Pet Trackers 101: The Trend in Wearables for Animals

December 8, 2021 by Sofia Fernandez

Dog with GPS tracker

When we think about wearables and activity there’s a growing trend for devices for pets, with animal and pet trackers designed to help us keep tabs on our beloved furry friends.

Pet trackers are mainly designed to help us monitor location, using a tracking transmitter on the animal and a receiver for the owner. However, as VCA reports, approximately 25-30% of the general canine population is obese, making tracking of activity equally important.

How Do Pet Trackers Work? 

Pet trackers usually fall into two categories: GPS trackers utilizing mobile networks, and radio-frequency trackers which require no additional signals or networks. Most pet trackers simply attach to the animal’s collar, while others can be the whole collar itself. They allow you to know exactly where your pet is at any given time, and while they’re mostly used for dogs, there are increasing numbers of other species benefiting from this technology.

Key Features Pet Owners Need in a Tracker

The features you want from a pet tracker differ a little from those you may consider essential for your own fitness or activity wearables. The main features pet owners should keep in mind include:

Mom calms girl who lost dog

Rugged Design
Products designed for people are not ideal for pets. Pet trackers need to be waterproof, water-resistant, and designed for high levels of activity. Some dogs enjoy the occasional swim too, so a tracker which can survive extended water immersion is essential.

Location History
Cat owners in particular love this feature because it gives them a chance to see where their precious pet heads off to each day. It can help to get a good feel for the day-to-day behavior of wandering pets.

Weight and Dimensions
Pets come in different shapes and sizes and, thankfully, so do pet trackers. Owners need to be sure they’re opting for a tracker suitably sized for their pet. Trackers which clip onto the collar may be uncomfortable or too heavy for some animals, so checking first is important to ensure you can get good use from your new investment.

Subscription Fees
Like many of the wearables we use every day, pet trackers can come with a connected subscription service. You may need to pay a monthly fee to use the app that complements your chosen tracker, or there may be a free version. Considering the price of this may factor into the pet tracker you choose.

Battery Life
Checking the expected battery life of a new pet’s tracker is important because you may not want to be taking it on and off your pet every day. The more advanced models often require more regularly charging so keep this in mind.

The Future of Pet Trackers

Pet owners are already benefiting from the added peace of mind that their animal tracker brings. It can help keep your home and pet secure. and be beneficial in monitoring your pet’s activity. As the technology improves, companies are focusing in on the health side of pet trackers. Some even feature heart rate monitors and can inform owners of the need for a trip to the veterinarian.

As with all wearable technologies, there is room for improvement. Keeping pet trackers unobtrusive while maintaining effectiveness is particularly important, as it’s an expensive investment to lose if your dog can simply shake it off. Longer battery life is also in high demand as pet owners want to be able to leave their pet’s wearables attached for as long as possible.

Cat with GPS tracker

How Ambiq Helps

Pet trackers need to run effectively without impacting the pet’s everyday life, or regularly needing removing and charging due to inefficient battery life. They also need to deliver regular and precise location updates for the owner’s peace of mind. Efficient SoCs such as the Apollo Series from Ambiq® ensure trackers can last for days (sometimes weeks!) with only a single charge.

Designed to be as lean and efficient as possible, Ambiq’s SoCs help extend the battery life of pet trackers, ensuring owners can check on their pets’ locations in almost real-time.

As the features of pet trackers continue to develop and owners demand more from their devices, Ambiq technology continues to deliver. Our customers can develop and expand the capability of their devices without compromising battery life. Please explore our range of cutting-edge solutions that will usher in a new generation of pet location and activity trackers.

Written by Sofia Fernandez
Sofia Fernandez
Written by Sofia Fernandez

Sofia is a seasoned technical writer and has written, managed, and processed various technical documents in small, medium, and large companies in the hi-tech industry. She is a lifelong learner, and loves to test and document new technology.