  • pro
    Up to 3-mile range
Runner-up
whistle 3 gps pet tracker
Whistle GO Explore
  • pro
    Health monitoring
  • pro
    Quick-charge battery
Budget pick
Tractive
  • pro
    Rugged design
  • pro
    Cheap upfront price
Best for cats
jiobit kids tracker
Jiobit
  • con
    No health monitoring
  • pro
    Lightweight
Best for training
Link
  • pro
    Health monitoring
  • pro
    Tone and vibration options

The Findster Duo beat out the other GPS dog collar trackers we looked at thanks to its subscription-free service, super-easy setup, and versatile bonus features like geofencing.

Even though the upfront price is higher, it’s still cheaper than every other pet tracker on our list (except our budget pick) when you add in one year of the lowest-tier monthly fee. And if you plan to use your pet tracker for more than one year, even the Tractive becomes more expensive.



Compare the best pet GPS trackers

Product
Best for
Up-Front Price
Subscription Cost
Battery Life
Shop Link

Best overall

$184.99*

None

Up to 5 days

Runner-up

$149.95

$12.99/mo.

Up to 20 days

Budget pick

$49.99

$12.00/mo.

Up to 7 days

Best for cats

$149.99

$8.99/mo.

Up to 10 days

Best for training

$149.99

$12.99/mo.

Up to 14 days

Info current as of post date. Offers and availability subject to change.

*Includes 1 year subscription.

Best GPS pet tracker reviews

1. Findster Duo: Best overall

Best overall

An awesome pet tracker that doesn’t require a monthly subscription? Yes, please. The Findster Duo provides real-time GPS tracking without relying on cell coverage. That gives you more freedom to hit the trail without worrying about your little tail-wagger getting lost.

pro
Pros
pro No subscription
pro Up to 3-mile range
pro Easy setup
pro Coverage for up to 3 pets
con
Cons
con Inconsistent battery life
con Less effective for cats

Image: SafeWise

And it helps you monitor your pet while you’re at work too. You can set safe zones to keep Fido out of dangerous or off-limits spots (like the kitty litter box), and if he enters the danger zone, you get an instant alert.

Get all the details in our full Findster Duo review.

2. Whistle GO Explore: Runner-up

Runner-up
whistle 3 gps pet tracker

*Amazon.com price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

We were impressed with its accurate geolocation sensor, quick setup, and user-friendly app for Whistle's latest model, the Whistle GO Explore. Plus, you don’t need to get your pooch used to a new collar—this small device attaches to their existing neckwear.

pro
Pros
pro Live GPS tracking
pro Safe zone feature
pro Sleep, rest, and exercise monitoring
pro Nationwide coverage
con
Cons
con Required subscription
con Spotty rural coverage
Dog wearing a Whistle GPS dog tracker.

Image: SafeWise

With rave reviews on Amazon (and just about everywhere else—including the review from our in-house tester), Whistle is a standout among pet GPS trackers. Its reliability, durability, and accuracy make Whistle a true partner when it comes to keeping your four-legged friends safe.

Read our full review of the Whistle pet GPS tracker.

3. Tractive: Best for budgets

Best for budgets
Tractive
$49.99

*Amazon.com price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

You don’t have to blow your monthly budget to keep an eye on your best friend with this clever tracking device. The Tractive pet GPS tracker comes in around $50 and has subscription fees that work out to $5 a month if you pick a two-year plan.

In addition to live tracking, this GPS dog tracker also has a hunting dog version with more durable, waterproof construction. That kind of durability lets your buddy run free through the bush, water, and other rugged terrain—without causing you worry.

pro
Pros
pro 24-hour location history
pro Rugged design
pro Real-time tracking
pro 100% waterproof rating
con
Cons
con No activity reporting
con Cell coverage required

4. Jiobit: Best for cats

Best for cats
jiobit kids tracker
Jiobit
$149.99

 *Amazon.com price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

We're big fans of the Jiobit. It's lightweight, making it perfect for cats and small dogs. In fact, our cat tester Milo didn't seem to notice it at all, even though it does look a bit bulky. 

pro
Pros
pro Adjustable alerts
pro Accurate location tracking
pro Lightweight
con
Cons
con Average battery life
con No pet-specific features

Image: Alina Bradford, SafeWise

Compared to other pet GPS trackers, the Jiobit has a shorter battery life and a higher-than-average price tag. Since it's designed as a kids GPS tracker too, it lacks pet-specific insights that you get from other models—like activity and health monitoring or a nightlight.

On the flip side, the Jiobit features AI learning to get to know your pet's routines and let you know if something's amiss, which could be nifty if your cat suddenly ends up wandering into unknown territory.

Learn more in our full Jiobit review.

5. Link: Best for training

Best for training

*Amazon.com price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

The Link pet tracker is easily the most stylish option on our list thanks to optional vinyl wraps in a range of patterns and pastel colors.

But the cute factor isn't the only thing that makes Link worthwhile: it also has some built-in training tools.

pro
Pros
pro Location tracking
pro Activity monitoring
pro Nightlight
pro Temperature alerts
con
Cons
con Too bulky for cats and small dogs

Nope, it's not a shock collar. Instead, you can program the Link to vibrate or make sounds (including a traditional "click" sound) when you tap a button on the app. With a little classical conditioning, you can teach your dog to associate those vibrations or sounds with yummy treats, toys, or tummy rubs, making it possible to capture and reward behaviors even when your dog is working at a distance. 

If that sounds a little gobbledy-gooky, check out Links' free dog training series on YouTube

Other pet GPS trackers we considered

GeoZilla GPS Tracker

Image: Cathy Habas, SafeWise

The GeoZilla GPS Tracker comes with a pouch that slides onto medium and large collars. The tracker itself is small and light enough for a cat—you'd just need to rig up a different collar attachment.

