Published on: May 1, 2024
Author: Alix Mitchell
Category: Pet ID, Pet Safety

Dogs tend to be quick and curious creatures that can wander off when we least expect it. As a dog owner, you’ve probably been wondering whether GPS trackers for dogs are helpful. You may even be wondering if it’s possible to implant a GPS under your dog’s skin. While that doesn’t exist, this article will cover all of the basics and options so that you can make the right decision for your dog to keep him safe. 

Do GPS Trackers Under the Skin Exist?

GPS trackers for dogs and microchips are two very different pieces of technology that both help keep your pet safe and recover them quickly if they’re lost

In short, the answer is no – GPS trackers under the skin do not exist. GPS trackers for dogs are all wearable devices that are placed onto a collar or harness and can be taken off when not in use. However, microchips are implanted underneath the skin. Microchips for pets are highly recommended as they can get your pet safely home if they ever find themselves lost.

GPS Tracker vs Microchip For Your Pets

As we mentioned above, the confusion seems to come from mixing up dog GPS tracker with microchipping, and how exactly the two work. GPS trackers and microchips are very different things that work differently, yet they both have many benefits!

GPS trackers for dogs are wearable devices. Typically, a GPS receiver is placed on your dog’s collar or harness. This receiver then communicates with satellites orbiting the Earth, which can pinpoint your dog’s location. That information is then sent to the corresponding app on your smartphone. 

Microchips are small electronic chips that are enclosed in a glass cylinder and then implanted underneath your dog’s skin. They use radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology to transmit the microchip number via radio waves when it’s scanned with a microchip scanner. It’s important to note that a microchip only transmits a microchip number. Microchips with GPS tracking technology embedded do not exist.

Benefits of Pet GPS Trackers 

Since we love our dogs so much and want to keep them safe, using a GPS tracker can provide a lot of benefits in knowing where your dog is and keeping them safe and secure in a specific area. 

Real-time tracking for your dog’s specific location. One of the primary benefits of GPS trackers for dogs is that they allow you to see your dog’s exact location in real-time. This means that if your dog happens to wander off, you can go to their location and secure them before they move further away.

Peace of mind with geofencing alerts. Some GPS trackers offer geofencing, which is essentially a virtual fence for your dog! With geofencing, you set up a virtual boundary inside the app on your smartphone, and if your dog crosses the boundary, you receive an alert notification directly to your smartphone. Knowing that you’ll get an alert if your dog moves too far away from a certain area provides peace of mind because you’ll be able to track their location to be reunited with them quickly. 

Monitor your pet’s activity. Most GPS trackers offer additional capabilities to monitor your pet’s activity. To do this, they use a proprietary algorithm that monitors your dog’s movements. This will help you monitor whether or not your pet is getting the recommended amount of physical exercise they need. If you closely study the trends in your pet’s activity, you may even be able to glean insights about their overall health.

Benefits of Pet Microchipping

While microchips don’t offer as many robust capabilities as GPS trackers do, they are an incredibly useful and affordable option that you should consider. 

Easy and affordable. Microchips are small chips that are implanted under your dog’s skin with a needle, but the needle isn’t much bigger than a standard needle used for a vaccine. Your pet can be microchipped at any regular appointment, but you can also choose to have it done during a routine surgical procedure like a neuter or dental if that makes you feel better. Microchips are inexpensive and range from $25 – $70 total for the implantation and online database registration. Unlike with GPS trackers, there is no recurring fee. 

Permanent identification. Microchips are essentially a form of permanent identification for your pet. Their microchip number is a unique number that will be picked up when a microchip scanner is used, and no two dogs can have the same microchip number. 

National registry databases. For a microchip to prove useful, you need to register that number into an online national microchip registry database along with your personal contact information. This way, when your pet is scanned, the person doing the scanning can look up your pet’s microchip number and then call you so you can be reunited with your pet. 

Should You Use Them Both Together? 

The great thing about GPS trackers and microchips is that they are quite different pieces of technology, and they become even more useful when used together. Using both together ensures that you are adding multiple layers of safety so that, if the unthinkable were to happen and your pet were to run away, you would be able to be reunited with them as quickly as possible. 

GPS trackers will help you track your pet’s location so that you can go to them, but microchips will ensure that if for some reason you still can’t locate your pet using the GPS tracker, your pet still is permanently identified with their microchip if a stranger were to find them and take them to a vet or shelter to be scanned. After all, studies prove that microchips do result in higher return rates!1 

At the end of the day, our dogs become our family members, and we want to keep them safe and secure. For most dog owners, losing their dog is their absolute worst nightmare. By opting to use both a GPS tracking device and a microchip for your dog, you can rest assured that you’re doing everything in your power to keep your dog safe and secure and to increase the chances of being reunited if your dog were to become lost.