It really should come as no surprise that we’re seeing more and more technology products for our favorite fur friends. We love our dogs, and we love our gadgets, so gadgets to help us better interact and protect our dogs was inevitable. With batteries continually getting smaller and stronger, wi-fi and wireless networks becoming ubiquitous, and with a smartphone in seemingly everyone’s hands, there is no shortage of new and innovative devices and applications coming to market.
Most of these new devices fall into two categories – devices that help you keep track of your dog should they run loose and get lost, and devices which help you monitor their overall health and wellbeing. We expect most of these are going to do a bit of both in the very near future. Today we’re going to take a look at the locators using GPS technology.
(in alphabetical order)
Loc8tor For Pets. Find your pet, wherever they are, and relax knowing you can always locate them. That’s the promise of the Loc8tor pet tracker.
Loc8tor actually has a suite of different sorts of trackers, with the latest being their GPS-enabled version. It is attached to the current collar like some of the others, but appears to maybe not be entirely weatherproof as they also sell what looks like a neoprene cover to wrap around the device.
With Loc8tor a safety zone can be registered and when your dog wanders beyond those borders, an alert is sent via SMS or email letting you know they’re out and where they are. It is available for purchase from their site for $139.98, and the monthly GPS credits can cost as much as an additional $59.97 when paid month-to-month. Multi-month credits can be paid in advance for about $13/month for a full year.
WüF Smart Collar. NOTE: As of January, 2018 it appears this collar never made it to production and the company website has not been updated in over a year. The WUF smart collar is a GPS enabled activity tracking collar for your dog. Photos of it look really cool, and their press kit promises the features listed below plus extra bells and whistles still being kept secret.
- Activity Tracking
- Nutrition Monitor
- Two Way Audio
- Clicker Training
- Invisible Fence
- Voice and Tone Commands
The main differentiator between WUF and some of the other Activity and Tracking collars we’ve seen so far seems to be the two way audio, allowing you to activate certain tones and voice commands, and we’re guessing hear your dog’s response through the application on your phone. We look forward to more information on how the Nutrition Monitor and Invisible Fence features are intended to function. It’s not yet available for sale but pre-orders are priced from $129 – $289 and there is also a Kickstarter campaign. (link to getwuf.com)
Tractive GPS Pet Tracking Device As it says right on their site, The Tractive GPS Pet Tracking device helps you locate your dog, your cat, or any other pet anytime, anywhere. It’s a small square device ( 2.0 in x 1.6 in x 0.6 in) which attaches to your dog’s current collar and weighs only 1.2 oz. The batteries are rechargeable and last from 2-5 days.
It tracks your pet in real time, and you can preset safe zones (such as your home) so when your dog goes beyond that zone an alert is immediately sent to your iPhone or Android device. You will need to subscribe to their monthly cellular service for a little less than $10/month.
You can buy Tractive today from their site for $129.99 plus S&H (free shipping in Europe).
Whistle/Tagg Just this week Whistle and Tagg announced their partnership, combining the activity tracking monitoring of Whistle with the GPS tracking of Tagg. Tagg also brings the nifty little ability to track your dog’s surroundings, and let you know if they are too cold or near anything too hot. Safety zones and alerts for when your dog strays are of course standard features.
It is our opinion that this partnership will indeed prove to be the market leader. Each currently sells for a very reasonable $99 with service plans for the GPS tracking and communication at only $9.95/month with no contract, commitment, etc.
Individually, both the Tagg and the Whistle products already have what appears to us as the best overall design. They each look great – small, light, and sleek, and both are rugged, durable, and waterproof as well. Their respective rechargeable batteries are also already have the longest charge durations from between 7 and 10 days. However they decide to combine the features into one unit promises to be fantastic and we hope to get our hands on one soon.