3 essential factors to consider when choosing the right GPS collar for your dog or cat
Author: Clark Tos
If you have a runaway dog or an adventurous cat, you've probably thought about putting a GPS collar on it. At first glance, the solution is clear, but how do you choose from all the options available to you, from Bluetooth beacons like Apple's AirTag to connected trackers like the gps for dogs and Tractive cats? Here are three criteria that will guide you straight to the point.
Nowadays, GPS technology is ubiquitous. There are beacons for everything from keychains to cars. In most cases, the goal is to be able to quickly find a lost or stolen object, which requires neither very frequent updating nor a very large range. If you equip your pet with a GPS , however, it is to find him in case he runs away or if he does not return at the scheduled time. At that point, you have to be able to locate it over very long distances and above all benefit from an update in real time. Some devices sold for animal tracking, such as Bluetooth or radio wave trackers, are limited to this level and can therefore fail you at the worst possible moment. They certainly have other advantages, but cannot guarantee that you can locate your protege anytime, anywhere.
In order to be able to offer this unlimited range, the most powerful GPS for animals are equipped with an integrated SIM card. Thus, they can connect to mobile networks to send their location data to the owner's smartphone. That said, not everyone is equal. Some devices use low-energy networks, which have the advantage of being free, but which severely limit the effectiveness of communication. For this reason, the majority of animal trackers use 2G networks, which allow global and instantaneous communication, while remaining inexpensive in terms of energy and communication costs. However, this technology is quite old and besides many white areas in more rural settings. More and more operators no longer offer this service at all. A few innovative trackers, such as the Tractive GPS, have therefore accepted the challenge and launched the first 4G devices, taking advantage of technological advances in recent years to offer flawless multi-network coverage.
The best network coverage is useless if the tracker's battery doesn't last long enough to find your runaway dog or your chat adventurer. Most companies prioritize the miniaturization of devices and therefore use small batteries. As a general rule, the autonomy of devices offering live tracking is 2 to 5 days. In order to maximize the autonomy and therefore the usefulness of the tracker, some manufacturers are showing ingenuity. This is the case of Tractive, for example, whose gps for cats and dogs have a WiFi-linked power-saving feature, allowing the tracker to stay in standby mode as long as it's safe at home.
Here are the three main factors to keep in mind when choosing a GPS tracker for your four-legged friend. He must be able to help you locate him at any distance, anywhere in the world and with sufficient autonomy so that he does not run out while running away. Beyond that, the various trackers offer many additional functions, from anti-fugue alerts to a detailed history and even up to sleep tracking or territory analysis in some cases. It's up to you what is useful or not for you - but always think about the three must-haves.