4 Best Dog GPS Trackers With Low Subscription Costs

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Pet ownership is no easy task. Just like humans, dogs can become overweight and unhealthy, especially when they become old and are not so active.

But when you do decide to go out for a walk, there are occasions when, even the most well-behaved dogs may manage to escape their lead and runaway.

When this happens, figuring out what to do next can be difficult, especially for new owners. But that’s where dog trackers trackers can come to to the rescue.

Dog trackers come in various forms, from GPS-based devices to Bluetooth-enabled tags, each equipped with its unique set of features and functionalities. GPS trackers, use satellite technology to provide accurate and precise location information, enabling to track down our dogs even with our phones.

In this article I reviewed a few of the best dog trackers and calculated the cheapest yearly cost. Here’s what I found!

How do dog trackers work?

To keep it simple, dog trackers usually use GPS to determine the precise location of your dog. The tracker device, which attaches to your dog’s collar (or comes in a vest form), receives signals from satellites to pinpoint its exact location.

The tracker can send this data to an app or website which you can download on your phone. Using the app or interface, you can view your dog’s location in real-time or receive notifications if your dog leaves or changes position.

Top GPS trackers, low subscription cost

1. Tractive GPS Dog Tracker

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2. Pawfit 2 Pet GPS Tracker

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3. Apple AirTag

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4. Tractive Tracker XL

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Special mention

LandAirSea 54 GPS

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Are dog trackers any good?

Yes, dog trackers can be very useful for pet owners. Here are some benefits of using dog trackers:

  1. Location tracking: Dog trackers can help you track your dog’s whereabouts, especially if they have a habit of escaping or running away.
  2. Peace of mind: By knowing your dog’s location at all times (even when you’re not home), you can have peace of mind knowing that they are safe.
  3. Exercise monitoring: Some dog trackers offer additional features like activity and fitness monitoring, which can help you track your dog’s exercise levels. This can be useful for maintaining their health and ensuring they get enough physical activity.

Do dog GPS trackers with no subscription exist?

This question is not easily answered. Yes, there are some GPS trackers on the market that can be used for dogs without needing to pay for an extra subscription in the UK, an example would be an Apple AirTag or PitPat.

But usually standard pet or dog tracker does require an extra sim and therefore a subscription payment, much like a phone. But to understand this better, I have broken it down a bit.

Types of trackers:

  • Pet GPS Tracker like Tractive, a 100% waterproof real-time dog tracker which offers unlimited range for a small monthly cost.
  • Bluetooth trackers aimed at finding easy-to-lose keys and valuables around the house, designed to find objects up to 10 meters away. An example for this is Apple AirTags.
  • Vehicle trackers usually magnetic, vehicle trackers are designed to track your motorcycle, car or bike and typically have a very long battery life. They usually offers monthly subscriptions.
  • Hiking GPS are extremely powerful handheld devices which connect directly with satellites to give you a pin point location.

Why do dog trackers need subscriptions?

Dog trackers require subscriptions because they need to update in real-time. It would be no use if the dog tracker used Bluetooth and only updated when the tracker was in range with a paired device, like a phone.

Bluetooth devices have a range from about 5-10 meters, whereas a dog tracker with a sim can be tracked from anywhere, and with the correct subscription across the world. Dog trackers usually connect to an app or website, where you can track your pet in real-time to within meters of their position, so pretty accurate!

GPS dog trackers, cannot send their location to another device without connection to the internet. That’s why a sim subscription is needed.

Can I use an Apple AirTag as a dog tracker?

Although Apple does not recommend using Apple AirTags as a dog tracker, they can be very useful in built up areas like towns and cities.

AirTags can work as good dog trackers because they do not have a defined range. According to Apple an AirTag can connect to anybody’s iPhone (or other Apple device) through the “Find My iPhone” app. But not to worry, Apple explains how the Bluetooth devices send encrypted data to protect privacy.

The AirTag also updates in real-time, so long as the Tag has a stable connection to an Apple device.

But Apple AirTags do have some issues, their network uses other iPhones to build a connection.

So when there are no devices present, like in the woods or a mountain trek the device becomes pretty useless because it stays disconnected from the Apple “network”.

The best dog trackers with cheapest subscription

I created this list, which holds the best trackers for the cheapest monthly subscription. Here are the best devices:

1. Tractive GPS dog tracker

Unlimited range, live location, escape alerts and waterproof 

Initial cost






*data from Amazon.co.uk 11.07.2023

Tractive comes with a built in sim, and a large battery capable of lasting around 10 days.

With unlimited range and a fitness goal tracker, the Tractive comes with all the tools you need to keep a watchful eye over your pet.

Set virtual fences which can send alerts to your phone if your dog wanders out of their set boundaries.

