What’s the difference between GPS tracking and a microchip?
The difference between a microchip and a GPS collar is the way the two are located. With a GPS collar, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 2G, and 3G technologies can ping your animal’s location, allowing you to track them in real time. It’s because of this that GPS collars for dogs and cats have become so popular.
With microchips, you can’t track your pet in real time; they can only be identified 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.
If my pet is already microchipped, do I need to get a GPS collar too?
Not necessarily, but smart GPS collars can do a lot more than a microchip. In addition to letting you track your pet’s location in real time, 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.
Do tracking devices work off a cellular network?
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.
Do all tracking devices have monthly subscription plans?
Many do, but not all of them. Some have plans for as little as $5–$10, whereas with some like Nuzzle, there’s no monthly fee.
Are all smart collars waterproof?
This all depends on the type of GPS collar you have, but almost all 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.