Pet gps, pros and cons

Pet GPSare the latest solution for missing pets. More than 2 million pets are lost or stolen in the US every year. With advancing technologies, different solutions have emerged over time for the prevention and recovery of these pets.

Identifying marks developed into tags and finally microchips. Microchips are circuits containing pertinent information on the dog and its owner. These are small and are implanted under the skin of the pet normally in the shoulder region. Microchips themselves cannot locate a pet. The pet has to be found and then scanned for this technology to be useful. All pets should be microchipped as this is a great back up for other devices available.

Tracking devices are also available. These are normally attached to the pet by a collar or harness. They are most widely used for wildlife research or hunting. The tracking system is made up of a transmitter on the pet, and a portable receiver with antenna. The system works by “pinging” ie the portable receiver emits a louder sound when pointed in the direction of the transmitter. Due to the small size of the transmitter, this solution is adaptable for smaller pets. One manufacturer has a cat collar based on this technology.

Pet GPS are more detailed than tracking devices in that they pinpoint the location of the pet with relative accuracy. They can also reveal the velocity and direction the pet is travelling in. They operate using a combination of GPS and radio or cell phone frequencies. Some pet GPS function by transmitting the location of the pet to a central station. The station will then alert the owner by sms, email, or website as to the location or address of the pet . Others transmit their location directly to a hand held receiver. The device will then show the location of the pet in relation to the receiver.

The main drawback of both transmitters and GPS is that they are detachable. It would be crushing to track down a signal just to find an empty collar or harness.