Pet tracking technology is a serious commitment, not only for the economic requirements, but also for the level of safety and peace of mind afforded to you when you need it the most. Many pet owners know the panic and unknowns of a missing pet, and with such a massive majority of pets going missing each year, it’s important to select a system that really works and will keep your pets safe.
The Differences Between GPS and Cellular Tracking Technology for Pets
There are inherent performance concerns with this, as there are microchip, GPS and wireless cell technologies which are each effective for different reasons, depending on your geographical location and the availability of cell towers.
If you’re willing to spend a little bit more money up front, GPS will hands down work better for you than radio signals from microchips. However, when there is heavy interference between signals – such as with forests and mountains – it can be rendered ineffective.
On the other hand, wireless transmission will work when GPS doesn’t, depending on the availability of cell towers, and when combined, make a more desirable and reliable pet tracking system than microchips overall.
That being said, we’re also going to take comfort and durability into consideration as well as appearance in order to provide you with a clear and accurate review of the Whistle GPS Pet Tracker.
Versatile and reliable GPS Technology
Both the GPS and cell transmission technology made available with the Whistle GPS Pet Tracker offer nationwide coverage, however this doesn’t necessarily guarantee their effectiveness. As you know, GPS technology can be especially valuable if you live in a small town or rural setting with minimal transmission blockage.
By using the triangulation capabilities of satellites you’ll receive location information on your pet at all times when it’s available, with the kind of precision that will tell you exactly where they are in real time. The only limitation is transmission blockage, and because you’re granted access anywhere in the United States for free, this is a very economic and high performance option.
You’ll also be able to set up designated safe zones for your pets at your discretion. With the precision of GPS technology you can make it very specific, to the size of your back yard and even at the office. Additional safe zones can be set up in advance and by using your smartphone, you can select the one that’s appropriate for you based on your physical location, and whether or not you’re at home. If your pet leaves the designated safe zone, you can select between real time alert options which are discussed in a later section.
Optional Cell Service for Comprehensive Protection
Due to transmission blockage a cell service may be your best option, however it’s important to select the appropriate plan for your needs and your budget. Whistle does offer cell/service plans for between $6.95 and $9.95 per month, which is an option that will always be available to you.
Additionally, you can activate and cancel this service at any time, and since it’s a low cost and easy to activate, you can travel with your pets and rest assured that you can track them, even when GPS isn’t necessarily available.
You are offered nationwide access, however if you’re travelling abroad you’ll have to choose another option – otherwise we think that it’s a quite comprehensive and cost effective solution.
Benefits of Cellular Tracking Over Other Solutions
One of the enormous benefits of cellular tracking over radio signals is that rather than pointing you in the general direction of your pet, it will give you a set of coordinates to work with. While this isn’t as precise as GPS, cellular transmission has a larger usable range in that your pet tracker will maintain connection as long as there’s a cell tower nearby. You can also fall back on the GPS technology if you’d like.
If your pet leaves the expected range and loses connection while not using GPS, you’ll still be given an alert before they get too far away from home. There’s a high likelihood that your pet tracker will re-establish an expected connection, rather than simply being out of range until they return.
Another benefit that cell tracking technology has is that while GPS service does provide better performance under the right circumstances, it requires significantly more power and thus drains the battery quicker. The cellular technology does require some battery usage but is by no means a power hog, and is compatible for simultaneous use with GPS.
Smartphone and Tablet Capabilities with Active Alerts
If your pet ever goes missing you don’t want to wait hours before realizing that they’re gone, even when given precise location data with which to find them. One of the major advantages of the combined GPS and cellular technology is that when your pet leaves their safe zone, alerts will automatically be sent to your smartphone or tablet via both the Whistle mobile app and text messages.
You can choose which one works best for you, depending on whether you’re away or at home, making it easy to pass messages to friends and family members when you can’t leave to go find or check on your pets.
You’ll also be able to track your pets in real time, which is an efficient and useful feature for peace of mind, as well as locating them quickly if you have a large designated safe zone and you’d like to find them right away.
Advanced Smart Features for Additional Performance
Inevitably there are new ideas and innovations with GPS and cellular tracking technology when combined with smart functionality that can make your life easier and provide additional benefits. One of the most important areas for pet owners is their overall health and happiness, because while a pet tracker is necessary and useful in many cases, it’s nice to receive some extra value even when your pet hasn’t gotten loose.
What Whistle provides is the ability to monitor and track the activities of your pets, and provide you with that information with the free Whistle smart app. It’ll also make calculations based on the specifications of your pet, such as size, weight and age, and provide you with insights and information on how you can improve the well-being of your pet while tracking their day to day activities.
Just as importantly, the Whistle app is easy to use and compatible with both Apple and Android smartphones and tablets, so that navigating screens and accessing information very quickly is possible in tight situations.
Because of this smart technology, you’re also able to track as many pets at a time as you like, as long as they have a Whistle GPS pet tracker attached to their collar, and you have access to at least one Whistle base station.
Comfortable and Durable Construction for Pets Weighing 15+ lbs.
Outdoor pets generally like to get rough and dirty and this is not mutually exclusive to indoor pets. Thus the need for greater durability will in many ways determine a pet tracker’s overall value.
The Whistle GPS pet tracker’s collar attachment provides a secure and reliable connection to any collar or harness no greater than two inches in thickness. This is plenty of space for even large dog collars, so you likely won’t ever have to worry about whether or not it’s compatible with your pet’s accessories.
On the other hand, the tracker itself is actually compact. While durability often takes precedence, this is essential to the comfort of your pet, especially when worn for many hours throughout the day. Its actual dimensions are 3.4 x 0.7 x 1.4 inches, which provides superior comfort when compared to other options.
In terms of durability, the attachment loop is made of a strong material as is the metallic pet tracking device itself, which is vitally important because if it somehow breaks off of your pet’s collar, you could potentially lose track of them. Not to mention the economic drawbacks that a weak construction would incur, the Whistle pet tracker is also water-proof, so that you won’t have to worry about losing service if your pet decides to take a swim.
Battery and Charging Station
As with any complete wireless device, the battery is a simple yet decision breaking feature, especially for continuous use. There’s an integrated rechargeable battery that takes only one hour to charge with the included charging base station that uses a power adapter and cable. This low charge time is beneficial if you only have one base station and multiple trackers, and also provides further ease of use overall.
The Whistle GPS Pet Tracker provides high quality in all of the essential qualities of safety, comfort, performance, durability and appearance, with an elegant and compact design that provides every essential feature to a modern pet owner’s tracking needs.
Looking at the price tag of it, it certainly isn’t by any means a cheap investment, however the cellular rates are very affordable and you always have the option of purchasing additional trackers to track multiple pets simultaneously. Overall, a promising solution to an age old problem for pet lovers alike.