We don’t hesitate to pick up our smartphones to check the weather, our email, even our heart rates, but many of us haven’t considered how technology can help us keep up with our dogs’ health, location, and even steps. And with all the benefits of smart collars, why wouldn’t we take advantage?
Whistle 3 GPS Pet Tracker & Activity Monitor
DOTT The Smart Dog Tag
Top 11 Smart Dog Collars
Below you’ll find a table with quick links followed by more detailed reviews and a buyer’s guide.
|Rank||Picture||Name||Where to Buy|
|1||Whistle 3||See it on Amazon|
|2||Link AKC Smart Dog Collar||See it on Amazon|
|3||Tractive 3G Dog GPS Tracker||See it on Amazon|
|4||Findster Duo+ Pet Tracker||See it on Amazon|
|5||FitBark 2 Dog Activity Monitor||See it on Amazon|
|6||PETBLE Pet Smart Tag ||See it on Amazon|
|7||BARTUN Mini Pet Tracker||See it on Amazon|
|8||Find My Pet GPS Pet Tracker||See it on Amazon|
|9||PitPat 2||See it on Amazon|
|10||DOTT The Smart Dog Tag||See it on Amazon|
|11||Pet GPS Tracker by DAGPS||See it on Amazon|
|12||AUTOSEEKER GPS Pet Tracker||See it on Amazon|
1. Whistle 3 GPS Pet Tracker & Activity Monitor
The Whistle 3 is one of the smartest devices for dogs. It attaches to your dogs’ collar and is extremely durable and waterproof. It tracks your dog’s activity and location with the GPS service, and will send your alerts if your dog goes beyond its safe zone. This works with Apple or Android devices. Fits collars up to 1 inch.
- Versatile use
- Allows you to set alerts
- Battery lasts up to 7 days
- Doesn’t save routes or maps for more than 24 hours
Battery: recharge every 7 days
Service plan: required, starts at $6.95/mo
2. Link AKC Smart Dog Collar
This smart collar boasts that it’s the only smart collar you will ever need, and I see why. If you’re an avid hiker or you bring your dog along for adventures, it lets you record those special moments.
You can track your dog’s location 24/7 with an iPhone or Android and alerts you if your dog leaves its safety zone. It also allows you to input your dog’s age, breed, and size for accurate health information.
It even has sound you can turn on to talk to your dog from far away, and it has the option to store your dog’s vet information!
And if all of its features so far aren’t enough, it has an LED light that you can turn on remotely. It also comes in brown leather or black sports style.
- One of the few models that have permanent memory
- Service plan required
- Relatively short battery life (~3 days)
Battery: recharge every 3 days
Service plan: required, cost ranges from $6.95/mo to $9.95/mo, read the details here
3. Tractive 3G Dog GPS Tracker and Pet Finder
The Tractive 3G Dog GPS Tracker sets itself apart from other GPS trackers because it records a history of your dog’s location.
It will also alert you if your dog wanders outside of its digital fence. Like most other trackers, it’s waterproof and attaches to your dog’s collar.
It also allows you to track your dog outside of the U.S. which most other trackers are incapable of doing. This tracker does require a subscription plan and works with your internet browser or smartphone.
- Allows tracking outside of the U.S.
- Records the full history of your dog’s location
- Requires a subscription plan
- Must have cell service to work
Battery: recharge every 2-5 days
Service plan: required, starts at $5/mo
4. Findster Duo+ Pet Tracker
If you live in an area that doesn’t get great cell service, I would recommend the Findster Duo. This is also one of my favorites for owners with more than one dog.
You can track up to three dogs at a time. With a 3-mile tacking radius in open areas, you’re sure to find your dog before he gets too far away. And it comes in in multi-packs so you can save money!
It tracks your dogs’ location and activity so you’re aware of your dog’s well-being at all times. This one even works in all countries since it doesn’t rely on a cell network.
- Tracks location and activity
- does not need cell service
- no service plan required
- comes in a 1, 2, or 3 pack
- Short battery life
- could be more durable
Battery: recharge every 12 hours to 3 days (depending on mode)
Service plan: none required
5. FitBark 2 Dog Activity Monitor
FitBark is a trusted brand that makes durable products. Think of it as the FitBit for dogs (minus any GPS capabilities).
This activity monitor that attaches to the collar can tell you more than just how many steps your dog is taking, it’ll calculate calories burned and distance traveled. It will also record sleep patterns and help you monitor skin conditions.
It comes with a cover which can help protect it from damage. This device links with your Fitbit, Apple Watch, Health Kit, or Google Fit. Fits collars up to 1.58 inches.
- Trusted brand
- Super long battery life
- Does not have a GPS tracker
- Cover tends to come off easily
Battery: replace after 6 months
Service plan: none required
6. PETBLE Pet Smart Tag Activity Tracker
The Petble Smart Tag Activity Tracker will pet get your dog in tip-top shape. This tracker was designed by vets and it clips easily on to your dog’s collar and is a favorite among dog owners.
It works through Bluetooth with Android or Apple devices and allows you to set activity goals for your dog. You can even input your dog’s age, weight, and breed. Stay on top of your dog’s health with its sleep tracker.
