The Connected Pet. Why Your Dog Needs a Cell Phone


First it was your teenaged kids, then the third graders in our town have phones. Now it’s dogs!

With the introduction of different trackers and GPS fences, dogs now essentially have cell phones and their own subscription! Of course they can’t talk to you over them, but they can send you lots of helpful information to keep track of and monitor your dog on your smartphone.

Dog Trackers

Dog trackers are a new technology that typically uses both GPS and cellular to track your dog’s activity and tell you where your dog is located.

They either attach to your dog’s existing collar or they come already in an attractive collar. These products can track your dog’s location and they also use this data to make health estimates such as the number of steps taken by your pup and activity level.

They require a cellular subscription because the tracker communicates with your phone over the cellular network. While you can set a geofence and ask the tracker to tell you if your dog leaves, they do not contain your dog as there is no deterrent or consequence if your dog strays. However, you can see on your smartphone your dog’s approximate location and find them.

Dog GPS Fences

Dog GPS Fences use military-grade technology to contain your dog in any outdoor space without having to build or install anything like a fence.

These products are also both GPS and cellular enabled. The GPS determines the dog’s location and the cellular communicates the information between the collar and your mobile phone. These products can effectively contain your dog because as your dog approaches the virtual fence boundary, the system will emit a set of alert tones that you have trained your dog mean to turn around and return home. If your dog does not respect their training, then you can have the system emit a vibration or static correction which effectively contains them.

Dog GPS Fences are a lot more expensive than dog trackers, because the GPS antennas & receivers used are much higher quality. This is because the product has a consequence for the dog and the GPS locations must be very accurate.

For trackers, you will find that the GPS is far less accurate – sometimes hundreds of feet off. They tell you approximately where your dog is. Trackers also update location less frequently – often after a minute or more – which may make it difficult for you to catch your dog. The SpotOn Fence updates every 6 seconds.   

On the horizon, the pet industry will likely become more and more connected. Today you can even get a cat litter box that you can manage with your phone!

Author Bio:
Jennifer Joyce, the President of SpotOn Fence and one of the people entrusted to serve French Bulldogs, Lucy & Henry. She grew up on a farm in Oregon with Golden Retriever, Butch, and black cat, Lucky. Their lifestyle of running free on the farm inspired her to join SpotOn to help more dogs run free off leash. She has over 10 years of pet industry experience for brands such as Kurgo & Embark Vet. She has written about many topics related to incorporating pets into your life, such as hiking, camping, urban exploring, travel safety and international travel.

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