What I like

The Tractive GPS tracker offers several features that the other trackers don’t, here’s what I liked about the device:

Real-time Tracking: One of the primary benefits of the Tractive GPS tracker is its ability to provide real-time tracking of your dog. This feature allows you to monitor the exact location of your pet at any given time.

Activity Monitoring: Not all trackers can do this, but the Tractive offers activity monitoring, which enables you to keep track of your pet’s daily activities, including their steps, distance traveled, and calories burned. This feature can help you ensure that your pet is getting enough exercise and staying healthy.

But, the best feature of the Tractive is their app. Unlike other tracking apps, the Tractive interface is clear, easy to use and understand. I found that, despite the claim of “live location” other apps would lag, be cluttered and show a complete inaccuracy of where my dog was.

Tractive review

This guide by Pocket Puppy School shows you everything you need to know before buying. Even a tutorial on how to set it up!


By paying yearly or biyearly you save yourself half of the monthly subscriptions costs. So I would always suggest to pay yearly, or biyearly if you can.

So, by taking the initial cost of £31.50 + first year costs for the sim £72.00, we land at £103.50, all in for the first year.

2. Pawfit 2 Pet GPS Tracker

Built in speaker, voice recall, waterproof, fitness tracker, live location with unlimited range

Initial cost






*data from Amazon.co.uk 11.07.2023

The Pawpet 2 offers real-time tracking with an unlimited range controlled from an app on your phone.

You can also set boundaries or designated areas where your pet should stay, and set up geo-fence alerts to ensure their safety.

The battery lasts around 6 days and takes 2.5 hours to fully charge.

What I like

The Pawfit 2 is the only tracker on this list with built in speakers. This means you can recall or alert your dog from pretty much anywhere, providing you have connection. Unfortunately 2 way audio is not compatible, but you play a pre-recorded message through the app to alert people around if your dog goes missing.

The notifications are great with the Pawfit too, not only can the device warn you through the app when the temperature changes, but if your dog was to lose the tracker, or if it is removed from the collar attachment you get a notification through the app.

Like the Tractive, the Pawfit has the ability to track your dogs daily movements and exercise levels. You can set goals in the app for steps, fitness levels and distances.

The Pawfit 2 is slightly bigger than other devices on this list, so bare that in mind. But the easy lock collar which comes with the tracker, was a great fit for my Lab.


Like the other subscription trackers, by paying in advance you save yourself the most money.

So, the initial cost of the Pawfit 2 is £59.99 + first year costs for the sim £43.08, which comes to £102.80 all in for the first year.

3. Apple AirTag

Unlimited range, live location and 1 year battery

Initial cost






*data from Amazon.co.uk 11.07.2023

Apple AirTags have a battery life of around 1 year, and providing you’re using the Find My network a range of up to 50ft from your device.

AirTags are waterproof with a rating of IP67 and use a built in speaker to locate when the device is missing or lost.

What I like

The Apple AirTag could be incredibly useful for dog owners, the device provides you with valuable tracking capabilities to monitor and locate your pets.

By attaching an AirTag to the dog’s collar, you gains access to real-time location monitoring. With an iPhone or other Apple devices, you can easily track your pet’s whereabouts.

Unlike the other trackers on this list, the AirTag uses Bluetooth. This means when you have an Apple device in the area, you have a limited range of around 30-40ft (10 meters)


The yearly running costs for an Apple AirTag is relatively cheap. Considering the battery lasts around 1 year, in theory you can just change the battery.

So the yearly costs are £30.00 for the Tag itself. No subscription is needed.


Unfortunately, the main drawback of the AirTag is the Bluetooth connectivity. AirTags heavily depend on other Apple devices nearby to assist in locating lost items.

While this network of devices can be beneficial for finding misplaced belongings around the house, it may not be as effective when it comes to locating a lost dog. Relying solely on the proximity of other Apple users may not provide accurate for retrieving a lost pet.

4. Tractive GPS Dog Tracker XL

Unlimited range, live location, escape alerts, 1 month battery and waterproof

Initial cost






*data from Amazon.co.uk 11.07.2023

Tractive XL is designed for larger breeds. The robust case can withstand more wear and tear than average collars, and its battery life can last for over 1 month without charge.

Tractive XL is not just a tracker, it can also monitor your dog’s activity, sleep and fitness levels.

What I like

I must admit, I already had the Tracker XL before I wrote this article, and it truly exceeded my expectations, that’s why I have to add it to this list.

Unlike the original Tractive GPS tracker, the XL is designed for bigger dogs with a staggering 1 month battery life. As well as all the features of the original like fitness tracking, unlimited range and live location, the XL comes with a larger more robust collar “built for the outdoors”.

The Tractive XL also has a rechargeable battery, which takes around 5 hours to fully charge. The full weight is around 90g and comes with a specially designed collar.

