If you’re like us, you get slight separation anxiety when you see your doggo run off. We don’t blame you. The American Humane Association estimates over 10 million dogs and cats are lost and stolen in the U.S. every year. Equipping pets with ID tags or microchips is one way to ensure your pets’ safe return in case they get lost while on vacation or stray away from home, but you can take your dog’s safety to another level — with wearable tech for pets. Pet wearables, such as GPS collars, are making it possible for pet parents to track their doggo’s location (and even monitor their activity) wherever they are. 

How do these GPS pet trackers work? A GPS chip in the tracker acquires your pet’s position and sends the info to the internet and your smartphone primarily via cell coverage. Usually, an app is used to display your pet’s location on a map. Base stations are commonly used to establish the link between the tracker, which is attached to your dog’s collar, and your smartphone via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. Some smart collars also track more than just your fur baby’s location, they monitor activity and sleeping patterns like a “Fitbit for pets.”

Note, however, that a GPS tracker is not a substitute for a microchip in your pet. Use a GPS collar or tracker in conjunction with a microchip, which stores your pet’s info and is still the best way to ensure you’re reunited with them if they get lost. Ninety-nine percent of shelters and veterinary clinics have scanners for microchips.

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