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What Is The Best – Microchip or Dog Tracker?

August 27, 2019
What Is The Best - Microchip or Dog Tracker?

Technologies have become a vital part of our lives. It is hard to imagine how could we roll without any of those gadgets we use every day. Our pets are not left out, too, when it comes to various devices. And if some of them indeed might seem to be unnecessary, it’s an entirely different case with dog trackers.

Many owners know this feeling of desperation when the pet gets lost on the walk. It can happen even to the most trained dogs. You never know if there will be something that might spook the animal and make it run away – not from you, but the scary thing. It happens especially often in the holiday season when people celebrate with fireworks, or during thunderstorms.

All dog’s equipment is about dog care. If you have more questions about how to take care of your dog – check our expert guide “how to care about your dog.”

But how to find out where is your dog if it runs away? All you need to do is to get a dog tracker and make sure your pet always has it. The tracker will provide you with the precise location of your dog, making it much easier to find and bring it home. It is a vital tool for every pet. Even if you are sure it will never run away, it’s good to have a tracker just in case.

Dog microchips

It might sound intimidating to put a chip in the dog. But in reality, the procedure is painless and very quick. The microchip is just as small as a grain of rice, if not smaller.

Dog Microchip
Dog Microchip

How to install a dog microchip? You need to go to the vet, and the doctor will place the microchip. It gets implanted under the dog’s skin between the shoulder blades by a quick injection. There is no need for surgery or anesthesia. Also, they work right away, so you don’t have to think about how to set up the device.

In many countries, dog owners must microchip their puppies according to the law. It is so because of two reasons. First of all, a microchip is registered in the database, making it much easier to control all the pets. Also, the chip contains all the information about the dog: the vaccine shots it had, diseases, and the owner’s contacts. Therefore, if the dog gets lost and someone finds it, they can scan the chip and find the owner. Moreover, some microchips are enhanced with the radio frequency identification that allows seeing the location of the animal.

Dog trackers

Dog tracker has one goal – to track the location of the animal. It will help you to keep an eye on your dog even if it is out of sight. Trackers usually work from GPS, which is much more reliable and precise than RFI used in microchips. They often look like collars with a small plastic box attached to them. The box is a tracker itself. Sometimes, the tracker can come in the form of a little trinket that should be attached to the collar of your pet. Make sure that the collar with the tracker is not the one you attach the leash to.

Dog Tracker
Dog Tracker

Since the technology is new, it might confuse some people. So how to set up a tracker? Modern models come with an app that allows seeing the location of the pet from the smartphone or tablet. All you have to do is to install an app and connect the device to it. Older versions will provide you only with a website. In this case, you will have to log into your profile and register the tracker. Also, the best dog trackers of 2020 are made for hunting dogs. They can work even in places with a low cellular signal. Usually, they’re enhanced with additional features for training and creating invisible boundaries to keep the dog closer to you without a leash.

Differences between microchips and trackers

Now we know what the purposes of these devices are. So what is better? Well, the good news is that you don’t have to choose between them. You need both gadgets.

Reading any dog fence review, you might’ve noticed that the collars that come with the fence also have trackers implemented in them. Therefore, this technology is used to not only find the animal if it got lost but to keep it within a certain area, too. So as you can see, the primary purpose of the dog tracker is to control its location. Sure, some advanced models can gather information about the health of the animal. Still, their primary goal is to tell the owner where the dog is.

Microchips have rescue purposes, and it is required by the law to install chips in many countries. A microchip can save your lost dog from getting delivered to the shelter or even put to sleep since the authorities will have access to your contact information. Thus, the purpose of the microchip is to provide information about the pet and let authorities know that it is a household dog that got lost, not a stray one.

Myths about microchips

There are certain misunderstandings about chips, and it is important to know the truth.

1. Microchips are not for tracking the location

Many owners think that chips are like GPS trackers. While some microchips can track the location of the pet, most of them only contain information about the animal and the owner.

2. You can install the chip by yourself

Needlessly to say that you shouldn’t perform medical procedures if you’re not qualified. But if you know how to do it and you think that no more actions are required, you’re wrong. The chip needs to be registered at the vet clinic.

3. If my dog has a tag and a collar, it is considered a household

No, it is not. The tag can get lost, and a collar is not evidence that a dog is domestic. Moreover, it can get lost too. That’s why many countries require owners to microchip their pets.

4. It hurts

Well, not more than vaccination. Don’t worry about your pet each year when it needs to get shots? A microchip is installed once, and the procedure feels just like a usual injection.

5. You need to replace microchips

There is nothing to get worn out in the microchip. Therefore, once it is installed, it will remain untouched for the whole life of your dog.


Myths about trackers

Even though the goal of a dog tracker is straightforward, there still are certain things that need to be clarified.

1. My dog has a microchip, so it doesn’t need a tracker

If you read any dog trackers and collars review, you will see that their tracking abilities are almost perfect. So even if your dog has a microchip with the location tracker, it will use RFI that is less reliable than GPS dog trackers use.

2. Trackers cost too much

Sure, there are expensive options that will provide you with additional features like health monitoring. But if you choose a basic tracker, it can cost you less than $100.

3. My dog is always inside and doesn’t need a tracker

Many owners that live in private houses think that since there is a fence, the dog can’t jump over, they don’t need trackers. But different situations happen. What if the animal digs a hole below the wall and runs away? Then the tracker will come in handy, won’t it? The same thing applies to tiny dogs that usually sit in the owner’s hands. You never know what can happen.

4. A dog tracker is a training device

Basic trackers have only one function – they track the location of the dog. You can find collars that have both a tracker and, for example, an electric shock feature. But the primary purpose of dog trackers is to provide the owner with the location of the animal.

5. If I have several dogs, I need multiple trackers

Many manufacturers offer trackers that can control several animals. You just need to choose the number of trinkets or collars ordering the item. Then you will be able to manage all your dogs from a single device.