After repawting on lost dogs for ‘The Barking Bugle’s Dog’s Holiday Guide to Norfolk 2018, we decided we wanted to do a follow up, particularly as we can relate to this article only too well. When we were younger we were out with our pawrents one day when something really interesting caught our eyes and before you knew it we had disappeared. Luckily after 30/40 minutes we were found separately by two nice couples. When we were finally reunited with our pawrents they said that every emotion had kicked in – feelings they explained they never want to feel again. They couldn’t think straight and even when mum got the phone calls to say we were found, the conversation didn’t fully register. Anyone else’s pawrents know that feeling? In the repawt we mention Pet GPS Trackers. Now, not knowing a lot about them, we woofed to see if we could trial one or two – if lucky maybe three, BOL. We wanted to see whether they are really worth saving all your treats to buy one. With paws to keys we looked at the different types. We received many responses but decided to go with Tractive and after much research we felt this one suited us best. Here is some important information for you to consider:-
One type of pet tracker has a module which is attached to your collar. By using an App on your smart phone you can locate our position up to a 3 mile radius. There are no ongoing costs. The only downside we sniffed out is that you have to either have an iPhone 5 plus, IOS 9 plus or Android 4.4 – if you have an older device we get the impression that it will not work, so an out of date dog and bone could be a problem.
Get Pay as You Go – basically you top up a sim card and when it uses the GPS you are charged for roaming using the tracker. There may be a monthly charge and that will be taken from the money you put on. The more roaming you do the more costs involved. Some trackers’ communication is via text messages and may use google maps rather than a specific App.
You can also get the trackers that charge for a monthly/yearly subscription. The majority of trackers have an App for you to download onto your phone. When you pay a subscription you have peace of mind knowing that you will not run out of money and that your furbaby can wear the tracker 24/7. Most trackers can be worn on a collar, harness or both, therefore suiting any furry friend that wears them. You may find that some companies send a collar with their tracker, as they have found that certain type being the better option.
N.B. Trackers can vary in price from very cheap to very expensive, depending on what you are after. Please check your dog and bone is suitable before buying.
The Tractive company was born when the Founder and CEO of Tractive had a first hand experience of their beloved furbaby going missing. Going through the emotions at such a terrifying time was necessary, as after the ordeal was over and their furbaby was safe at home, it gave them the idea on creating a pet tracker with an App. Having that experience gave the company the best knowledge possible and to help others in such terrifying circumstances, the tracker and App had to be simple but informative, but also have innovative features such as Live-Tracking, Virtual Fence and full location history.
When we received the tracker it was presented in a lovely box and we were all tail waggly excited to get it charged up. Once charged, which took a couple of hours, fitting it to our collar was straight forward. It simply clicks around the collar – we feel this would fit many collars and harnesses. Charging is via a pin style charger and you can either use USB or Mains to charge. We liked the fact they give you both UK and EU plugs, so you can even charge while enjoying the scenery around Europe.You also have a spare clip which is pawesome! Unfortunately, we were not too impressed with the amount of packaging – there really is no need for all the plastic bags!
To set the tracker up was so easy – even we could do it, BOL. Simply download the App, register the tracker, turn the tracker on (make sure it is charged first) and there you are, all set up and ready to go.
We couldn’t wait to put the tracker through the Border Collie Bruvz test.
Test 1 – Sleeping with the tracker attached to our collar. No problems there! The tracker stayed put and didn’t unclip at all. There was no discomfort and we forgot it was there.
Test 2 – Play fighting is an every day activity for us. Being bruvz we do have the odd disagreement that we need to sort out and it just so happened that we had a barney while one of us had the tracker on. The tracker stayed put through every tug and nip that was given.
Test 3 – Running around an open field after a tennis ball and having a couple of tumbles. Again, the tracker stayed put. Hmmmmmm, this tracker seems to stay put no matter what!
Test 4 – We knew what would make this tracker come off……the beach!!! What with the sea and sand getting on the tracker, surely that will ping it off! Off into the sea we went and then we ran on the sand – again there were a couple of tumbles from trying to stop after going full speed, BOL. Considering we had been in the sea and covered in sand not once did we have any worries that the tracker would fall off. Another thing that was utterly pawesome was that the salt water had not in any way destroyed the unit. Now that is something that certainly gets a paws up from us!
Tractive’s App is very easy to use and you can add multiple trackers which is great for a large family of furbabies.
Having a wet nose look through the App, we noticed that you can give someone 24hr access to the tracker. This is a pawsome idea, especially if you are in an area that you do not know. By asking locals to help they can download the App and help track the furbaby who is missing; with their knowledge of the area you could be reunited in no time.
Another paws up from us for having that option on the App!
You can also set up a virtual fence. Our pawrents have set one up at home, so if we leave the area of the virtual fence, they are notified that we have tried our sneaky luck and left it. It’s a great idea as you can set up multiple places to have a virtual fence. You can go to the map and scroll back through the days to look at what the activity was like. It can be fun seeing these lines going all over the place. The map has different options from Satellite to Open Street Map. You can also set up a profile with a picture for each furbaby wearing the tracker. As you can see below, this is one of us being tracked at a field we often went to, the beach and at home in the garden. Yes, we know it looks like one of us went swimming a lot but we cannot expect the tracker to show when the tide is in or out.
At Home, the Beach and the Field
There are two features we also thought were great. From the App you can turn the tracker’s little light on and also trigger the tracker alarm which is not loud and screeching, but it is an alarm that is loud enough for you to hear when nearby.
Tractive use a monthly/yearly subscription and you download their App to use alongside the tracker. They also offer care protection at an additional cost that covers your tracker if stolen, lost or damaged. You will receive a new tracker to replace it. Tractive’s trackers have a pre-fitted sim card that is not replaceable; by doing this they can reassure their trackers are 100% waterproof and as we even proved….sea proof BOL.
Do we think pet trackers are worth it or a waste of money?
In our own opinion we think pet trackers are a must have. No matter how well trained a furry friend can be there may be something that causes them to run off, and we all know that some of us can have some speed in our legs. Before you know it we are gone from your sight and more than likely, have no idea about how to get back to you. Peace of mind is priceless and so are we! We are not just dogs, we are companions, family members, four legged children and so much more -what price do you put on that?
No matter why you want the tracker we feel they are great and would recommend that hoomans do their research to find out what tracker would be best suited for their furbaby/furbabies and lifestyle. For those wanting to save the pennies the module and pay as you go trackers would be great, especially if you only use them when going on howlidays. For us, we have gone for the Tractive with a subscription as we will be wearing them 24/7. We decided this was the better option for us as we don’t think our pawrents would cope trying to send text messages, or worrying we have gone further than that which the tracker allows, especially when their anxiety would be tremendous. Plus we really like the idea that others can help by using the tracker’s App as well. Everyone has their own opinion – what suits us may not suit someone else. We hope this gives you a good idea on whether Pet GPS Trackers are something you would be interested in buying.
We have the following:- Tractive Pet GPS Tracker costs about £49.99. Subscriptions:- Basic £3.33 per month. Premium £3.75 per month. If you are interested in the Tractive Pet Tracker, please click the link below:-
PLEASE NOTE – Pet GPS Trackers are not an anti-theft device, therefore they can be taken off by any hooman and will give the last location registered. Plus, the signal may drop in and out like any mobile phone depending on location (we have not experienced this yet). There are many types of trackers on the market – we have repawted on three affordable types. If you are wanting a tracker due to theft please speak to your vet. Also our microchips are not trackers – they are the size of a grain of rice and hold information only.
Thor & Loki