How to Pick the Right Tracking Collar for Your Dog

An electronic collar that operates on a cellular or GPS signal can help you keep your pets safe and close to home

dog holding bird in its mouth
A tracking collar can help you know where your animals are at all times.Eureka Technology

Let’s face it, some dogs are easier to own than others. Whether your pet is a rangy sporting breed or a domestic layabout with the occasional case of wanderlust, knowing where they are at all times is vital. Here’s a look at pet-tracking technology that takes advantage of modern communication networks to help keep pets safe and their owners sane.

GPS or Cell Coverage

Whistle and Go dog tracking device
Modern smart-collars use cellular networks and GPS to pinpoint your animal’s location.Amazon

State-of-the-art smart collars use cellular networks and GPS in order to identify your pet's location within a specified range. When searching for the right device, take note of the distance at which the collar is effective, as well as the fact that GPS-enabled collars tend to be more power hungry.

Self-Contained

Dog tracker from Eureka Technology
A self-contained tracking collar doesn’t require monthly subscriptions or usage fees.Amazon

For more independent tracking means, self-contained units do not rely on either GPS or cell coverage. They are bulkier but have no monthly connection or usage fees and works anywhere you and your pet are within range, up to two miles depending on conditions and environment.

Bluetooth

Dot dog tracking device
If you’re not keen on cellular or GPS radio collars, Bluetooth collars may be what you’re looking for.Amazon

If you don't want to rely on wireless, cellular, or GPS, and prefer not to lug around a dedicated scanner, tracking tags with Bluetooth technology offer a lightweight and low-profile alternative. They work with any Android or iOS mobile device, have integrated community alerts broadcast to other users in the network, and also function as an activity monitor. On the downside, the range of Bluetooth is more limited than other devices.