top of page
Years.com dog food trial
Forthglade dog food exclusive discount
  • Writer's pictureSmart Bark

Best GPS Trackers for Dogs 2024 : Tested & Reviewed

Updated: 3 days ago

Smart Bark is supported by its audience. We requested all four tracking devices for the purposes of this review. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. Learn more


PitPat GPS exclusive discount

Using a GPS tracker is becoming more and more popular with dog lovers in the UK. It is one of the best ways to locate your dog if they ever take off or go missing.


From boredom to fear or simply their basic hunting instinct, there are so many reasons why dogs might run away.


Investing in a GPS tracker can be a relatively small outlay which can have a massive payoff if you lose your dog.


Dog wearing best GPS dog tracker

Fitting easily onto a collar or harness, GPS Trackers fit flush with the collar and don't hang down like a dog ID Tag.


Modern GPS trackers are designed to be light, durable and waterproof, so are able to stand up to everything your four-legged friend and the UK elements can throw at it.


The accompanying phone app often provides so much more data than location alone. You can set geo fences (notifications when your dog leaves or arrives in an area), set daily activity goals and track their progress and even measure your dog's sleeping patterns.


But how easy are they to use ? How reliable is the GPS ? When it comes to finding the best GPS Tracker, we're here to help.


Our Best GPS Tracker for Dogs Review explores the accuracy, features and costs of four of the best known trackers available in the UK for 2024.

We fully tested these trackers over several months so can honestly offer the pros and cons of each option to help you can choose the Best GPS Tracker for you and your four-legged friend.

Due to the in-depth testing, this article is quite a long read. If you're in a rush, you can always jump to the section which interests you, if not, pour yourself a cuppa, sit back and read on.



TABLE OF CONTENTS


Features to Consider


So what do you need to bear in mind when looking for a GPS Tracker?


Positional Accuracy & Updates

Nothing is more important than the accuracy of the location and the frequency of the updates. Being able to track your dog live, with position updates every few seconds, is essential to keeping them safe and sound. We fully test the update times and provide results.

Position updates and cellular coverage infographic

Cellular Coverage

The crucial point to make here is that all dog GPS trackers need cellular coverage. So if you live or walk in an area where your phone doesn't get great coverage, you may experience location problems with a tracker.

If you're unsure of the coverage in your area, PitPat, Tractive, Pawfit and Weenect all offer a money-back guarantee. We'd suggest trialling your chosen tracker to make sure it has a strong connection where you walk your dog.

Ease of Use

Lots of smart technology can become quite complicated to use. GPS trackers are no different, so we assess just how intuitive the tech and the phone apps really are.


Size & Weight

Clearly you'll want a GPS tracker that fits onto your dog's collar and is super lightweight. Probably more important if you have a small breed dog or a puppy, we provide the dimensions and weight of each option.


Battery Life

All GPS trackers will need charging. We provide information on the battery life of each option but be aware that ultimately the battery life will depend on usage.


Costs

Because GPS trackers have a sim card, you may incur a monthly cost. We detail the initial costs of the device and any ongoing subscription costs so you can compare options.



dog paw graphic


Our Picks of the Best GPS Trackers for Dogs


1. Pawfit 3 Pet Tracker

Best GPS Tracker overall


Specification

Weight : 27g

Size : 48 x 33 x 14

Battery Life : Up to 6 days

Waterproof : Yes

Collar Fixing : Fixed holder, device clips in

Geo Fence : Yes

Location History : Yes

Colour Options : No

Subscription Cost : from £3.39 a month ( 2 yr plan)

Cost : £54.99

Buying Options :


For 10% OFF Pawfit, use the discount code SMARTB at checkout


The latest tracker from Pawfit, the Pawfit 3, uses some very smart technology to not only track your dog but also monitor their wellbeing, and you can do it all from your mobile phone.


Dog Tracker

Set Up

The Pawfit 3 tracker comes in two parts. A separate base plate is secured to the collar first and then the device simply slots onto the base plate.


This unique design means that cleverly, if the device is removed from the base plate you receive a notification on your phone immediately.


It's worth noting that this is the only GPS tracker tested that offers this feature (additionally, Pawfit now offer a collar with a built-in tracker attachment base).


