This pet tracker’s live tracking function impressed us with its accuracy and usefulness in a real-life scenario searching for a lost pet. It is a GPS tracker that pairs with a free smartphone app that requires a monthly service plan to use, though it is one of the most affordable monthly plans of the tags we tested. This tracker relies on cell phone service or Wi-Fi to work and includes tracking capabilities on the Tractive website should your phone be on the fritz. You should get anywhere between two and five days of battery life depending on your cell phone coverage.
The tag weighs 1.4 ounces, including the plastic clip that comes with it, and is compatible with thin collars. An extra plastic clip is included as well as a unique charging cord, which connects to the tag with small pins we found rather difficult to line up. Once you’ve created an account, you can personalize it with your pet’s name and other information including a photo before you start tracking. We also noted that all of Tractive’s default settings were in meters and kilograms, so users in the United States might want to go in and change that setting.
This tracker was incredibly accurate both in town and on a hiking trail away from the city. The live tracking function draws a red line on the map as the tag moves, showing you exactly where your pet has been and where they’re going in real time. The dog we were working with got really excited while wearing this tracker and ran back and forth several times in the same spot with the live tracking function turned on. The app showed exactly where she had been running with a zig-zag red line. One of the app’s downsides is it doesn’t have a pin showing where you, the user, are. This wouldn’t be a problem in an area with streets and other landmarks, but we were a little confused on hiking trails where there aren’t any intersections or road signs.
The tracking app has geofencing capabilities that allow you to set up digital fences and receive alerts if your pet goes outside of them, similar to the Whistle 3 and the Trax Play. There is also an activity monitoring mode if you want to see how sedentary your dog is while you’re not around.
There are also other Tractive apps available, like Dog Walk and Tractive Photos, if you’re interested in more than just the ability to know where your pet is. This waterproof, compact pet tracker is accurate and affordable.