GPS Pet Tracking Devices

Jessie Nell calls her dog, ""Carley, Carley, Come!"

Jessie Nell runs a pet-sitting and grooming business. She also has pets of her own and says it's not uncommon for a dog to run off.

Jessie says, "I get a real sick feeling in my stomach, but the best thing to do is just to breathe and not to panic."

Consumer Reports tested three GPS tracking devices to see if they could help find a runaway pet... The RoamEO for $200, the $170 Garmin GTU 10, and the Tagg Pet Tracker for $100.

With the Garmin and Tagg you create virtual boundaries online, or what's called "geofences." Then you can use your smart phone to keep tabs on your pet's location. The RoamEO uses a radio handset.

Bernie Deitrick with Consumer Reports explains, "To test these I had another engineer carry them around outside, and I tried to locate him."

The good news - no engineer was lost. But testers did find pros and cons with each.

The RoamEO's handset made it very easy to track. The cons ...

It had limited range - terrain and buildings could affect that - and it only had 24 hours of battery life."

Tracking with the Tagg was quick and easy, but its minimum virtual boundary is about four acres -much bigger than your average yard.

Bernie says, "Your dog could be next door digging up the flower bed, and you'd never know it."

With the Garmin you can create up to 10 different geofences - any size. Location updates are quick if you use its deluxe tracking plan for an additional $5 a month.

According to Bernie, "It's easier to track, but battery life is shorter."

But it just might be worth it. Especially when it comes to quickly finding a missing
four-legged friend.

Both the Garmin and Tagg link to a cell-phone network to relay information. The Garmin uses AT&T's and charges $50 a year... after the first year.

The Tagg charges $7.95 per month after the first month ... to use Verizon's network, so Consumer Reports says be sure to factor in those costs if you are considering getting one of these.

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