RICHMOND, VA (WWBT/WXIX) - It can be a terrifying feeling when your pet is missing, but new technology can make it a lot easier to find them.
According to the American Humane Association, more than 10 million cats and dogs go missing every year. One in three pets will become lost at some point in their lives!
GPS is now so advanced, it’s small enough to fit on a dog or cat collar, which has made for a booming new industry—pet tracking devices.
Here’s how they work: You put the special collar with the GPS built into it on your pet, activate the device, then download the app onto your smart phone.
Devices like The Paw Tracker let you track your pet in real time on your phone! You can also set up a Geofence around a safe area, like your house or yard, and get an alert if your pet takes off.
Paw Tracker costs $99.95, but you also have to pay a monthly data fee, starting at about $10 per pet.
There are also gadgets that work both as a tracking device and as a sort of Fitbit for your pet! The Whistle Pet Tracker and Activity Monitor tracks your furry friend’s location, and how much exercise they’re getting.
You can even set activity goals, for your pet! This one costs about $100, plus a monthly fee starting at about $7.
There are less expensive versions like the Tractive GPS tracker, which costs $75, but there’s also a $5 monthly fee for that device.
As cool as these gadgets are, the single best way to protect your pet is to get them microchipped. Most veterinarians charge less than $50 for that, and 99% of shelters and vet clinics have scanners that read those microchips.