Track apps

Using technology to keep track of your pets

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) – Leaking a pet, even for a few seconds, can be nerve wracking. GPS-equipped pet trackers claim they can quickly reunite you with your frisky friend. Consumer Reports experts just finished testing pet tracking devices and revealed some tips and recommendations for choosing the best one for your fur baby.

Consumer Reports tested pet trackers to see how easy they are to use, set up, and of course, how well they track your precious pet. You create a safe zone on a map in a smartphone app, and every time your pet leaves that zone, you get an alert on your phone.

And for actual testing, a Consumer Reports writer spent several weeks using the devices to track his dog. The writer’s dog never runs away for long periods of time, but if he did, he knows he’d be able to pinpoint his location.

Consumer Reports says it’s best to choose a device that uses both GPS and cell service. This means you will pay the cost of the device plus a subscription plan. But that extra cost is worth it for the extra tracking range it allows. And many trackers also offer a “lost mode” or “direct mode” feature, updating the location more frequently if your pet moves out of the safe zone.

The top-scoring Tractive GPS Dog LTE offers the best price of any device Consumer Reports tested. It is also light enough to use on your cat. The cost for the first year is $134, which equals $50 for the device and $84 per year for the service.

Consumer Reports says that no matter which tracker you choose, familiarize yourself with the device and practice tracking your pet before there is an emergency. You don’t want to know how to use an app while frantically searching for your pet.