This tracker is one of the few with 2 color options (purple and yellow). Most users say the tracker is super durable and easy to use.
- No subscription needed
- Easy to setup
- Requires the owner to be in-range for devices to sync
Battery: Not listed, although no users complain about short battery life
Service plan: none required
8. Find My Pet GPS Pet Tracker
Find My Pet’s pet tracker will offer you peace of mind if you worry about your dog getting lost.
Its app will show you a street view, satellite view, and a history of your dog’s location. The history of waypoints will let you know when your dog was in a certain spot and how fast he was moving.
It also alerts you when there’s a sudden change of speed or when your dog goes beyond its allowable area.
Pros: One of the more affordable devices, worldwide tracking
Cons: Battery life can be unpredictable, water resistant (not waterproof)
Battery: Recharge every 3-7 days
9. PitPat 2 Dog Activity Monitor
The PitPat Dog Activity Monitor stores up to a week’s worth of data on your dog’s health. It lets you set and track fitness goals for your dog and how many calories your dog burns.
It attaches to your dog’s collar and is lightweight and waterproof. Works with Apple and Android.
Pros: Trusted brand, reliable
Cons: Velcro wears out, some users report inaccuracies in its recordings, doesn’t track GPS
Battery: Replace after 10 months
10. DOTT The Smart Dog Tag,
If you have an escape artist, DOTT’s Smart Dog Tag might just be for you. This device was listed at “Best 5 Pet Gadgets You Should Buy” by TechnoNerd.
You can track your dog’s location without using a ton of battery life. This device works with Apple and Android devices, but it doesn’t need a subscription.
It comes with heat, flood, and poisoning alerts. It allows you to track bathroom usage, meals, medication, and walks.
Pros: No subscription, waterproof
Cons: Not the most durable, its lost dog app isn’t very popular
Battery: Replace after 6-9 months
11. Pet GPS Tracker by DAGPS
This device is great for tracking your dog and his activity. This product also comes in a 2 pack which can save you money if you need to buy multiple.
The GPS is accurate up to five meters to help you pinpoint your dog’s location. It’s also waterproof and lightweight. You can register up to 5 phone numbers to the device so any family member or your dog walker can check on your pup!
- Different battery modes
- accurate GPS
- Requires a subscription plan and
- only works on the T-Mobile network
- confusing set up (instructions)
Battery: Recharge every 3-15 days
Service plan: required
12. AUTOSEEKER GPS Pet Tracker AT-1 with Real Time Call Monitor
This waterproof tracker is great if you want to give your pet verbal commands remotely—it has a full phone function. It also has an SOS rapid emergency alert in case something goes wrong while you’re hiking or camping with your pup.
The GPS works in real time off of Google Maps which make it easy to use.
Pros: Tracking distance is not limited since it runs off a cell network
Cons: Larger than other trackers, a newer product without a lot of user history
Battery: Recharge every 15 days
What to consider before buying a smart dog collar
Subscriptions and contracts
When choosing a GPS collar, you’ll have to keep in mind if you’re willing to sign up for and pay for a subscription service through a cell phone carrier. There are options for non-subscription GPS collars, but most have a range you have to be within for your dog’s location to register with your device.
Most GPS collars have rechargeable batteries while most activity collars have disposable batteries. Most collars or clip-ons have different modes to save battery life.
But keep in mind, you do not want to be out hiking and have your dog’s collar battery go dead, especially if you’re relying on it as an emergency alert.
Dog pedometer, smart collars, and GPS tracking collars either clip onto your dog’s collar or are totally separate collars. The individual collars have less of a chance to get lost while the clip-ons are great if you want to choose your pup’s collar.
What can smart dog collars be used for?
Companies are constantly making more and more smart collars that can give insight into your pet’s health, habits, or whereabouts.
If you have a chubby pup, activity tracking collars can help you set goals for exercise and monitor your pup’s progress. My Catahoula was 32 pounds when I got him. He quickly packed on some pounds and soon weighed almost 60 pounds! It wasn’t until I began to time his walks that I realized he was not getting as much exercise as he needed.
So, I talked to my vet who suggested I get him a dog pedometer and came up with activity goals to help him get back into shape.
My dog began to lose weight once I could see how much we were walking. Now, I use the monitor to adjust his meal size after we go on long hikes. I also use it to alert me to any changes in my dog’s health through sleep monitoring and monitoring how much your pup scratches.
If you live out in the country to have a dog that’s notoriously good at squeezing out of your fence, a GPS smart collar is a great option! The GPS function is great for escape artists, hunting dogs, and hiking with your dog.
Smart collars and dog pedometers are a pretty new technology. When you’re shopping for these devices, make sure you try to choose the latest models so that any bugs or kinks may have gotten worked out.
Smart collars and devices for our dogs can help us get a peek into their world when we’re at work and give us peace of mind on road trips, hiking trips, and hunts. Pick one up and find out what you’ll learn about your dog.
Science nerd says
What type of EMF radiation do these devices emit? Are these always on or if not, what is the frequency?