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Old 03-11-2021, 10:11 AM   #1
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Pet Tracking Devices

I have a concern that our kitty will get out and we will be unable to find her. I have been looking at pet tracking devices. The blue tooth ones seem OK, but have a very limited range and no directional information. The GPS ones are good at locating the animal, but mostly use cell phone service which is a monthly charge and won't work in remote camping areas.

Findster has one that uses GPS and a proprietary method (non-cellular) to communicate back to your phone. They claim a distance of a couple miles. Reading the reviews by equipment testers, it is very highly rated. But when I went to Amazon, 6 of the latest 10 reviews gave it a one star rating due to issues with it not working. I wrote to the company asking what they were doing about all these poor reviews. I received a very generic replay stating they had quality controls for all their products.

Has anyone used Findster or another pet tracker they really like?
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Old 03-11-2021, 10:22 AM   #2
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I can’t help you on tracking devices, but.... I’ve heard that if an indoor cat gets out, you should move it’s kitty litter outside and the cat may be able to locate “home” by the smell from it’s litter box.
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Old 03-11-2021, 10:33 AM   #3
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I can’t help you on tracking devices, but.... I’ve heard that if an indoor cat gets out, you should move it’s kitty litter outside and the cat may be able to locate “home” by the smell from it’s litter box.
Thanks for the tip. I can see how that could be very helpful at a new campsite.
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Old 03-11-2021, 10:58 AM   #4
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When I first looked at ur tunnel setup that was my first concern as well. Cats are very resourceful critters and the connection end to the trailer looked to be a weak spot to get through.
I’d worry later on with some age that the claws could rip open the mesh, as well as a critter trying to get in to the kitty.
I don’t know that tracking devices would be targeted enough to find the kitty out in the wild. At least could give you a general idea.
I think personally, I would only use the setup if I were sitting right there, but not unattended.
I’ve seen some campers that will use a harness and tether the cat to the trailer to get them some outside time, but they’re usually sitting right there with them.
Sure is a sweet looking Kitty!
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Old 03-11-2021, 11:16 AM   #5
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I tried Whistle and it was unreliable. Not due to GPS issues- the device would stop working without warning and I could only find out by going somewhere with the dog and having it not work. Tech support had to be through a middleman and sucked as they always, regardless of issue, wanted photos of device, dock location, etc, and then had no good solutions.
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Old 03-11-2021, 11:20 AM   #6
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We bought the Findster over the holidays and have started testing it out on local trails. We got the Findster as a lot of campgrounds have no cell service making this the best option. So far we are just tracking our walks for fun and haven't gotten into testing the range and ability to locate the dog directionally. We have found the GPS sometimes takes a long time to kick in, and sometimes drops off, which would hamper rescue mission. Our friend has purchased a few trackers over the years and finds they all have their weaknesses.
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Old 03-11-2021, 11:42 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by richardr View Post
have been looking at pet tracking devices. The blue tooth ones seem OK, but have a very limited range and no directional information. The GPS ones are good at locating the animal, but mostly use cell phone service which is a monthly charge and won't work in remote camping areas.

Findster has one that uses GPS and a proprietary method (non-cellular) to communicate back to your phone. They claim a distance of a couple miles. Reading the reviews by equipment testers, it is very highly rated.
I got a Findster about 2 months ago, with two tracking devices (one for the active dog, one for the escape-minded cat). I also carry a device (as the “Guardian”), and the tracker indicates pet’s location relative to me. I really, really like it.

However, realized I can’t really use it for the cat as I’d intended (leaving it on him all the time, in case he sneaks outside). The device has a moderate battery life (rechargeable), is really designed for “outings”, rather than ongoing location ID. So - I just keep a very close eye on the slightly-wicked Louie...

Now I use it primarily to track off-leash dog walks in the local woods and fields. Have not had any problems with performance, though once or twice the map is a bit off. Findster’s literature mentions this can happen, I think they have some sort of “on the spot” fix for same (probably to re-boot both devices).

Customer Service Story: The dog’s device fell off recently, on one of our walks (company supplies a rubber strap to secure it to collar, not as hardy as I need, so will use zip-ties in the future). I’d forgotten to initiate the “tracking” mode at start of walk, so - though both devices were on - I had no signal coming to mine from the dog’s.

