We're pleased to present expert insights about pet tracking technology from pet tech industry leader Tractive. If you've ever wondered what the difference is between GPS, microchips, and Bluetooth, Tractive explains the ins and outs of these tech tools that help us keep track of our four-legged friends.
Microchip vs. GPS: Which is Better for Finding a Lost Pet?
Did you know your pet's microchip will not help locate them if they go missing? Microchips can only help identify them after they've been found. But to keep your pet safe, you want to make sure they never go missing in the first place. That's where GPS trackers like Tractive come in. With live GPS tracking technology, you can pinpoint your furry friend’s exact location instantly -- saving you a lot of panic and heartache.
A pet owner's first line of defense against a missing/lost pet is GPS tracking. A microchip is valuable for identification after your cat or dog goes missing (which is still very important), but a GPS tracker can prevent that from happening to begin with.
The difference between GPS tracking and microchips
Studies show the vast majority of pet owners aren't aware there is a difference between microchips and GPS trackers, which is potentially dangerous misinformation. The most common misconception is that if their pet runs away, their microchip will help locate them, which is impossible.
In reality, a microchip is solely used for identification and contact purposes after your pet has been found. For that to happen, your pet has to be found by a kind stranger and brought to a shelter or veterinarian's office for the chip to be scanned. Additionally, you need to make sure that your contact information with the microchip company is up to date, something many pet owners neglect to check.
Pet GPS trackers like Tractive provide you with 24/7 live location updates for your pet, no matter where you are in the world. Tractive works with all major cell network providers to ensure the most accurate GPS coverage, which is delivered right to your phone. With the Virtual Fence feature, you can even set "safe zones" for your pet, and Tractive will alert you the instant your cat leaves the designated zone. From there, you can enter LIVE tracking mode, instantly zone in on their location, and bring them home safely.
Pet identification and tracking pros and cons
There are several options for keeping track of your dog or cat. Microchips help identify a pet and contact the owner if found, GPS trackers like Tractive give live updates if you've got a runner, and Bluetooth trackers like an AirTag can help you keep tabs while pets are close.
Tractive breaks down the pros and cons of each option to help you make the best choice for your pet.
Pet GPS tracker pros and cons
Pet Bluetooth tracker pros and cons
Pet microchip tracker pros and cons
Whether your four-legged friend spends most of their time indoors, outdoors, or both—Tractive GPS ensures their safety should the worst happen. All pet owners want to keep their pets safe, and having both a microchip and Tractive GPS gives the ultimate peace of mind, and the ultimate protection for your pet.
Learn more in our full Tractive review.