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A GPS pet tracker can keep your cat’s or dog’s life when it ever escapes home. After spending significantly more than 25 hours researching and testing four trackers, including having Wirecutter staffers take 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 best Dog tracker for most pet owners. Not merely is the Whistle 3 as quick and accurate at tracking as any model we tested, but inaddition it has got the longest-lasting battery by far.
Who that is for
A GPS pet tracker, like the majority of emergency gear, is something you hope there is a constant have to use. The device uses an embedded GPS transponder in addition to cellular data signals to communicate your pet’s location at certain time. The theory is when your pet escapes, you’ll receive a notification via an app, have the capability 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 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 actual world. In the safe zone, the collar’s GPS radio is deactivated, significantly saving battery life. The safe zone is set by maintaining a connection to a specific Wi-Fi network or base station, or by staying within 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 check both how accurate each tracker’s reported locations were and how quickly each tracker’s companion smartphone app updated. To see more about our test procedures, please see our full guide.
If you’re concerned about your pet getting away and you’ll need a tool to assist you quicker find it, the best option is the Whistle 3 GPS Pet Tracker & Activity Monitor. This tracker can be as accurate as any model we tested, quickly transmitting its GPS signal back to our phone. It lasts longer on a demand than 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 get the Whistle 3’s location in a matter of seconds, and that reported location was always close enough to the particular location that we’d be able to find our pet easily. We that way the Whistle 3’s smartphone app teaches you not only where in fact the tracker is but in addition where you are with regards to it, which will be handy if you’re looking for your pet in a unfamiliar area. The app also features a button to refresh the positioning manually, something other trackers’apps lack.
Where the Whistle 3 most sets itself apart from other models is in battery life. When left undisturbed in a very home Wi-Fi safe zone, it didn’t just last longer than any tracker—it even surpassed the quantity of time we allotted for the test. Thirteen days in to the test, and six days following 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 quarter 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 pay $10 a month without any commitment, or save by paying for annually ($100) as well as two ($170) in advance.