Most dog owners are on a budget. We understand the financial requirements of owning a pet, and of course we splurge a little too, but a lot of the expensive dog technology on the market is out of our price range. What if that technology could help save your dog's life? What if it could ensure that your pet would never get lost? Learning the benefits of and how to choose the best dog GPS tracker may help you understand the importance of these impressive devices.
This week I was able to talk with Michael Hurnaus, CEO of Tractive. The company makes pet wearables, and they are best known for their canine GPS tracking unit. The system consists of a small device that clips to your dog's collar and sends GPS tracking information back to an app on your smartphone or compatible device.
Although a good quality unit will set you back more than $100, pet GPS trackers could save your dog's life. If your pet does run away, you'll know right where to find – no chance of him winding up in a shelter!
You can also set a perimeter and receive notifications when your dog goes beyond the boundary. You'll know the minute that your dog is near the road or any other hazardous area.
Interview: How to Choose the Best Dog GPS Tracker?
My first question for Mr. Hurnaus was about the expense of canine GPS trackers. He explained to me that although this technology may not fit into your budget right now, it's a worthwhile device to save up for. Trackers, like the ones offered by Tractive, give you peace of mind.
For any dog owner the idea of their pet running away is worrying and painful. Losing a pet can also happen to anyone, no matter how well-behaved or well-trained your four-legged companion is. The majority of dogs are curious and active, and if they suddenly feel scared, uncomfortable or excited they might react by running off.
With a GPS tracker, you'll receive alerts the minute your dog leaves the yard (or whatever perimeter that you set for him). Whether you're outside with him doing yard work or you're inside tending to household chores, you won't need to worry if you have to take your eyes off your pooch.
RELATED: 2016 Top 5 Best Dog GPS Collars for Dogs
Mr. Hurnaus explained to me that Tractive was developed after a friend of his once lost his dog. They searched the streets for hours looking for the runaway pup.
Since that happened more than once, the duo started talking about the possibility of tracking pets with GPS technology – the possibility of knowing exactly where your dog or cat is at any time.
They knew that a system like that should be possible for pet parents. When they did not find any similar products on the market, they simply decided to create one themselves.
If you keep up with the pet industry, you know that there are now a wide variety of options available for dog owners looking for a GPS tracker for their pet. So what makes Tractive so special?
Learning how to choose the best dog GPS tracker will help you understand what features you should be looking for and where your money will be best spent.
Tractive is by far the market leader in Europe and many countries outside Europe. One of the main reasons is, that the device can work in so many countries (more than 80 countries worldwide). It also offers actual LIVE-Tracking with updates every 2-3 seconds.
This means that you'll see your dog's movement updated in real time, so you can track your Fido wherever he goes.
This feature isn't available on all canine GPS trackers, but it's an important one to look for. Imagine a dog owner looking for a lost pet in an urban area. If the owner isn't getting real time updates, it's going to be a lot harder to find the dog in the midst of all the alleyways and side streets.
What if you're trying to track your dog through the woods? If your GPS doesn't track in real time, you may be heading North for 15 minutes until your GPS updates, only to find out that your dog has been running West for the last 10 minutes. It would be impossible to keep up with your dog at that rate!
Additionally, Tractive does not have a USB connector and therefore is 100% waterproof, not just water resistant. This feature isn't common in the GPS tracker market, but obviously it's an important thing to consider as you'll only need to use the product outside.
You'll also want to think about the size of the tracker that you're buying. A Tractive device only weighs 35 grams and is super small. It's a square shape that is approximately 2 inches long and 1.5 inches wide.
The tracker is also less than .5 inch thick. Some GPS tracking devices are bulky and heavy – you don't want your dog to be inconvenienced by the weight of the unit.
When learning how to choose the best dog GPS tracker, you'll quickly find out that they usually require a monthly subscription cost. Choosing a tracker because it doesn't require a subscription may not be your bet.
In order to track your pet live,24/7, the Tractive GPS Pet Tracking device uses GPS and communicates through cellular networks.
Tractive pays the cellular data fees for the users, who are able to enjoy unlimited GPS tracking of their pets. They just charge a flat service fee to customers to cover this cost.
This type of 24/7 tracking is the best technology currently available, so it's well worth the small subscription fee each month. Tractive offers two packages for $6.99 and $9.99 per month – most similar products charge a comparable fee.
One way that you can save money when learning how to choose the best dog GPS tracker is by watching out for other unnecessary fees.
Mr. Hurnaus explained to me that Tractive doesn't charge any activation fees, and they don't bind users into a contract – their service is simply prepaid, you can cancel anytime. These are very important features to look for if you want to cut costs.
RELATED: Dog Safety: This is Why Your Dog Needs a GPS Tracker
There is a lot to understanding how to choose the best dog GPS tracker, but this investment could end up saving your pet's life. It's also going to save you a lot of worry and stress over the years.
If you make the best choice and buy a quality product, chances are you'll be able to use it for generations of pets!
Mr. Hurnaus also spoke with me about some of the other products available from Tractive for pet owners. Aside from their flagship product, the GPS pet tracking device, the company has also developed Tractive MOTION Pet Activity Tracker.
Tractive MOTION tracks the activity of a pet 24 hours a day and helps pet owners to monitor the health and activity of their dog or cat. The device provides detailed statistics of the pet's activity and automatically syncs all data to the owner's smartphone.
Additional products in Tractive's portfolio include Pet-Remote, a communication/training device connected to the Pet-Remote app, and their 2 GPS Limited Editions, Tractive Hunters Edition and Tractive Special Edition with Crystals from Swarovski.
Aside from the pet wearables, Tractive also develops apps for pet owners and pet lovers such as Dog Walk, Pet BlaBla, Pet Battle and Petnames. They are also the owner of the pet photo platform and app, Tractive Photos, where the goal is to connect people closer to their pets and friends with pets.
I’d like to take this time to thank Michael Hurnaus for speaking with me about how to choose the best dog GPS traker. Make sure you check out Tractive for more information about trackers and the benefits that technology can have for dog owners.