We were pleased to see that the base plate has several attachment options to suit a wide variety of collar widths, so whether you have a Dachshund or a Great Dane, the Pawfit tracker will fit on your dog's collar.


Pawfit also offer a GPS collar for dogs and a harness. Made from strong and durable material, both the collar and the harness have a built in tracker attachment base.

Feedback regarding the previous model - the Pawfit 2, prompted Latsen Technology to redesign and improve the collar attachment on the Pawfit 3. As well as being super secure, it is now easier for dog-lovers suffering with hand-mobility issues.

Connecting the device to our phone was very straightforward. We simply downloaded the app, scanned the barcode on the reverse of the tracker to pair the app to the device, then we were ready to go.


Pawfit dog tracker screen

Tracking

Tracking wise, Pawfit performed admirably.


With options to select a satellite map (see photo) or a basic Google map the Pawfit tracker updates the location every 1-2 minutes.


This gave us a fairly accurate picture throughout the dog walk. If you opt for the Premium subscription you can alter this in the settings to update every 40 or even 20 seconds whilst your dog is being active.


Ultimately this will give you greater accuracy but depletes the battery quicker.


In short bursts, if you want an even greater degree of accuracy you can select 'Find' mode.


This is their live tracking mode available whichever subscription model you chose, and updates your dog's location every 5 seconds.


The live tracking feature automatically lasts for 10 minutes or you can opt to manually cancel it.


There are additional options available to take photos throughout the walk and if you feel inclined, you can mark activities such as pee, poo, food and water or even their reactions to other dogs, cat, bikes etc.

Pawfit smarter petcare screenshot

We particularly liked the Fitbit style data offered with steps, walk duration and distance covered in the Activity menu.


A selection of graphs, show just how active your dog has been each day. Some of the data e.g. calories is estimated based on your dog's type, breed, age and weight.


In our case, the REST HOURS data wasn't accurate as Freddie doesn't tend to wear his collar around the house.


Features

The Pawfit tracker offers stacks of different options including geo fences, so you receive notifications when your dog leaves a defined area, and the option to share walks with family members.


The Pawfit 3 tracker also has a couple of unique features which we loved.


One of these features is Audio ID. Anyone who finds your dog can press the power button to play a message with your dog's information. You can include your pet's name, your name, telephone number and address.


You can also record voice commands and play them through the Pawfit tracker. We found that this particular feature didn't work as well as we'd hoped. The voice sounded muffled and seemed to confuse our dog.


Another unique feature is a Temperature Alert. The device can be set up to alert you when it's too hot or cold to walk your dog.


Subscriptions & Costs

Pawfit offer two levels of subscriptions - Basic and Premium.


A full list of the differences can be viewed on the Pawfit website but essentially the key differences are the maximum length of time for a single walk, the option to update the location at 40s or 40s throughout a walk and the length of time the walk history is stored for.


Each Pawfit tracker requires a subscription plan. You can choose from 1 month, 6, 12 and 24 months plans, all available to select upon activation.


Pros & Cons

We love our Pawfit 3 Pet Tracker. It's really easy to set up, tracks consistently and has a host of features.


Dog wearing Pawfit 3 GPS tracker

A number of features have been upgraded since we tested the Pawfit 2 tracker. The new and improved tracker is lighter, smaller and importantly uses a 4g network and bluetooth.


We particularly liked the options to customise the app. From adding temperature and device removal alerts to changing the type of map or adding photos at key points of your dog walks, ultimately the Pawfit 3 is a well designed and thought out tracker.


On the downside, whilst we loved the base plate collar fixing, it isn't a device that you could easily swap between different collars or harnesses. Once in place, the base plate really needs to stay there.


We'd suggest purchasing a spare base plate (they're inexpensive) for each collar or harness, then you can simply attach the tracker to whichever one your dog is wearing that day.


For 10% OFF Pawfit, use the discount code SMARTB at checkout




dog paw graphic


2. PitPat GPS Tracker

Best GPS Tracker without a subscription


Specification

Weight : 30g

Size :35 x 18 x 60 mm

Battery Life : weeks

Waterproof : Yes

Collar Fixing : Velcro strap

Geo Fence : No

Location History : Yes

Colours Options : 5

Subscription Cost : None

Cost : £149

Buying Options :


Order directly from PitPat before 3pm for same-day shipping, or find it on Amazon Prime. For the best deals and widest selection, purchasing directly from PitPat is the way to go.


