The best pet GPS tracker

Keep up with walks, and keep them safe, with these all-singing, all-dancing, pet-friendly GPS tracking devices

TODO alt text

From Fitbits to Apple Watches, smart tech wearables are on to a winner this year, and now it’s time to get your furry friends in on the action too. The best pet GPS trackers are reliable, durable, comfortable, and can help keep your beloved four-legged pal safe, pinpointing their location in real time if they get lost or stolen and even showing up a history of visited locations. 

There are a few specifications worth considering when it comes to buying a GPS tracker for your pet. First, the continuation cost. Some units represent excellent value when first purchased, but ongoing subscription costs should be taken into account too. Secondly, there’s the battery life. A lost cat or dog can be on the lam for hours or days, and a long battery life can make all the difference when it comes to tracking them down.

With these things in mind, the Whistle Activity Monitor is our best pet tracker. There’s no subscription cost, the battery is said to last between seven and 10 days, and it throws waterproofing into the bargain too. Rather than focusing on where your pet is at any given time, this tracks their activity to make sure they’re getting all the exercise they need. If it’s location tracking you’re after, try our other top-three entries the Trax Play or Tractive GPS Tracker

The best pet GPS tracker

1. Whistle Activity Monitor For Dogs

Keep tabs on Fido’s fitness with this activity tracker for dogs

Specifications
Best for: Tracking
Battery life: 7-10 days
Waterproof?: Yes
Subscription?: No
Reasons to buy
+ Keep track of walks even remotely 

If you’re worried that your pooch might be getting a little paunchy, here’s some good news: the Whistle Activity Monitor acts as a sort of Fitbit for dogs, fitting on to their collar and reporting back on how much exercise they’ve had during the day, and even the quality of that exercise, so you can make sure they’re getting all the outdoor fun they need to stay fit and healthy even if you’re not the one doing the bulk of the walking. You can also have multiple users checking out one dog’s data, or multiple dogs on one account, so everyone gets an insight. 

Trax Play Live GPS Tracking Tool for Children and Pets

2. Trax Play Live GPS Tracking Tool for Children and Pets

For real-time alerts and quality geofencing

Specifications
Best for: Frequent updates
Battery life: 2-3 days
Waterproof?: No
Subscription?: Yes
Reasons to buy
+ Two years’ free data roaming 

The phrase 'for children and pets' will never fail to raise a giggle, but this double-duty tracker is no laughing matter. Lightweight and relatively small, it shouldn’t intrude on comfort whoever it’s tagged onto, and it even comes with two years’ free data roaming, which makes for excellent value, but most of all testers loved the geofencing, which sends you an alert if your pet strays outside of a safe area, or off a safe route, that you’ve set for them, and location updates every few seconds for up-to-the-minute reassurance. 

Tractive GPS Tracker for Dogs and Cats

3. Tractive GPS Tracker for Dogs and Cats

Up-to-the-minute tracking for all-round peace of mind

Specifications
Best for: Geofencing
Battery life: 2-5 days
Waterproof?: Yes
Subscription?: Yes
Reasons to buy
+ Hard-wearing but comfortable 

Lightweight but robust and waterproof, this pet tracking device is designed to be clipped on to any collar or harness, not to be felt, but still to stand up to the rigours of rough and tumble play and exploration. Users agreed that this was a strong point of Tractive’s design, and that it stayed put through many a muddy adventure, but again, like our previous pick, arguably its biggest selling point is its geofencing capabilities, with real-time tracking that works in over 150 countries, no range limitation, and easy editing of virtual fences. 

Hangang Real-time Tracking Locator GPS

4. Hangang Real-time Tracking Locator GPS

Tracking speed, location, route history and more, this is one advanced tracker

Specifications
Best for: Simplicity
Battery life: 7-10 days
Waterproof?: Yes
Subscription?: Yes
Reasons to buy
+ Tracks lots of metrics 

While we doubt there are actually terrifying women in large fur coats roaming the streets in search of puppies, it still makes sense to be on your guard against sticky-fingered thieves who might take a shine to your pet. As well as sending a message to your phone if your furry friend breaches the limits of the safe zone you’ve set for them with the geofencing function, the Hanang Tracking Locator monitors location, movement, route history and even speed, so if you suddenly see your little dot going 50mph, you know something’s up. 

Pod 3 GPS Pet Tracker and Activity Monitor

5. Pod 3 GPS Pet Tracker and Activity Monitor

Push notifications ensure your pet doesn’t put a toe out of line

Specifications
Best for: Multiple fences
Battery life: 4 days
Waterproof?: Yes
Subscription?: Yes
Reasons to buy
+ Set multiple virtual fences 

The Pod 3 marries our two different types of pet tracker with aplomb, offering activity and location tracking in one robust but lightweight package. Like our previous handful of picks, it sends a push notification every time your pet steps outside of their virtual boundaries, but its star function is arguably its ability to set multiple virtual fences, rather than a single safe zone. This means you can set one for your home, one for a parent’s or pet-sitter’s house, or even one around the cattery or kennel when you head off on holiday. Add to that shock-proofing and waterproofing, and it’s sure to be a reliable addition. 

Tile Sport

6. Tile Sport

Keep an eye on them at home or out and about with this multi-use tracking device

Specifications
Best for: Battery life
Battery life: 1 year
Waterproof?: Yes
Subscription?: No
Reasons to buy
+ Extremely long battery life 
Reasons to avoid
- Only a 200ft range 

Okay, it’s not engineered specifically for pets, but hear us out: the Tile Sport has a cited battery life of up to one whole year. That’s a full 355 days longer than our next longest-lasting option. It’s ideal if you don’t want to disturb your pet by repeatedly taking the tracker on and off for charging, and like to know where they’re hiding at any given time – it can come in especially handy if certain rooms in the house are off-limits, or for tracking them down pre-vet – but the main difference between the Tile and our other picks is that it only has a range of up to 200ft, so it’s best kept for inside the house or on close-quarters walks. 

More pet-friendly buys: