Global positioning system (GPS) tracking chips for dogs are used to locate dogs who have wandered off. Unlike microchips, they are too large to be implanted in the skin and must be worn on the outside of the dog, usually on the collar. They require batteries, and some types of GPS devices require a monthly subscription for a tracking service, similar to GPS devices for vehicles. Unfortunately, GPS devices are often too large for small dogs to wear.
Handhelds or base units
Some types of GPS devices use a handheld device or a base that is kept with the dog's owner. This is used to find the dog's location. Communication between you and your dog's device can be through a mobile phone modem or radio signals. Unlike a mobile phone modem, a device that uses radio signals has a limited range -- usually about 1.6 km (1 mile), but it can be used in areas where there is no mobile phone service. Your device may be able to tell you coordinates of your dog, the direction your dog is located from you or even what speed the dog is travelling at.
If the GPS device does not have a handheld or base, you will most likely be able to use a mobile phone to track your dog. With some devices, you can call or text a service, which will locate the dog and send you coordinates or other information. Other devices allow you to call a number for that device, and it will respond with a text message to your phone with coordinates or other information.
Some GPS devices also allow you to set up a virtual fence in your garden. You can set up the perimeter of the fence by walking it with the device and saving it to its memory. Then, when your dog crosses the fence line, you will be alerted.
Some devices also allow you to send a message to it to turn on a strobe light or a loud sound to help you locate your dog when you are getting close to him.
Some devices are designed specifically for hunters. They can be used in any type of terrain and will allow you to track multiple dogs. Some can be set up to alert you when the dog is on point and has found an animal.
- Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images