People are often confused when it comes to products available for our four-legged friends, particularly GPS trackers and microchips for dogs. One of the misconceptions is that GPS trackers can be implanted inside dogs and other animals, and the other is that microchips provide GPS tracking capabilities.

Here, we will be looking at these myths and discuss the differences between GPS dog trackers and pet microchips. By using pet tracking devices, pet owners can always be aware of their dog's whereabouts.

It offers unlimited range with real-time updates and alerts in case the dog moves too far away. Furthermore, with wellness monitoring, pet owners can make sure their pet is healthy and happy.

Fluffy cockapoo having the time of his life at the park

Does a Microchip Allow You to Track Your Dog? Myths About Dog Tracking Devices

If you are an attentive canine parent, you may have thought about every potential way to keep your pup safe. You may have heard about microchips and GPS dog trackers and thought that it would be great to have them both together, creating the ideal GPS tracking chip for dogs.

As the prominent experts in pet wearables, we certainly concur that this would form the perfect resolution for safeguarding our four-legged buddies. It is essential to recognize, though, that at present there is no such thing as a dog tracker chip that amalgamates both a microchip and GPS tracker into one.

There is no existing technology that unites both a microchip and GPS tracker into one. It is not achievable to insert a GPS tracker under the skin of a dog right now and the existing microchips for dogs do not provide GPS tracking. However, it is possible to get the best of both worlds by giving your dog a microchip and a GPS tracker.

Puppy Run
Photo by Wai Siew / Unsplash

How Much Are Microchips and GPS Trackers?

The cost of microchipping a dog may vary from absolutely nothing to $70, depending on the area you live in and where you get it done.

Fi Nano microchips are the only microchip that offers a one-time purchase with lifetime registration. Other brands of microchips require maintenance of their registration database. Once the registry has expired, your dog's microchip information is rendered useless - this is the biggest downside to microchips in general.

Fi GPS dog collars can cost as little as $3.20 per week. This includes the cost of both the collar and your ongoing subscription. In addition to providing you with 24/7 GPS trackers for your dog, you also get the added benefit of activity and sleep monitors to keep track of your dog's health information.

Microchips Explained

A microchip for dogs is a type of radio-frequency identification (RFID) implant. This chip is only used for identification and consists of a small, electronic component, each with its own unique ID number. The size of the chip is roughly the size of a grain of rice and weighs about 0.025 grams. Unfortunately, it is not big enough to include hardware for GPS or another localization technology at this moment.

The microchip is only effective if the dog has gone missing and is then found and brought to a veterinarian or shelter. The vet can then scan the chip to locate the owner's contact details, which are registered in a microchip database. It is essential to ensure that your contact details are up to date in order to be contacted if your lost dog is reported to have been located. For most microchips, except for the Fi Nano, this means paying to keep the microchip ID up to date within the company's owner registry.

Will a Microchip Help If My Dog Gets Lost?

Is it possible to use a microchip to locate a missing pup? Regrettably, microchips are quite limited when it comes to practical use. The only viable way to take advantage of a microchip is if someone discovers your pooch and brings them to a vet or animal shelter to scan the chip.

A microchip will not prove to be of any assistance when you are frantically searching for your pet. Thus, microchips are not very efficient in aiding the recovery of a lost canine.

Relying on a microchip to connect you with your lost pup is not recommended when it is necessary to act quickly to find your favorite furry friend. Fortunately, GPS dog trackers offer the answer to tracking and retrieving your dog in real-time in a secure manner.

GPS Trackers Explained: Real Time Location Tracking Devices for Dogs

A GPS Dog Tracker is a real-time monitoring apparatus designed to help find lost dogs. Different from a microchip, the GPS tracker permits you to continuously track your pet so that you can rapidly find them if they ever wander off.

How does it operate? A GPS tracker is comprised of a GPS antenna and other necessary components that enable it to pinpoint its position anywhere on the globe with the help of GPS satellites. The determined coordinates are then relayed from the tracker to the Fi servers and to the Fi GPS app installed on your smartphone, similar to sending a text message. This is why the tracker works over any distance, anywhere in the country, and needs a subscription plan.

