Best pet trackers 2020: Wearables and cameras to keep your animals safe
Whether you're a cat person, a dog person, a hamster person, or a snake person, or even a giant African snail person, keeping your animals safe has to be a priority for any pet owner.
Keeping track of your pet or pets with the help of some connected tech might mean being able to get a look at where they are in your house whenever you like, or it could mean getting a bit of insight into where exactly they roam when they get set loose in the neighbourhood. Alternatively, it could be a great way of working out just who on the street is giving them the extra dinner that's proving so troublesome to your vet.
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Regardleses, pet trackers are very much in vogue for anxious owners who want to be in the know. There are a lot of fairly rubbish products out there, though, so we've compiled a list of some of the very best for your convenience. With the help of any of these devices, you'll find yourself in a new world of animal knowledge.
Our pick of the best pet trackers to buy today
Tractive GPS 3G Pet Tracker
Attaching easily to a collar, and with a version specifically for cats also available, Tractive's GPS tracker is second to none when it comes to monitoring your pets. You can geofence areas to be notified if they get out of them, and keep track of their exercise and health, too.
If your pet isn't the sort to run away, it's still really interesting to view a history of where they've been, giving you a bit of an insight into their life. You will need to take a subscription out to use the tracking features, but they're not too expensive at all.
Petcube Bites 2
If your concern is less your pet's location and more their happiness and engagement, then perhaps a specific pet camera is the answer. Petcub's cameras let you check in on your pets from wherever you are using two-way audio from your phone so that you can talk to them and comfort them if needed.
This Bites version of the camera also lets you dispense treats, and can be a really useful tool to train your pet even when you're not at home, encouraging calm behaviour and discipline with rewards.
Your pet might still get more than a little bored if they're left home alone for long periods, though, so if treats aren't the trick perhaps a laser pointer is more up their street.
Working perfectly with energetic cats, the laser pointer in the Petcube Play can either be controlled directly by you or set to automated random patterns to give your cat exercise and ensure it gets some engagement even if you're not there to give it attention in person.
Nest Cam IQ
If you don't mind losing the interactivity of a dedicated pet camera, though, you might wonder whether a dedicated device is really needed. Many of us now have indoor cameras in our homes for security and peace of mind reasons anyway, and these can double as great pet cameras, too.
The Nest Cam IQ is our favourite indoor camera for good reason, and its movement tracking and alerts can be really useful. Place them around your house and you'll be able to see what your animals are up to without any fuss. That said, these cameras do not come cheap at all.
Whistle GO Explore
Another excellent pet tracker comes in the form of the Whistle GO Explore, although it's quite a pricey option. It clips easily onto collars and has both live and historic location tracking for you to review, plus alerts if your pets stray too far.
20 days of battery life means you won't have to charge it annoyingly often, plus of all the pet trackers we've seen it's probably the nicest-looking, with a small unit that won't weigh your pet down. It also requires a subscription fee each month to use all its features.
A final option, but a bit of a cheeky one - perhaps all you need is something to help you find your dog if it runs off on a walk, or if your cat hides down the garden. In that case, a Tile tracker could be the answer, rather than a posh pet tracker. So long as you're within 200 feet of your pet, it'll give you a nice pinpoint location.
You might already have one of these trackers in a drawer somewhere - if so, you may have just found your next pet tracker.