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Hey there, pet pawrents! If you’re anything like me, you probably worry about your fur babies wandering off or getting lost. In South Africa, pet tracking devices have become a must-have to keep our beloved pets safe. These nifty gadgets come in all shapes and sizes, offering a range of features to suit different needs. Whether you have a curious cat that loves to explore or an adventurous dog that enjoys long hikes, finding the right pet tracker can give you much-needed peace of mind. Let’s dive into the different types of tracking devices for pets, their perks, and how to choose the best one for your furry friend.

Smart Pet Tracker Options in South Africa

GPS Trackers

Dedicated GPS Trackers

Whistle GO Explore:

  • Features: Real-time location tracking, activity monitoring, virtual fences, health insights, battery life up to 20 days, waterproof.
  • Usage: Attach to your pet’s collar for continuous monitoring and tracking, ideal for indoor and outdoor pets.
  • Availability: Available for purchase internationally through Amazon.com with shipping to South Africa. Not currently available on Amazon South Africa.
  • Price: Approximately R2,400 excluding international shipping.

Tractive GPS:

  • Features: Real-time GPS tracking, activity monitoring, virtual fences, location history, waterproof, lightweight.
  • Usage: Attach to your pet’s collar, perfect for outdoor and adventurous pets who roam far and wide.
  • Availability: This can be purchased directly from the Tractive website, which ships internationally to South Africa.
  • Price: Approximately R1000 (excluding international shipping) plus a subscription plan starting at around R140/year.

Streetwise Pets GPS Pet Tracker:

  • Features: Real-time GPS tracking, Lightweight, geo-fencing, IP67 Water resistant, History playback, Remote listening and talking.
  • Usage: Attaches to pet collars.
  • Availability: Available through Streetwise Pets’ official website in South Africa.
  • Price: R 2,250 – R 2,435.

Cellular GPS Trackers

Fi Smart Collar:

  • Features: GPS tracking using cellular networks, activity monitoring, long battery life (up to 3 months), waterproof, durable design.
  • Usage: Ideal for active dogs, attached to the collar for extensive tracking and monitoring, especially in areas with good cellular coverage.
  • Availability: Not currently available in South Africa.
  • Price: Approximately R360 activation fee plus a subscription plan starting at around R340/month.

Garmin Alpha 100:

  • Features: Real-time GPS tracking, advanced dog training features, long-range tracking (up to 14.5 kilometres), robust and durable design, waterproof.
  • Usage: Suitable for working dogs and those involved in training or hunting, attached to the collar for precise and long-distance tracking.
  • Availability: Available in South Africa through Garmin’s authorized retailers and their official South African website.
  • Price: Approximately R12,050.

Infinity 4G GPS Pet Tracker:

  • Features: Uses 4G network, Up to 10 days battery life, GPS/WiFi/GSM triangulation, waterproof, lightweight, button alert.
  • Usage: Attaches to standard collars or harnesses, suitable for indoor and outdoor pets, offering reliable tracking and comfort.
  • Availability: Available through Tail Me’s official website in South Africa and on Takealot.
  • Price: R 1,999.

Hybrid Pet Trackers

Findster Duo+ (GPS + RF):

  • Features: GPS and RF tracking, no monthly fees, real-time tracking, activity monitoring, waterproof, long battery life.
  • Usage: Suitable for both dogs and cats, perfect for varied environments offering both short and long-range tracking capabilities.
  • Availability: This can be purchased directly from the Findster Duo+ official website, which offers international shipping to South Africa.
  • Price: Approximately R2,700 excluding international shipping.

Bluetooth Trackers

Bluetooth-Based Trackers:

  • Examples: Horizen Tracker Tag, Apple AirTag
  • Features: Uses Bluetooth to connect with nearby devices and relies on a crowd-sourced network for wider location updates
  • Usage: Best for urban areas with a high density of other users

Comparing GPS Trackers and Bluetooth Trackers

Using a smart pet tracker and a GPS pet tracking device to track your dog or cat each comes with its perks. Here’s a quick rundown of the benefits of both:

GPS Tracker Benefits:

  1. Real-Time Tracking: Get real-time location updates so you can see where your pet is at any moment.
  2. Wide Range: Track your dog or cat over long distances, especially useful in remote areas.
  3. Activity Monitoring: Keep an eye on your pet’s movements and behaviours over time.

Bluetooth Smart Pet Tracker Benefits:

  1. Simplicity: Easy to use and set up, with minimal maintenance required.
  2. Size and Comfort: Small and light, making them comfy for pets to wear, especially the little ones.
  3. Cost-Effective: Generally cheaper than GPS devices, both initially and over time.

Cost and Expenses

The average price of a Pet GPS Tracker available in South Africa ranges from around R1,000 to R12,000, while an Apple AirTag costs about R 750. Let’s break down the ongoing expenses:

No Subscription Fees: Unlike GPS trackers, which often need a monthly or yearly subscription for cellular service, Bluetooth trackers don’t have these fees, making them more budget-friendly over time.

Lower Maintenance Costs: With longer battery life and fewer recharges needed, Bluetooth trackers are cheaper to maintain.

Leverage Existing Networks: Bluetooth trackers use community networks (like other users with the same app) to help find lost pets, cutting down the need for expensive individual tracking infrastructure.

Battery Life and Durability

Longer Battery Life: Since Bluetooth trackers don’t constantly transmit data like GPS trackers, they have longer battery life, meaning fewer replacements or recharges.

Simpler Design: Fewer components in Bluetooth trackers mean fewer chances of failure, resulting in longer-lasting devices and fewer replacement costs.

Bluetooth Smart Pet Tracker Insights

Apple AirTag:

  • Integration with Apple Ecosystem: Easy to use and works seamlessly with Apple’s ecosystem.
  • Battery Life: Replaceable battery lasts up to a year.
  • Community Assistance: Leverages the extensive network of Apple devices to locate lost pets.
  • Purchase Price: Around R 750.
  • Durability and Reliability: Rated IP67 for water resistance (up to 30 minutes in 1.5 metres of water).

Horizen Tracker Tag:

  • Integration with Apple Ecosystem: Certified to work well with Apple devices.
  • Battery Life: Replaceable battery lasts up to a year.
  • Community Assistance: Uses the Apple Find My community network to help locate lost pets.
  • Purchase Price: Around R 285.
  • Durability and Reliability: While the Horizen Tracker Tag itself isn’t water-resistant, it’s perfect for pets who stay dry. But if your furry friend loves splashing around, pair it with Horizen’s Pet Collar Mount. Rated IP68, the mount makes the pet tracker waterproof up to 2 metres, so your pet can dive right in without a worry.

Horizen Tracker Tags and Cases are great for Apple users seeking a rugged, affordable, and low-maintenance way to keep tabs on their pets, especially in urban areas.

Explore the Horizen Pet Tracker now and secure your pet’s adventures!

In conclusion, while GPS tracking devices provide real-time tracking and additional features like activity monitoring and geofencing, they come with higher costs and more frequent battery charging. On the other hand, Bluetooth trackers present a more economical and low-maintenance solution for pet owners, especially within urban areas. By leveraging community networks for wider coverage, Bluetooth trackers offer effective and reliable tracking without the ongoing expenses of GPS devices. Depending on your specific needs and environment, either a GPS tracker or a Bluetooth tracker could be the best pet locator device for you.

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