For £25 OFF PitPat GPS Trackers

Enter Promo Code SMART25



The first thing to be said about the PitPat GPS Tracker is that it offers an alternative to a subscription based GPS Tracker for your dog.

PitPat GPS tracker in red

Simply pay one up-front fee for the tracker and then you can find your dog without having to pay an ongoing monthly GPS subscription cost.


We felt this proposition would suit a lot of dog lovers, so we were keen to see what the PitPat GPS Tracker had to offer.


Set Up

Designed in Cambridge UK, the stylish tracker arrives with it's own wireless charging pad, USB charging cable and extra strong velcro straps to attach the tracker to your collar or harness.


Super easy to set up, simply download the app, link the device and charge the PitPat tracker.


We love the wireless charging pad, so easy to use, simply place the tracker on the pad. The paw flashes and when fully charged, all four 'paw' led light up.

PitPat GPS tracker on a wireless charger

The 4 velcro straps are super strong and should fit most collars, however you can request longer straps for an extra wide collar should you need them.


Initially a little underwhelmed by the velcro strips, we can report that they did the job admirably and even on adventures in heavy undergrowth, the tracker stayed secure.

PitPat tracker showing velcro fastening

Tracking

To activate the tracking mode select LOCATION and choose from either the 'Start a Walk' or 'Find My Dog Now' button.


The 'Start a Walk' button wakes up the PitPat and triggers live-tracking. It takes a couple of minutes to make contact with the satellite and report your position, but you can simply put your phone back in your pocket until you need it.

PitPat GPS tracker screen showing types of map available

In testing, we were surprised by just how long it initially took to find and report our location. However, only accessing your location information when you request it, does mean that PitPat has an extraordinarily long battery life (up to a couple of weeks).


Once initiated, the live tracking automatically continues for 90 minutes with your dog's location updating every few seconds. You can of course end your walk earlier.


The 'Find My Dog Now' option works in exactly the same way, taking a few minutes to trigger the initial satellite service.


PitPat offer two types of map (shown above) or if you don't like maps you can opt to use the Dog Finder Arrow which simply points in the direction of the GPS device.

PitPat Dog Finder Arrow

As with all the trackers we tested, it really does depend on how good the satellite service/ mobile network is in your area. We found the PitPat's location performance was intermittent with poorer service on some rural walks but accurate service at the town parks.


PitPat have pre-empted this potential issue by offering a full 21 day money-back guarantee so you can check the signal on your preferred dog walks.



Features

In addition to the GPS tracker, PitPat offer a very popular Activity Monitor. It works like a Fitbit, monitoring your dogs movement but doesn't have GPS capabilities so can't track the locate of your dog.


One of the key features we loved about the GPS tracker was that PitPat had included some of the key features from their Activity Monitor.

PitPat screen showing dog activity levels

All the minutes spent walking, running and playing are displayed graphically as well as calories used and miles travelled.


Of course your dog does need to wear the PitPat for it to track the movement. In our case, you can clearly see from the screenshot that we didn't put Freddie's collar on until lunchtime !

You may be interested in reading our full and in-depth review of the Best Activity Monitors available in the UK - including PitPat.

The clever technology behind PitPat means that the activity monitoring software works without the GPS so doesn't drain the battery - very clever stuff.


In fact this is one of the standout features of the PitPat Tracker. It's battery will last up to a couple of weeks depending on how much you opt to use live tracking. This is considerably longer than any of the rival trackers.


You might also like the option to add the whole family to one PitPat account. Everyone can use their phones to see where your dog is (which could be really useful if they run off) and view daily activity levels.



Subscriptions & Costs

Cost wise, with no ongoing subscriptions, we think that the PitPat is amazing value for money at £149.


Going on holiday ? In a rush? PitPat offer next-day delivery if you order before 2pm.



Pros & Cons

The headline feature of the PitPat Tracker has to be the cost. One up-front payment is all you need to pay. The amazing battery life coupled with the wireless charging are added bonuses.


Dog wearing red PitPat GPS tracker on collar

It's worth pointing out that this tracker may not have geo fence capability, you can't see a map of your walk, access historic walks, add photos or make the tracker light up, but it does track your dog and it does it well.


