Global Positioning System (GPS) chips are a type of technology available for pet owners that they can use to track lost pets or keep up with pets that are allowed to roam, hunt or otherwise travel outside of the house. GPS systems are in wide use and have been successful in reuniting lost pets with their owners. There are several brands of GPS chip tracking systems for pets available for purchase.
GPS chips differ from identification chips (microchips) in that they go externally, rather than internally, on your pet. GPS systems for pets come in two parts: the receiver or tracker for the owner to use to locate the pet and the GPS chip device (tag) that goes somewhere on the pet itself. Some GPS chip systems come with their own collar while others are a simple tag that attaches to your pet's current harness, collar or carrier.
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Area of Coverage
GPS chips for pets work in a variety of ways. Before purchasing a GPS chip, consider what you need the GPS chip tracking system to accomplish. For example, does your pet frequently roam several miles from your house or does your pet only roam one mile from your house? Most GPS chips can link up to a satellite if your pet is outside of your immediate receiver radius. However, each brand of GPS chip receiver varies in the miles or area of coverage it will pick up on.
Uses for GPS Chips in Pets
GPS chips in pets are useful for many reasons. The first is to locate a lost pet. You also can use GPS chips with working dogs such as service canines and hunting dogs. If you are flying, traveling or moving you may want to consider purchasing a GPS pet chip system in case your pet becomes lost while you are relocating or ends up on the wrong cargo flight.
GPS Chip Accuracy
GPS pet chip systems seem to be extremely accurate. GPS chips for pets use the same tracking system technology as GPS mapping systems in phones and automobile mapping devices, which are highly accurate. Each tracking device uses satellite and radio frequencies to locate your pet with global technology, which makes GPS chips more dependable than standard identification microchips, which depend on someone scanning your pet with a hand-held device in order to access the owner's information.
Cost of GPS Chips for Pets
The cost for GPS chips and chip systems for pets vary depending on if you want the receiver to pick up on a single pet tracking chip or if you have multiple pets to keep up with. Prices will also vary depending upon the radius or area of coverage the receiver will pick up on. As of 2010 pricing for GPS chips (tags) for pets start at around $199 each, with entire chip systems (tag and receiver) starting at around $599.
As of 2010 there is not an internal GPS chip available for pets, thus if your pet loses its tag you will only be able to find the last place your pet was before it lost it.