How Far Can A Pet GPS Tracker Work?

February 28, 2018

Pet GPS trackers are supposed to follow your pet wherever he or she may go, but the truth is that these devices have their limitations, dictated by the technologies they use. Some may not work in every part of the world or even every part of your country or area and others may not work over large distances. In this article, we will explore the optimal coverage and communication range of different types of pet GPS trackers, that is, provide an answer to the common question: How far can a pet GPS tracker work?

How Far Can A Pet GPS Tracker Work

Communication Range & Coverage

First, let us define two key terms used when speaking about how far a pet GPS tracker can work. These include the tracker’s communication range and coverage.

Communication range denotes the distance over which a pet GPS tracker can work, that is, the maximum distance between the tracking unit and the receiver – typically, the guardian’s smartphone. A pet GPS tracker’s communication range can be limited to a couple of miles or it may only be limited by the availability of networks it relies on for data transfer.

Coverage is the geographical area within which a pet GPS tracker can work. A pet GPS tracker’s coverage can include areas within a single country, multiple countries or the entire world.

Types Of Pet GPS Trackers

Types Of Pet GPS Trackers

Communication range and coverage depend on pet tracker type and brand. According to type, pet GPS trackers can be divided into 2 major categories – cellular pet GPS trackers and mixed or multi-tech pet GPS trackers.

Cellular Pet GPS Trackers

Cellular pet GPS trackers employ GPS technology to determine your pet’s location but rely on cellular networks when it comes to transferring location data to your smartphone. Their geographical limitations are dictated by the cellular networks they use.


Cellular pet GPS trackers work anywhere within cellular coverage, with the exact area depending on the networks they rely on. For example, one of the best cellular pet GPS trackers, LINK AKC, only works in the US, within AT&T cellular coverage, while one of its main competitors, Tractive GPS, works in 150+ world countries, within cellular coverage.

Communication Range

A great advantage of cellular pet GPS trackers is that they can work over any distance. There are no limitations, apart from the availability of cellular networks.

Mixed Pet GPS Trackers

Mixed pet GPS trackers do not use cellular networks for data transfer but instead use other technologies, like Bluetooth and proprietary tech. They greatly differ in terms of communication range but all boast impressive coverage.


Since they do not rely on cellular networks, mixed pet GPS trackers normally have unlimited coverage. That means that they can work anywhere in the world, even in the most remote areas, which makes them invaluable to globetrotters.

Communication Range

On the other hand, mixed pet GPS trackers generally have a limited communication range. They cannot work over any distance and their range is usually limited to several miles. One of the best pet trackers currently in existence that also belongs to the category of mixed pet GPS trackers is Findster Duo+ and its record in terms of range is 5 miles in open spaces.


How far a pet GPS tracker can work depends on both the type and the brand. Cellular pet GPS trackers can usually work over any distance, as long as there is a cellular network available. They can work in certain parts of one country or in multiple countries around the globe.

In contrast to cellular pet GPS trackers, mixed pet GPS trackers usually have worldwide coverage, so they work no matter where you go, but they can only work over limited distances, with the average range being several miles.

Therefore, when purchasing a pet GPS tracker, be sure to check both the coverage and the communication range of the device, as both factors influence the usefulness of the tracker. Before we finish, here are some useful tips for choosing the right tracker.

If you travel often or live in an area with spotty cellular coverage, a mixed pet GPS tracker may be a better choice. If you live in an area with good cellular coverage and have reasons to worry that your pet may wander off too far before you begin your search, a cellular pet GPS tracker may constitute a better fit for your needs.

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