Introduction to Pet Trackers: The Different Types and How They Work

Pet trackers are essential for pet owners especially when your pet loves to escape your yard or if you want to monitor them when you’re not at home. Today, there are a number of reliable pet trackers that can help us locate our missing pets. These devices are able to ease the sense of helplessness we get when we lose our pets. And aside from that, these devices can also help save their lives. If you’re thinking about getting a pet tracker, here are the things you need to know.

What is a Pet Tracker?

A pet tracker is a device that is usually attached to your pet’s collar. Most of the pet trackers today use GPS or cellular technology to be able to track your pet but there are also some that use other technologies to track them within a specific range.

You might also get confused between a pet tracker and a microchip but they are different devices. A microchip is a device used to store important information about your pet like the owner’s address so that when they arrive at a kennel, the vet will be able to scan them to extract the information and notify the owner. However, microchips do not track your pets, meaning, you won’t be able to know their whereabouts when they get lost.

Uses of Pet Trackers

Did you know that pet tracker are useful for many things? Here are the different uses of pet trackers.

For Hunting

If you take your dog with you when hunting, it’s best to attach a pet tracker to them. It’s because hunting dogs are known to be fast runners. This way, if ever your dog leaves you behind, you will still know where he went.

For Cats and Kittens

Between cats and dogs, cats are most likely the ones to find themselves in scrapes or stuck in nooks. Therefore, letting them wear a pet tracker will help you to easily find them. There are pet trackers made especially for cats.

For Dogs and Other Active Pets

Dogs have different personalities but if you own an active one who loves to run around and play, then a pet tracker will also be useful for you. Aside from dogs, they are also very useful for other active pets you have at home that you’re afraid of losing.

For Pets with Disabilities

If your pet has a disability or a certain health issue, it’s likely that you always want to keep an eye on it. Therefore, a pet tracker will also be very useful for you. It will help you know where your pet is at all times.

For Kids

Aside from tracking pets, did you know that pet trackers can also be useful devices in finding kids who love to run around malls? You can also use them to keep track of where your kids go after school.

For Luggage

Pet trackers can also be used to find luggage if you’re someone who loves to travel. For example, when you go on a cruise, with a pet tracker on your luggage, you will be able to find it easily after the cruise especially when you’re in a rush.

For Drones

Pet trackers are now being used to find drones as well. Since drones are very expensive devices, you will not want to lose them when they land. Therefore, a pet tracker will help you know where it has landed.

Different Types of Pet Trackers

Pet trackers can be classified according to the technology they use. Here are the different types of pet trackers for you to know how they work and to compare their advantages and disadvantages.

Cellular / GPS Trackers

Cellular or GPS trackers are devices that feature a module that includes a GPS chip and a SIM card. The GPS feature is for you to acquire the location of your pet while the SIM card or the cell coverage is required for you to receive the date in your smartphone.

Pet Trackers

This type of pet tracker has a couple of disadvantages. First is the required cell coverage because it means you need to pay monthly fees. The second one is it’s quite difficult to track your pets using this device when they are in remote areas because those places are usually not covered by cellular networks.

For a cellular tracker to work, you will have to attach a module or transmitter to your pet’s collar. That module has a GPS chip inside which will acquire the signal broadcasted by GPS satellites to determine your pet’s location. Usually, there’s an app required to be installed to your smartphone for you to receive the data. There are also some that will allow you to use Wi-Fi as an alternative network.

Old School Radio Trackers / Radio Frequency Trackers

Old school radio trackers also have a module that is attached to your pet’s collar. However, they are very large and bulky because they feature an old-fashioned design. Some people find them beneficial because they have longer battery life and there are no monthly fees needed to be paid.

Instead of receiving data in your smartphone, you will be able to see your pet’s location on a radio transceiver which you always have to carry with you. If the module has a GPS chip, you will be able to see on the transceiver the coordinates on a map where your pet is.

If the module does not have a GPS chip, you will be able to see on your transceiver the direction and distance, just like playing “Marco Polo”. Meaning, the closer you get to your pet, the stronger the signal will be.

Bluetooth Trackers

Bluetooth pet trackers can only track your pets in a very limited range, typically less than 10 meters. If your pet isn’t able to get out of your home or yard, this tracker is ideal. However, if your pet can surpass the aforementioned distance, then this isn’t the best pet tracker for you.

Most people find this type of tracker more useful in keeping track of certain objects such as keys. These trackers are connected to a smartphone where an app will point out your distance and direction to where your pet is.

Mixed Trackers

This is the newest type of pet tracker available in the market. It mixes different existing technologies which provides innovative new ways in tracking your pet.

This type of tracker works by attaching a small module to your pet’s collar. This module includes a GPS chip that will acquire a position by communicating with GPS satellites. Then, there is a second module that will serve as a gateway between the pet module and your smartphone. It will forward the GPS data acquired by the first module to your smartphone.

What’s great about this type of tracker is it does not require a SIM card or cellular network. Meaning, you will not be paying any monthly fees. It will also allow you to track the location of your pet on a map in real time through a smartphone app.

Things to Consider when Buying Pet Trackers

Now that you know the different types of pet trackers, their uses, and how they work, you can now decide what kind of pet tracker will be best for you. However, there are many different brands of pet trackers in the market that will offer you different functions. To help you in choosing the best one, here are some of the things you should look into.


You should choose a pet tracker that will be able to supply data in real time. Those that can deliver to your pet’s real-time location and movement at present intervals. There are also some pet trackers that have a geo-fencing feature which sets a safety perimeter. Once your pet moves out of that boundary, you will be alerted by the tracker.

Aside from that, other features that you should look for in a pet tracker are positional accuracy, the frequency of positional updates, waterproofness, size and weight, ease of use, and other useful features. Once you get that kind of pet tracker, you will always have peace of mind wherever you go because you know the current whereabouts of your pet.

Affordability and Usefulness

When choosing a pet tracker, you should look into how useful it will be for you. Remember that price cannot always assure you a better functionality. There are pet trackers which comes at a higher price but will not suit your pet. And there are also some affordable ones that can give you the best features you need.


Of course, when purchasing a tracker, make sure that you choose one that is designed for pets. Make sure that the tracker you will be picking will not cause any harm to your pet. You also have to ensure that it will not affect the comfortability of your pet and as well as its ability to eat, drink, move, and play.


You also have to make sure that the pet tracker you will buy is built to last and not cheaply constructed. Consider it as one of the best investments that you will make and having it broken in the first week of use is not great.

Pet trackers are certainly the best devices that will help you keep track of your pet’s whereabouts. They will reduce your worry whenever you can’t find your pet around your house or in your yard. It is something that will keep your pets safe and will give you peace of mind.