6 On Your Side: Consumer Confidence, High tech tools for your pet

(ABC 6 News) – Having a pet run off–even for a few seconds–can be nerve-wracking. GPS-equipped pet trackers claim they can quickly reunite you with your frisky friend, here is our 6 On Your Side: Consumer Confidence Report with some simple tips and recommendations for choosing the best one for your fur baby.

“The longer he was gone the more worried I got," Jacob Markert said.

When the Markert’s family cat, Gromit, dashed out the door one evening, they didn’t think much of it. Normally, Gromit is an inside – outside cat.

“He ended up being gone for three weeks," Katie Markert said.

Now, he’s sporting an electronic tracking device. It keeps a 24/7 running tab on Gromit’s whereabouts using a combination of GPS and cellular signals.

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, on your smartphone app and every time the dog leaves that zone, it alerts you on your smartphone," Consumer Reports Editor, Scott Medintz said.

And for some real-life testing, writer Scott Medintz spent several weeks using the devices to track his dog, Luna.

“So far she’s never run away for a long period of time, but if she did I know that I’d be able to figure out where she is," Medintz said.

CR says it’s best to choose a device that uses both GPS and cellular service. This means you’ll be paying for 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 or live mode” feature — updating your pet’s location more frequently if your pup happens to wander out of the safe zone.

This top-scoring Tractive GPS Dog LTE offers the best pricing out of all the devices CR tested. It’s also light enough to use on your cat.
Which is something the Markert family really appreciates …

“A, you have the peace of mind but B, it’s so interesting to see where he goes when he’s out there," Katie Markert said.

CR says no matter which tracker you choose, get comfortable with the device and practice tracking your pet before there’s an emergency. You don’t want to be figuring out how to use an app while also frantically searching for your pet.