A GPS canine tracker is a device that enables you to locate your pooch in real time if they escape or become lost.

It is not the same as a microchip, as the GPS tracker gives the proprietor the capacity to rapidly find their pet. How does it work? The tracker contains a GPS antenna and different parts that permit it to pinpoint its area utilizing GPS satellites. The coordinates at that point get sent to the Fi servers and to the Fi GPS application on your cell phone. The tracker is viable anytime, anywhere.

Fi GPS collar has a GPS tracker built-in and is available in a ton of different sizes and colors to meet your needs. Here are some other features you'll find on the Fi collar:

  • Escape detection
  • Waterproof
  • Uses 4 GPS satellites to track anywhere in the US
  • Activity tracking device
  • Sleep tracking device
  • Free trial option
  • Durable, shock-resistant
  • Chewproof models available
  • Family Sharing

Overview of Differences: Microchips Vs GPS Trackers

Below you will find a short summary of the differences between microchips and GPS trackers.

  1. Function - Despite widespread misconceptions, microchips and GPS trackers have completely different functionalities. Microchips do not offer tracking technology. They have a microchip ID used for identification purposes and obtaining the owner's contact information. However, this information can only be obtained once a dog has been taken to a shelter or vet's office to have the microchip scanned. If the owner has kept the microchip ID up to date in the appropriate registry, the owner's contact information will be available.

GPS trackers, on the other hand, offer the owner real time location tracking for their dog. Tracking technology will transmit data to the owner's cell phone so that pet parents can locate their dog anytime they need to.

  1. Hardware - Microchips and GPS trackers use different hardware to help you track down your missing pet. A microchip has one purpose - to provide contact details on a dog's owner if they go missing and are recovered. Many lost pets are never found because a microchip does not offer the ability to find a pet's location. Microchips are tiny, electronic chips enclosed within a tiny glass cylinder that is implanted in your dog.

GPS trackers are usually embedded in collars or attached to collars. They involve a GSM module, a battery pack, an antenna, an LED light, a speaker, and a SIM card.

  1. Size - Microchips are about the size of a grain of rice and must be read by an RFID scanner. GPS trackers, in contrast, are much larger as they must house a decent amount of equipment to operate. However, most companies that provide GPS trackers have taken numerous steps to make sure that tracking devices are lightweight and easy for your dog to wear around the clock.

Recommendations for Keeping Your Dog Safe

Lost pets are an owner's worst nightmare, so it's understandable that you would want to do everything you can to keep your dog from becoming lost.

We recommend that you use a combination of pet tracking technology to ensure your dog's location and that your contact details are available if your dog is lost.

  • Use a microchip like the Fi Nano that offers lifetime registry updates and keeps your contact information current
  • If you already have another brand of microchip installed in your dog, make sure your contact information is up to date
  • Use a GPS dog tracker to give real time pet tracking information should you need it
  • Make sure your dog's ID tags and your contact information are visible and easy to read on their collar

Summary

While both microchips and GPS trackers are excellent choices for your pet, only one of them will give you the best end results. The main difference between the two devices is that a microchip is permanently implanted under the pet's skin and designed to last for life whereas a GPS tracker is portable and can be attached to your pet's collar. This article has presented the advantages of both microchips and GPS trackers in detail.

To sum it up, here is our final verdict: It is important to note that microchips are not the only way to go when you are looking to safeguard your pet. A GPS tracker offers your dog a better chance of being found, while also giving you peace of mind.

The most effective way to safeguard your dog from potential hazard areas is by investing in a good quality GPS tracking collar AND microchipping your dog. A GPS-tracking collar gives you the power and flexibility to locate your dog anywhere in the world virtually at any time. It is not only possible but also very easy to find your 4-legged friend with a GPS tracker.

We hope you are now familiar with the pros and cons of using microchips and GPS trackers for your four-legged friend.

Visit the Off Leash blog at TryFi.com for more helpful articles about pet-parenting tips.

Would you like to learn more about TryFi.com? The Fi Dog Collar is a GPS tracking collar that not only tracks your dog's location, activity level, and sleep pattern, but also alerts you if your dog escapes. If your dog escapes, this is the fastest way to find him. Give the Fi Dog Collar a try today!