Dog trackers like the Tractive XL are great if you’re a traveler or spend time away from your dog. The app enables you to make sure your dog is still keeping their fitness levels and receiving the right care even when you’re not there.

Set up guide

Tractive have great videos on their YouTube channel on how to set up and activate Tractive GPS trackers. Give it a watch if you’re stuck.


The Tractive GPS XL is one of the more expensive dog trackers on this list. The XL comes with it’s own sim, so you are expected to pay once you download and start the app. By paying yearly or biyearly you save yourself quite a bit of money. The Tractive GPS XL has the same monthly costs as the original Tractive GPS.

By taking the initial cost of £59.99 + first year costs for the sim £72.00, we land at £131.99 all in for the first year.

Featured: Tractive XL: The Best Dog GPS Tracker?

Special mention – LandAirSea 54

Unlimited range, live location, escape alerts and waterproof 

Initial cost






The LandAirSea 54 is a tracking device designed to track vehicles, people and other assets.

With a magnetic mount and full global coverage, the LandAirSea 54 comes with real time tracking in a compact metal disc device.

Sadly, the LandAirSea 54 is not cheap to run, otherwise it would of made this list. A bit disappointing considering it’s 24 day battery life and pinpoint location accuracy.

What I like

The LandAirSea 54 is a great tracker designed primarily for vehicles, people and other assets. Thanks to it’s small size, it will fit into any dog vest or collar with a pocket.

Featuring a compact disc design, the LandAirSea is waterproof, magnetic and uses historical playback information. So you can see where the tracker has been.

I was impressed with the precise location and text & email alerts, but with the basic plan, live updates are not available and consequently have a 3 minutes delay. Not great if you’re tracking a pet. Only the more expensive premium plans offer live updates.


The LandAirSea 54 starts at £19.95 which is fairly cheap. But the standard plan, which does not include live location, starts at $19.95 or $179.55 per year.

So the first year would roughly cost around £160.00, and I could not justify that price, considering their are cheaper options on this list with live tracking and features suitable for pet owners. Plus, this is is not specifically a “dog tracker” and doesn’t come with a vest or collar.

My final thoughts

I wrote this list which combined the best dog trackers with cheapest monthly subscription costs. Having tested 8 different devices, the 4 in the list above made my short list. I was however, most impressed with the Tractive trackers.

The Tractive trackers feature great collar designs which secure the devices properly. In combination with the app and great interface, the Tractive is easy to use, easy to set boundaries and great for tracking down your lost pup.

However, there were some trackers I tested which didn’t make the cut. Both the PitPat Dog GPS and Kippy Evo are decent enough trackers, but I was not satisfied with range or accuracy. Often the Kippy was 100-200 meters out, and the battery died within 3 days of use.

But having said that, although the PitPat GPS has a high initial price, the device has no monthly subscription costs or hidden monthly fees. However, online reviews say that in certain areas of the UK the PitPat struggles to connect, so bare that in mind.


Q: Why are dog trackers useful?

Dogs can sometimes wander off or go missing, especially when we aren’t paying attention. Dog trackers are able to pinpoint your dogs exact location, so when they do go missing, at least you know where you’ll find them.

Most dog trackers update in real time, so if they’ve escaped from home you’ll be able to find them pretty quick.

Q: Are dog trackers safe for dogs?

Yes, most dog trackers are pretty durable and waterproof considering they are designed for doggy wear and tear. These devices are on the lower end of the electromagnetic spectrum and emit no more radiation than your phone (which also uses GPS).

Q: Are dog trackers worth it?

Yes, dog trackers are worth it. For one, they can enhance the safety of your dog by providing real-time positioning, you can keep track of your dog’s whereabouts at all times. This significantly reduces the risk of them getting lost or stolen.

Dog trackers can offer reassurance to pet owners, elderly or new owners. It’s great knowing you can locate your dog in case of an emergency.

Q: What is the typical battery life of a dog tracker?

Dog trackers can vary in battery life, some larger models have more space for bigger batteries and therefore last longer. Cheaper alternatives, or even smaller versions like an Apple AirTag has a battery life of around 1 year (with regular use).

Q: Are dog trackers rechargeable?

The majority of dog trackers use rechargeable batteries. Tractive uses rechargeable batteries which can be charged in under 3 hours with a battery life from 3-7 days (30 days with the XL model). Whereas an Apple AirTag cannot be charged and requires a new battery put in. But thankfully the AirTag just uses a standard CR2032-Lithium battery.

Olivia Williams

Olivia Williams is a keen writer and has spent 6+ years writing professional, research-based content. Specialising in everything home related, whether that’s smart home products or pet goodies, she has an extensive knowledge on home appliances, dogs and safety products with a lot of reviewing experience. Before joining ThirtyBlue Media, she wrote content for her own website.