The Tractive beat out the other GPS dog collar trackers we looked at thanks to its great price. But don't miss our other picks for the best GPS dog collar trackers. We didn't just focus on the best dog dog tracking collars though. Check out our picks that work for cats too.
Best GPS Dog Collars and Pet Trackers 2023
Here are the best GPS dog collar trackers of 2023
- : Budget pick
- : Runner-up
- : Best for cats
- : Best for training
- : Best for no monthly fee
Compare the best pet GPS trackers
Up to 7 days
|View on Tractive|
Up to 20 days
|View on Amazon|
|Best for cats|
Up to 10 days
|View on Amazon|
|Best for training|
Up to 14 days
|View on Amazon|
Up to 8-16 hours
|View on Amazon|
Amazon.com price as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. Read full disclaimer.
Check out Lemonade pet health insurance; it's one of the most affordable options available, with customizable policies starting at $10/mo.
Best GPS pet tracker reviews
1. Tractive: Best for budgets
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.
In addition to its dog GPS tracker, the company also makes cat-specific trackers. We love this because typically GPS trackers can be a bit bulky for tiny cat necks.
Get all the details on the Tractive GPS dog collar and cat collar in our full Tractive review.
2. Whistle GO Explore: Runner-up
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 dog GPS tracker attaches to their existing neckwear.
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. Jiobit: Best for cats
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 the pet tracker at all, even though it does look a bit bulky.
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.
4. Link: Best for training
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.
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.
The PETFON Pet GPS Tracker is the only tracker on our list that doesn't have a monthly fee. So if you're on a budget and still want to keep your furry friend safe, this may be a good option.
Since there's no monthly fee, it probably comes as no surprise that this cat or dog GPS tracker has limited features. It doesn't track the health of your pet. It does feature a light and alarm, which can help you find your little runaway at night.
This GPS tracking collar is also rain and dust-proof. It's not waterproof, though, so your pet won't be able to swim in it.
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.
While Fi dog collars are popular, many online reviews cited poor design and customer service problems. There were just too many bad reviews to ignore for Fi smart collars to make our list.
If you are looking for Findster Duo, which used to be among our top picks, it's no longer available.
How to choose a GPS pet tracker
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.
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 don’t require a monthly fee.
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.
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 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.
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