GPS tracking for your pet: practical parenting or helicopter mom?
TAGG GPS tracker for pets
I recently purchased a TAGG GPS system for our newest adopted family member; Turnip. We have not had problems with our pets ever going “missing” but 10 million pets are lost or stolen every year. The newest addition to our family, Turnip, is afraid of everything and runs for a place to hide when he gets scared. We decided to try a GPS tracking system on Turnip as an extra precaution against losing him. We chose the TAGG GPS system. I have to admit; initially I thought putting a tracker on my dog was leaning to far in to the “helicopter mom” paradigm…but now that I see how practical the system is I believe the additional safety it provides is a “no brainer”.
The reasons I chose the TAGG system over other systems:
1) The TAGG range and battery life are the best available. The entire point of the tracker is preventing a worst case scenario. The TAGG tracker has the longest battery life on the market (it claims 10 days is possible) but I read reviews that had significantly longer battery life. The only limit to the range within which your pet can be tracked is the range of Verizon service coverage in your area. The battery life and range make for the maximum safety provision of all available trackers on the market in my opinion.
2) TAGG works with any internet enabled device. The tracking system is run with GPS (through Verizon) and software. I don’t have to use a receiver to track my dog. Systems such as Marc Polo, Loc8tor, Romeo and Garmin need receivers to track the dog. If I lose my phone I could track my dog from any internet enabled device. If I lose a receiver I am out of luck.
3) The hardware component for the dog is not intrusive. The TAGG is small enough and light enough (it weighs 1.1 ounces) that it does not bother my dogs to wear it. One specification worth noting is that is recommended for dogs (or cats) that weigh over 10 lbs. Supposedly the TAGG is waterproof (I didn’t test that out but we have walked in the rain with no issues).
4) The system is a good value for a multi-pet household. The initial hardware cost per device is $100. The monthly service fee is $7.95/month if you pay for the entire year upfront. It is $9.95/month if you pay monthly. At first I thought the monthly service was expensive…until I realized that the trade off having to use a receiver. The monthly service means I can track my pet from any internet enabled device. If I just had a receiver and no monthly service I run the risk of losing or breaking the receiver and not being able to track the dog. Adding additional pets to the service is only $0.95/month/pet. You can add up to 9 animals to one subscription. (Each animal needs its own hardware though).
The TAGG was super easy to set up…if I can do it anyone can. All I used to get going was the Quick Start Set Up Manual that comes with the hardware and the web software (activate at http://www.pettracker.com). I didn’t need any additional support but TAGG does have a support phone line and videos on their website for help. The monitor requires an initial charging period. While the TAGG was completing its initial charge I set up my system online. It only took about 15-20 minutes to get the tracking system running on my computer. All you have to do is enter your pets data, your contact data and set your “safe zone”. Once it was running on my computer I set up the phone app. The TAGG system has both iphone and Android apps. It only took a few minutes to get TAGG running on my Galaxy S5 (downloaded right from the Playstore). You can set the TAGG software up to alert you via text messages. It can be set up to text messages to you anytime the dog is out of your pre-set range, when the dog returns to the safe zone, if the battery is low and when the battery is fully charged. You can set up multiple people to receive the alerts. (My husband likes this feature because he says he can track me from work!)
How it works:
When you do your initial set up at http://www.pettracker.com you will define a “safe zone” for your dog. I chose the smallest radius of space around our house that I could (which is what the software defaults to). That smallest “safe zone” is about a 3 acre range around your home. If your pet is out of the “safe zone” you will get a text message (or email). At the time of the alert you would then ask the software to track your dog to get the dogs location. The TAGG system is not a “real time” tracker on your device.. You need to ask the software to track the dog’s location (which only takes seconds) once the dog has left its pre-determined safety zone.
The Activity Monitoring Feature:
One of the features of the TAGG is that it can monitor your pets activity levels. Unfortunately, the TAGG needs to be attached to a collar around the neck to do function as an activity monitor None of our dogs wear neck collars but rather all wear harnesses so this is a feature that we cannot use.
I have ordered two more TAGG systems for Buster and Lacey. The new systems will be the TAGG Plus. The TAGG Plus is an upgrade in battery life and will have a temperature sensor. New purchases of TAGG Plus are now not shipping until April/May. When I ordered two more TAGG’s back in December the ship date was February…so expect at least a 3 month lag to get your product. TAGG also recently merged with Whistle. Whistle is a product that focuses more on pet activity monitoring. I am sure that will mean some platform changes in the future.
Our Turnip is such a sweety…we are grateful for technology that can help us keep him safe.
I hope this was helpful!