What else do I look for in a good dog tracker?

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A GPS pet tracker can keep your cat’s or dog’s life if it ever escapes home. After spending a lot more than 25 hours researching and testing four trackers, including having Wirecutter staffers bring them all on a journey around Manhattan and a 35-mile bike ride, we’ve found the Whistle 3 GPS Pet Tracker & Activity Monitor to be the very best tracker for many pet owners. Not just could be the Whistle 3 as quick and accurate at tracking as every other model we tested, but inaddition it has got the longest-lasting battery by far.

Who this really is for
A GPS pet tracker, like most emergency gear, is something you hope there is a constant have to use. The device uses an embedded GPS transponder along with cellular data signals to communicate your pet’s location at confirmed time. The idea is when your pet escapes, you’ll receive a notification via an app, have the ability to track its location in real time, and be safely reunited.

How exactly we picked and tested

An excellent pet tracker should be easy to set up and must stay on your own pet, so we started by evaluating the hardware itself. We looked over each tracker’s size and how securely it attaches to a collar. We also examined any power controls present on the collars and tested battery life in the “safe zone” and in the true world. In the safe zone, the collar’s GPS radio is deactivated, significantly saving battery life. The safe zone is decided by maintaining a link with a specific Wi-Fi network or base station, or by staying in just a defined area.

To track accuracy, we sent the trackers on a 35-mile bike ride in upstate New York, periodically checking the trackers’status and reported location. We also visited five locations in Manhattan to test both how accurate each tracker’s reported locations were and how quickly each tracker’s companion smartphone app updated Gps dog collar. To see more about our test procedures, please see our full guide.

 Our pick

If you’re worried about your pet getting away and you will want tool to help you more easily believe it is, the very best option could be the Whistle 3 GPS Pet Tracker & Activity Monitor. This tracker is as accurate as any model we tested, quickly transmitting its GPS signal back to the phone. It lasts longer on a demand than any of the other contenders we tried, its hardware design is the better definitely, and its smartphone software is equally well-thought-out.

Throughout our tests, we could have the Whistle 3’s location in a matter of seconds, and that reported location was always close enough to the actual location that we’d be able to find our pet easily. We that way the Whistle 3’s smartphone app shows you not only where in actuality the tracker is but in addition where you are with regards to it, which is handy if you’re searching for your pet in an unfamiliar area. The app also has a button to refresh the location manually, something other trackers’apps lack.

Where the Whistle 3 most sets itself besides other models is in battery life. When left undisturbed in a very home Wi-Fi safe zone, it didn’t just last more than every other tracker—it even surpassed the amount of time we allotted for the test. Thirteen days in to the test, and six days after the next-longest battery gave out, the Whistle 3’s battery was still at 69 percent.

The Whistle 3 won’t come off if you don’t hold down a spring-loaded button and twist a fraction turn, an action your opposable-thumb-lacking companion is unlikely to purposefully or accidentally take. The Whistle 3 is also rated IP67, meaning it’s dust-tight and can survive being immersed in up to meter of water.

Similar to competing trackers, the Whistle 3 needs a 3G service plan. You can choose to cover $10 monthly with no commitment, or save by investing in a year ($100) as well as two ($170) in advance.