The GeoZilla was reasonably accurate during our tests but did give a few false alarms. Our main complaint is that it's pricey—about $20 a month after the introductory rate expires—and doesn't offer any pet-specific features like the other trackers on our list.

Learn more in our full GeoZilla GPS Tracker review.

How to choose a GPS pet tracker

Pet size

Pet trackers are not one-size-fits-all, and many are designed for medium-sized or larger pets. Pay attention to the size and weight of the tracker. Even though most are designed to attach to your pet’s existing collar, tracking devices can be bulky and uncomfortable for smaller pets.

The good news is that most pet trackers disclose up front if their product works for cats and other diminutive pets. So, if you need to find the right GPS pet tracker for a 7-pound dog, consider searching for trackers that specify compatibility with felines.

Activity level

If you have a rambunctious pup that never seems to sit still, you want a pet tracker that has a good track record for battery life. Most pet trackers let you select different modes depending on whether you’re out on a hike, at the dog park, or just chilling at home. The difference between the settings is how often the tracker checks in on your pet’s location and how often it sends you alerts.

Trackers that offer live tracking usually update every 30 seconds, so you have a constant stream of notifications about your pet’s location. That’s a great feature, especially if you have a runner, but it drains battery life quickly. If you want to use live tracking often, seek out a pet GPS tracker with rock-star reviews for battery life when in active mode.

Where you go with your pet

Maybe you’ve got a city dog (like me) or perhaps your pooch is more free-range, like Chevy Chase’s Irish Setter in the movie Funny Farm. If your dog is likely to jump in ponds after ducks and engage in other similar shenanigans, you want a pet tracker that can stand up to the elements. And it needs to be waterproof.

While most pet GPS trackers are water-resistant, there are different levels of water durability. You don’t want your investment to go kaput the first time Rover gets a penchant for waterfowl, so look for waterproof not water-resistant, and don’t be shy about combing customer reviews to find out how waterproof a tracker really is. The Whistle Go is rated waterproof IPX7, which means it can be submerged in up to four feet of water for up to half an hour.

GPS pet tracker FAQs

The difference between a microchip and a GPS collar is the way each one helps keep your pet safe. With microchips, you can’t track your pet in real time and they can be identified only once they end up at a vet or shelter. Also, chips are inserted into an animal’s shoulder—they can’t be slipped off like a collar or clip-on device.

With a GPS collar, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 2G, and 3G technologies ping your animal’s location, allowing you to track them in real time or download a map of their most recent jaunt. This is one of the big reasons why GPS collars for dogs and cats have become so popular. But GPS pet trackers rely on battery life and they can be removed or lost.

Not necessarily, but smart GPS collars can do a lot more than a microchip. In addition to letting you track your pet’s location, a smart collar can detect things like heart rate, body temperature, and daily activity. Again, this can be nice if you want to keep a watchful eye on your sick kitty or aging hound.

On the other hand, if you choose to go with a GPS collar on its own, you risk losing your pet for good if the tracker runs out of juice or gets removed somehow. A microchip is extra insurance if your pet’s tracker gets lost or stops working.

Some do, some don’t—it all depends on which kind you get. For instance, Whistle runs on AT&T’s network, though that doesn’t mean you’ll have to switch providers if your phone plan isn’t with AT&T.

Many do, but not all of them. Most have plans for as little as $5–$10, but others like our top pick, Findster Duo, don’t require a monthly fee.

Are all smart collars waterproof?

This depends on the type of GPS collar you have, but many are capable of being submerged in at least three feet of water—and that’s definitely a feature you want to have.

If you have a cat, you don’t run the risk of water damage as much as you would with a dog, but having a waterproof tracker is helpful if your feline falls into water or gets caught in a rainstorm.

Will GPS collars work on cats?

Yes. Generally speaking, the smart collar industry is focused on dogs, but most collars are advertised for both dogs and cats.

This depends on the type of GPS collar you have, but many are capable of being submerged in at least three feet of water—and that’s definitely a feature you want to have.

If you have a cat, you don’t run the risk of water damage as much as you would with a dog, but having a waterproof tracker is helpful if your feline falls into water or gets caught in a rainstorm.

Yes. Generally speaking, the smart collar industry is focused on dogs, but most collars are advertised for both dogs and cats.

How we reviewed the best pet trackers

We prioritized these features when researching the best GPS dog collar trackers:

  • Customizable geofencing and safe zones
  • Accurate GPS tracking and alerts
  • Reliable notifications to your cell phone or mobile device
  • Battery life that lasts long enough for a day-long romp
  • Waterproof ratings for pets that love to swim
  • Adjustable sizing for a snug fit

We tested the Findster Duo, Whistle 3, and Jiobit on two dogs and a cat before adding them to our lineup. 

Learn more about how we test products here at SafeWise on our methodology page.


Disclaimer

 *Product prices and availability are accurate as of post date and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. Safewise.com utilizes paid Amazon links.

Certain content that appears on this site comes from Amazon. This content is provided “as is” and is subject to change or removal at any time.

Rebecca Edwards
Written by
Rebecca Edwards
Rebecca is the lead safety reporter and in-house expert for SafeWise.com. She has been a journalist and blogger for over 25 years, with a focus on home and community safety for the past eight. Rebecca spends dozens of hours every month poring over crime reports and spotting trends. Her safety expertise is sought after by publications, broadcast journalists, non-profit organizations, podcasts, and more. You can find her expert advice and analysis in places like TechCrunch, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Miami Herald, NPR, HGTV, MSN, Reader's Digest, Real Simple, and an ever-growing library of radio and TV clips.

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