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My dog Roxy is a German Shepherd, which means that when she’s committed to doing something, she’s going to do it. One of those things is sneaking through the fence and going for long walks around the neighborhood. I’ve seen enough episodes of The Dog Whisperer to understand why she does this, but until she is “rehabilitated” (as Cesar Millan puts it) we need to make sure she’s safe. Enter Tagg the Pet Tracker, which lets me track Roxy’s whereabouts with a handy iPhone app.
Tagg the Pet Tracker is exactly what you’d expect: a plastic puck with GPS capabilities that snaps onto your pet’s collar. It’s got a docking station for charging, and geolocation technology that sends you alerts when your pet is over 75 yards away from her home address. The kit also comes with clip-on adapters for various collar sizes. While Roxy didn’t notice the Pet Tracker on her collar, smaller dogs and cats may need some time to get used to the new protruding plastic bulb on their necks.
To activate the Pet Tracker, you’ll have to sign up for a subscription ($7.95/month) and create a profile, then input data like your address and how often you want notifications. You can decide whether you want push notifications, emails, or text messages, and the service will even alert you when the device needs charging.
It’s not exactly a new idea--Garmin has been making devices like these for a while; its GTU 10 locator retails for $199.99 at www.garmin.com. Tagg’s selling points are affordability and its app. The Tagg app tracks your pet and shows her location with Google Maps. It wasn’t precisely accurate, but it was always within a few blocks of where my dog was sniffing. In the event that she was actually lost, the Tagg app can fetch driving directions to that location and I could swoop by and pick her up. I can also check up on her while I’m at work to make sure her dog walker is taking her out to the park like she says.
Tagg advertises that the battery lasts for 30 days, but the Pet Tracker’s battery life quickly diminishes if you’re constantly fetching its location. When I left Roxy with a friend over 10 miles away, I was receiving constant alerts that she was far away from home. But when she returned three days later, the tracker was dead. Fortunately, this wasn’t a crisis, but you’ll need to make sure that the battery is constantly charged in case of an actual emergency.
The bottom line. If you and your pup are fans of the great outdoors, you should probably consider something more high-end for geolocation tracking. But for dog owners who just want to know that Fido is safe in his doghouse, Tagg the Pet Tracker is well worth the peace of mind.
Tagg the Pet Tracker
$7.95/month subscription fee (first month is included in purchase price), outlet for docking station, a collar for your pet, mobile app for iOS or Android.
Instant notifications on your pet's location. Easy to use and set up. Phenomenal customer service.
Protrudes from the collar. Battery life is finicky depending on use.