Dog Tracking Device: What You Should Know to Keep Your Canine Safe

Dog owners can hardly bear the thought of their beloved canine running away or wandering off and getting lost, unable to find their own way home. That’s where a GPS dog tracking device comes in handy. Before running out to the store or hitting the online stores, it’s a good idea to do some research so that you know what the best tracking dog collar is for you and your dog. 

What is a Dog Tracking Device?

First things, owners need to understand the difference between a microchip and a GPS tracking device. Some dog owners are under the impression that they are one and the same, and unfortunately, this is not true. 

A microchip that vets can implant into your pets (dogs or cats) are encoded with a number that is unique to your pet specifically. This information can be accessed using a special device that reads the chip and provides the pet’s information. 

However, a canine GPS tracker is a device that comes with the ability to be attached to your dog’s collar. This device is GPS enabled so that you can track your dog using your smartphone in the event that they run away or get lost.

Dogs are impulsive, adventurous creatures. Meaning, they probably want to get out and explore and may do so when they see the opportunity to do so. That being said, there may be no limit on how far they will venture and what sort of terrain they may encounter. These are just a few things to keep in mind when shopping around for a tracking collar for your dog. 

What Type of Tracking Collar do You Want?

There are three different types of collars that can be used to track your dog’s location if they get lost. Short-range, GPS, and radio collars. These are all the different method that is used to track your dog’s location remotely. There are some pros and cons to each of these types of collars. 

Short-range Collar

Short-range collars have benefits such as being the smallest of the dog tracking devices available. They are also usable with your smartphone or with a dedicated tracking device. 

The downside to this type of dog tracking collar is that as the name implies, they are best for short distance tracking. Some of these devices do have a chirp feature that will cause your pet’s collar to make a noise to help you locate them. 

GPS Collar

GPS collars are newer to the market of dog tracking devices. They utilize our planet’s large network of GPS systems as well as various cell towers to help you locate your dog. 

These devices are great as a long-range dog tracker but have a few negative points as well. These devices are notorious for their significantly short battery life. These devices also usually require a monthly subscription to a GPS tracking service to go along with the collar.

Radio Collar

Radio technology is one of the older forms of tracking methods, meaning it is rather dated and has a few significant downsides. It is still an option for some dog owners should they choose to take the radio collar route. 

Older tech is sometimes a better and more reliable option in some cases. For instance, a radio tracking collar is great for a dog owner who travels to remote places with their dog often. These kinds of tracking collars are usually only reliable for about 1 to 5 miles range, and will only provide distance and a direction, as far as the location of your dog goes. 

Other Important Points to Keep in Mind

Other than the tracking method that your dogs tracking collar uses, there are other important points to keep in mind when choosing the right tracking collar. For instance, battery life and durability are both very important qualities to consider. 

Battery Life

The battery life of your dog tracking collar is what defines how reliable it really is. You don’t want a battery that will die just hours after your dog goes missing. Battery life is often dependent upon the type of technology is being used in the device, but also on the overall quality of the device itself.


Dogs are a rough and tough type of animal. Meaning, when they are out in nature, nothing is out of bounds. Especially if they get lose and are living by their own rules. You want to consider what your dog could get into if the runaway and become lost. 

Consider that they may run, jump, and roll around in nature. If they get lost during a hike, they may even take the time to go for a swim or run through the rain. Meaning, you will want to find a tracking device that can withstand impacts, dirt, and maybe even some water.


Your dog’s safety and well-being are your top priority. A dog tracking device that is reliable might be the difference between your dog being lost for one month or one hour.  Choosing a dog tracking device can be a tedious task with all of the variables that need to be considered. Using the information above, as well as what you know about your dog and their tendencies, choosing a device that’s right for you and your pal should be much easier now. 

Do tracking device for dogs work?

Yes, tracking devices for dogs can work very well. Certain GPS tracking collars for dog may not work well for you and your dog specifically for a number of reasons. When certain factors such as cell phone range and battery life are taken into consideration before purchase, a dog tracking device can work very well for finding a lost dog.

Is the dog microchip a GPS tracking device?

Microchips are not tracking devices. Microchips have unique identification numbers in them that can only be read by a special device that most shelters have on hand. Otherwise, these chips do not run on a power source or emit a GPS signal of any sort.

How much is a tracking device for a dog?

A GPS tracking device for a dog can range anywhere from $50 to $300. The price depends on different features such as battery power, range, and even simply the quality of the device.

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Written by Leo Roux

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