MAY 23, 2024

How do dog trackers work?

With Apple AirTags and GPS trackers rising in popularity, many people are becoming curious about tracking solutions for pets. Whether you’re looking to get a GPS tracker for dogs or a cat collar tracking device, there are a number of easy ways to keep tabs on your furry friend.

Here, we’ll give you the lowdown on how these devices work, plus our two cents on the best pet tracker Australia has on offer.

What is a dog tracker?

What is a dog tracker?

If you’ve ever come home from work to a sea of destruction (we’re talking anything from chewed up shoes to a trail of dog treats that have been stolen by a cheeky pup!) but can’t locate the culprit quickly, a dog tracker might be for you.

Dog trackers are perfect for both mischievous pets but also older, deaf dogs who may struggle to hear you when you call out to them. Many products allow you to track both your pet’s location and activity, so you can keep an eye on both where they are and what they’re doing in real time.


How do dog trackers work?

There are many different types of dog trackers and they vary slightly from model to model. Most are a collar, or a device that can be attached to an existing collar, that has a tracker in it that connects to an app you can download on your smartphone. If you have a Bluetooth tracker, you’ll generally need to be within Bluetooth range to get a read on where your dog is (roughly 10 metres or so) but it should be very accurate. On the other hand, GPS trackers can track your dog from any distance, but often only to the nearest 10 metres. So, how do you choose?

If you’re basically just looking to track your dog within your own home (like the examples we gave above) then a Bluetooth dog tracker might be enough for you. But if your furry friend fancies themselves a bit of a Forrest Gump type and likes to escape the property and run for miles, then a dog GPS tracker is most certainly the way to go.

What is the best dog tracker for my dog?

As mentioned above, the best dog tracker will largely depend on what data about your dog you want to keep track of. But if you’re looking for an all rounder that covers location, activity and even sleep, then the Fi Smart Dog Collar Series 3 is a great option.

It’s a small and lightweight tracking collar that can be adjusted to fit both tiny and huge dogs. But just because it’s lightweight, doesn’t mean it isn’t strong! It’s made of stainless steel, so even boisterous pets will struggle to damage it. It has a long battery life and shows GPS location updates quickly. It also delivers alerts frequently and is very reliable, but the only downside is that sometimes the alerts are a little slow.

If speed of alerts is critical for you, then the Tractive GPS tracker for dogs might be the way to go. Available to buy online from Officeworks, this tracker offers real-time updates straight to your phone. If your dog leaves your property, you’ll be notified immediately, with battery life that lasts up to five days (so don’t forget to charge it when you’re home to keep an eye on your pet). 

Can I use Apple AirTags to track my dog?

If you’re an iPhone user, Apple AirTags are an option for pet tracking, even though Apple doesn’t specifically recommend it for this use. AirTags are little keyring-like items that you can attach to anything — Apple suggests commonly misplaced items like keys, wallets etc, but there’s no real reason why you can’t attach it to a pet’s collar too as an easy-to-use tracking solution. 

AirTags work using Bluetooth, and if your iPhone is out of Bluetooth range of your pet, the AirTag will be picked up by strangers’ iPhones to give you a location. This works well providing someone with an iPhone is within about 10 metres of your pet, but if they’ve run off into the wilderness it will be a problem. There’s also the other obvious limitation that, if you’re not an iPhone user, this option won’t work for you. 

What about cat GPS trackers?

Lots of these options will also work for cats, providing the device or collar of the model you choose is small enough to fit them snugly. If you’re looking for something specifically designed for pets, the Tractive Cat Mini GPS tracker is also part of Officeworks’ tracking range and has all the same features and benefits of the dog variety. 

Want to keep a closer eye on your pet? Buy a pet tracking device for your furry friend from Officeworks and never worry again!

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Amy Joseph
I'm Amy, a commercial and creative writer with more than 10 years' experience, working in industries including travel, tech, health, fitness, finance and more.