If you're not after the bells and whistles that Tractive and Pawfit offer, but want a good quality, reliable GPS tracker at a great price, then we think that PitPat is an ideal option.


For £25 OFF PitPat GPS Trackers

Enter Promo Code SMART25


One last point - the PitPat GPS Tracker and the PitPat Activity Monitor look very similar but offer very different features. Make sure you order the correct device.


dog paw graphic


3. Tractive GPS Tracker for Dog

Best GPS Tracker and Health Monitoring


Specification

Weight : 35g

Size :23 x 12 x 60 mm

Battery Life : 7 days

Waterproof : Yes

Collar Fixing : Rubber attachment

Geo Fence : Yes

Location History : Yes

Colours Options : 4

Subscription Cost : from £4.50 a month (Basic - 2 yr plan)

Cost : £44.99

Buying Options :


The Tractive GPS Tracker is the world's most trusted pet GPS with over 1 million users.

Tractive Tracker  for dogs box, device and guide

Set Up

The first thing to say, is that the Tractive tracker is incredibly easy to set up, we used the Quick Start Guide and accompanying charging lead.


Simply charge the device, download the app and enter the tracker's code to connect them.


The Tractive tracker attaches to your dog's collar via a rubber clip secured at four points.


Tracking

We used the tracker on lots of different walks off the beaten track and it was able to track Freddie throughout.

Tractive Dog tracker iphone screenshot

As with the Pawfit tracker, you have the option to alter the map settings from standard to satellite.


In addition to default mode, Tractive offer a live mode. This updates the tracker every 2 -3 seconds.


It's worth noting that Tractive also offer an incredibly useful FIND mode. which uses a LED light and a buzzer sound to help you locate your dog in situations where they might not be immediately visible.


Features

Like the other trackers featured, Tractive offers the ability to set up geo fences which allows you to determine safe areas for your dog and you receive a notification if your dog escapes.

Tractive pet tracker notification on Apple Watch

In testing, Tractive reliably sent a notification to my phone and Apple watch every time Freddie exited and entered a Safe Zone (approx. 2 minute delay).


It also includes a health monitoring system so you can analyse just how active your dog has been.


We found this feature of the tracker to be the most sophisticated of the 4 trackers tested. Graphs are available to assess activity time, sleep patterns and there's even a local leader board.


Subscriptions & Costs

Like the Pawfit 3, there are two subscription plans to choose from - Basic and Premium.


The Premium offers a couple of additional services - family and friends sharing and it works in over 175 countries worldwide so worth considering if you love to travel.


You can choose from 1 month, 6, 12, 24 or 60 months plans, all available to select upon activation.


Pros & Cons

So performance wise, it's fair to say that the Tractive Tracker is an impressive piece of kit and certainly offers peace of mind. The easy-to-use, smart app lets you to do lots of clever stuff.


If you have a dog that loves exploring off-lead, it would certainly make for a calmer more confident dog walk. It offers colour options, a good battery life from a trusted brand.


Bear in mind though, that it has a slightly more expensive monthly subscription.


If you're interested we offer even more information about how the Tractive tracker performed in testing in our deep dive article - Tractive Review


dog paw graphic


4. Weenect 2 GPS Tracker

Best for small breeds and puppies


Specification

Weight : 25g

Size : 58 x 23 x 10 mm

Battery Life : 3 days

Waterproof : Yes

Collar Fixing : Silicone case

Geo Fence : Yes

Location History : Yes

Colours Options : No

Subscription Cost : from £3.75 a month (3 yr plan)

Cost : £49.99


Weenect is a French company specialising in the tracking of cats and dogs with more than ten years of experience in GPS technology.


But it is worth mentioning that Weenct have recently launched a new tracker - the XT. This is designed for extreme adventures with a ultra-powerful flashlight, 3 weeks battery life, a XL antenna for 99% coverage and comes with a ultra-durable collar. We'll update this review when we test the Weenect XL.

In this review we take a closer look at the original Weenect XS - the world's smallest GPS.


Weenect dog GPS tracker on dog collar

Set Up

The lightest of the trackers tested for this review, in fact the Weenect is the smallest and lightest dog tracker in the world.


Charge the Weenect in the mini docking station provided, download the app and enter the tracker's code to connect them.


