GPS Tracker For Dogs vs Microchip For Dogs


If you have a dog, there has probably been a time when your dog went missing and you felt complete panic. Where are they, are they hurt, will I find them?

There are options to help you when this happens. There is GPS Tracking for dogs and there is also a microchip for your dog to help you when this happens. I am going to give you information on both, to help you decide which would work best for your dog.

Lets take a look at GPS Tracker for dogs vs microchip for dogs and learn which will work better for your situation.

GPS Tracking

GPS Tracking was a new concept for me, but after doing much research, I found there are some real benefits to the GPS Tracking compared to microchipping for dogs, and I believe this could be a good option.

It uses cutting edge technology that allows you to pinpoint your dog’s location in real time. You can also see the history of locations your dog has been at.

Some trackers will even give you an alert when your dog leaves a predetermined location (your yard). You can receive alerts when your dog has gone beyond their allowable area via email and/or text messages.

Most models will use cellular data and towers are required, although there are a few models that come with their own transmitters similar to a walkie-talkie. These models can track up to 9 miles away.

The GPS Tracker attaches directly to their collar. The cost for GPS Tracking ranges from $99-$600. Models that come with their own transmitter, are the most expensive.

Useful When

  • If your spend time hiking or enjoy outdoor activities with your dog off- leash.
  • If your live on a farm or other sizable piece of land and your dog has the run of the property.
  • If your dog is a runner or escape artist, ideally you are working on this, but the GPS Tracker can help in the interim, or if you aren’t able to change this undesired behavior.


  • Some devices might be too large for dogs under 20 pounds. Make sure to check size limitations before purchasing.
  • Some devices charge a monthly fee. Again, check into this before purchasing, so there aren’t any surprises once you purchase your tracker.
  • Batteries need to be recharged or replaced frequently. The tracker won’t be of any use to you if the batteries go dead.
  • Some devices are water resistant, but not waterproof.
  • Could fall off your dog’s collar if it got hooked on something like a tree or fence.


A microchip is the size of a grain of rice – approximately 12mm, that goes beneath your dog’s skin between the shoulder blades. It is a permanent ID that can not be removed without surgery.

Your veterinarian simply injects a microchip in your dog in a fashion that is similar to shots that they receive. It only takes a few seconds and no anesthetic is required. Dog microchip cost averages around $45, which is a one-time fee and often includes registration in a pet recovery database. Dogs can be microchipped after they are 4 weeks old.

How it Works

The microchip has no internal energy source, so it will last the life of your pet. It is read by passing a microchip scanner over the pet’s shoulder blades. Each dog has a unique ID code that will positively identify the pet. They will then check the database to find the dog’s owner, and provided that you keep your contact information up-to-date, you will be contacted when your dog is located.

What Do You Do If Your Microchipped Dog goes Missing

  1. Log-in to your account.
  2. Verify that your contact information is correct and upload a recent picture of your dog.
  3. Create a lost pet poster using the uploaded photo.
  4. Send out Rapid Lost Pet Alerts to vet clinics, animal shelters, and PetRescues within 25 mile radius of where your pet was last seen. This will contain your dog’s microchip number and physical description.

Although all veterinary clinics and animal shelters across the country are equipped with scanners, sometimes the scanners don’t work on all the microchips. Also, occasionally the microchip moves within the dogs body, and they are unable to find that they are microchipped.

There are also possible side effects, it is stated that it is uncommon, but there has been some fatalities related to microchips. Side effects that are possible include temporary bleeding, hair loss, infection, abscesses and microchip migration (where the chip moves to a different location in the body). There has also been studies done showing dogs that have gotten cancer where the chip was injected.

So The Question is GPS Tracking For Dogs vs Microchip For Dogs

1 in 3 pets go missing at some point in their lives, and without a Microchip ID, 90% of those pets don’t come back home. The thing is, the microchip becomes useful only when the lost dog is eventually found again.

It can’t find a lost dog, only where he belongs after he is found. The GPS tracker offers the possibility to track your dog in real time, possible before he gets injured or before someone might just decide to keep them.

I think it is very important for all pet owners to do whatever they need to do to keep their pet safe and secure at all times. Sometimes with our best efforts, we still can’t keep them where they belong and completely safe.

After going through the two products, I am a fan of the GPS Tracker. It is safe for your dog, I believe I would be able to find them quicker, and it is like I have eyes on them at all times.

I personally have a runner. Never know when it might happen, or why. We are always standing right by him when he decides to take off and he gets 2 walks a day so it isn’t a lack of exercise that has him running, but sometimes he just goes. He is getting old now, so I don’t stress as much, since he won’t go too far, but I used to really worry that something bad might happen to him. When we love our pets, we want to do what is best for them and these are 2 options that might work for you to keep your best friend safer and hopefully returned home where they belong.

Please let me know your thoughts on the 2 products, if you have used either, or leave your questions below. I would love to hear your experiences with either.

Some of the links within this post are affiliate links of which I might receive a small compensation from sales of certain items.  This does not affect the price you pay.  








  1. This was great Marla, I’m get my dog microchip next visit to the veterinarian. Thank you

  2. I thought microchips could cause infection! Thanks for the info on this, it makes me feel safer with my dog. I do like the ability of tracking my dog though, I live with a lot of land and sometimes it was difficult to find her!

    • From my research, there is a slight chance of an infection, but it is a very slim chance. Thanks for reading.

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