The Weenect tracker attaches to your dog's collar via a silicone holder which slides over your dog's collar. It's worth noting though that it isn't adjustable.


We found this holder tricky to slide over the large metal clasps on our 2.5cm wide dog's collar but once it was in place it was secure.


Whilst it was easier to fit on a thinner 1cm wide collar ( pictures) inevitably it slipped around once in place.


Tracking

The Weenect tracked well on our dog walks. It's standard or default mode tracks once every 30 seconds to 60 minutes depending on your dog's movement.

Weenect dog tracker GPS screenshot

There is a live mode which updates 10 seconds.


Whilst this is more accurate than default mode, it won't be as accurate as either the Pawfit ( 5 second updates) or the Tractive (2-3 second updates) trackers.


It's also worth mentioning that we found the Weenect battery drained a lot quicker than either the Tractive or the Pawfit, and needed charging every 3 days.


This will of course be dependent on your usage.


Features

Weenect offer geo fences so you can set up safe and dangerous area notifications and you can look back over your alert history.


Ultimately though we found that the interface (phone app) wasn't as user friendly or intuitive as the Tractive and especially the Pawfit interface which was our favourite.


Often features were not where you expected them to be which was a little confusing.


Subscriptions & Costs

We did however love that the Weenect offered one all encompassing subscription rather than a Basic and Premium subscription.


You can choose from 1 month,12 months or 36 months, all available to select upon activation.


Pros & Cons

The Weenect GPS works well, is exceptionally light and compact so this tracker is ideal for puppies and small dogs.


Their 3 year plan is the cheapest monthly cost of the four trackers we reviewed, so offers great value for money.


However, a word of caution, we tested the Weenect for a month and found the interface the most difficult to familiarise ourselves with out of the four trackers.




dog paw graphic


Our Verdict


Ultimately all four trackers performed exceptionally well at tracking our dog on numerous dog walks. We were pleasantly surprised at the accuracy of the GPS technology.


All four receive some great reviews and are loved by dog owners everywhere.


They do need cellular network coverage to work, but with a 30 day money back guarantee, you have the option to buy and test a device before committing to a long subscription.


Overall, we prefer the Pawfit Tracker over its equally impressive rivals because we happen to prefer the walk mapping, geo fences, device removal alert and felt the app was incredibly easy to use. As with all dog tech, you may well think differently, because everyone's dog has their own needs.



dog paw graphic


FAQs


How does GPS work ?

A GPS chip in the tracker reports your dog's position and sends the info to your smartphone via mobile coverage.


The tracker automatically connects to the best available mobile network to provide location data everywhere your dog goes.


You simply attach the tracker to your dog's collar and download an app to your phone. This enables you to view your dog's activities and pinpoint their location at all times.


Dog swimming with waterproof tracker

How waterproof are these trackers ?

With no SIM card openings or ports, all four devices are fully waterproof so suitable for dogs who love to take the occasional dip and can definitely cope with the inevitable rainy dog walk.


If you're interested in the specific ratings :


🐾 Pawfit 3 - Fully waterproof up to 3m depth - IPX8 standard


🐾 PitPat - Fully waterproof up to 1m depth for 30 minutes - IP67 standard


🐾 Tractive - Fully waterproof up to 1m depth for 30 minutes - IP67 standard


🐾 Weenect - Fully waterproof up to 1m depth for 30 minutes - IP67 standard


Can I use an AirTag to Track my Dog ?

Possibly! What's undeniable is that AirTags have some great qualities that rival even the best GPS trackers for dogs on the market—and at a far lower price.


AirTags are splash, water, and dust resistant and exceptionally light, so they make a an ideal tracking device for your four-legged friend.


But they also have critical weaknesses that may make them unsuitable for some dog lovers. We take a look at how AirTags work versus traditional GPS trackers in our popular article Best AirTag Collars & Holders.


dog paw graphic


Thanks for dropping by and reading our review of the Best Dog GPS Trackers for 2024

We hope you enjoyed reading it as much as we enjoyed testing it.



Comments


More Articles...
Editor's Pick
luther bennett dog car seat.jpg

For pet parents who prioritise ultimate comfort and style during travel, Luther Bennett's Travel Pods are a fantastic choice.

Intrigued? Click Here to Discover Why We Love Luther Bennett!

bottom of page