Contacted Customer Service, asking for suggestions. The second rep suggested a way to locate it that worked perfectly. Used Bluetooth with my iPhone (which has the app on it), to get close enough to lost device to “see” it, then linked the two devices. The mapping was astonishingly accurate - found the little object along the forest floor, amidst snowpack, leaf & branch litter, about 25 ft from the path we’d taken.

Here’s a pic of the type of map generated by Findster
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File Type: jpg EC22347C-AE31-4E9B-B1F0-720FFAC36107.jpg (95.6 KB, 6 views)
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Old 03-11-2021, 12:39 PM   #8
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Findster has one that uses GPS and a proprietary method (non-cellular) to communicate back to your phone. They claim a distance of a couple miles.
The proprietary method is a low-power radio link (like the current style of walkie-talkies or FRS radios, cordless phones, baby monitors, etc) between the pet's module and a "guardian" module that you carry with you, then a Bluetooth link from the guardian module to your phone. This gives much better range than Bluetooth alone, and doesn't involve any external service (such as the mobile phone network or satellites).

Of course as with any radio link, the only way to get the advertised maximum range is to use it in a wide open and flat field where you could just see the pet. Assume a small fraction of the ideal range, but that may be enough.
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Old 03-11-2021, 01:13 PM   #9
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Be sure and have any pet that travels with you be "micro-chipped" with your cell phone info, that way, if found there is an way to contact you.
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Old 03-11-2021, 02:05 PM   #10
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Be sure and have any pet that travels with you be "micro-chipped" with your cell phone info, that way, if found there is an way to contact you.
I have that, and I have a tag on her collar that has "Escape 17b" and my phone number and street both, in case she strays at a campground. As long as it isn't an Escape Rally, I guess!
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Old 03-11-2021, 03:43 PM   #11
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Hint!!!

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Be sure and have any pet that travels with you be "micro-chipped" with your cell phone info, that way, if found there is an way to contact you.
Hi: cpaharley2008... Next thing you know they'll have Owners "Micro-chipped" incase they can't find their way home!!! Alf
escape artist N.S. of Lake Erie
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Old 03-11-2021, 04:08 PM   #12
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Hi: cpaharley2008... Next thing you know they'll have Owners "Micro-chipped" incase they can't find their way home!!! Alf
escape artist N.S. of Lake Erie
That only happens after the beer/wine tasting held at the rallies.......
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Old 03-11-2021, 07:45 PM   #13
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Howdo most campgrounds feel about pets as guests? Specifically dogs, are they ok as long as leashed? I want to get a traveling companion...rescue type dog
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Old 03-11-2021, 07:50 PM   #14
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Howdo most campgrounds feel about pets as guests? Specifically dogs, are they ok as long as leashed? I want to get a traveling companion...rescue type dog
Depends. A few limit it to two pets, some charge pet fees, some keep them off trails, most don't want you leaving them unattended outside or barking anywhere. Most are pet friendly.
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Old 03-11-2021, 07:55 PM   #15
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Depends. A few limit it to two pets, some charge pet fees, some keep them off trails, most don't want you leaving them unattended outside or barking anywhere. Most are pet friendly.
Thanx for that.. I love and have had cats and dogs all my life.... I would hope a dog is in my future when I retire, cant get one before because of my work schedule....I'm a rescue pet type of person...we will see how it goes
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Old 03-12-2021, 06:09 AM   #16
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One might ck also depending on the breed of ones pooch, if they allow that breed in their park. Some do not allow certain breeds with a bad reputation which to me is the fault of an owner for mistreating n not loving their fur babies

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Old 03-12-2021, 06:37 AM   #17
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True. In many cases such a campground is either located in a jurisdiction that forbids certain breeds and their mixes (over 100 cities/counties in the US) or their insurance policy forbids it. Most of the time they won’t budge so best to check ahead of time.
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Old 03-12-2021, 11:28 AM   #18
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One might ck also depending on the breed of ones pooch, if they allow that breed in their park. Some do not allow certain breeds with a bad reputation which to me is the fault of an owner for mistreating n not loving their fur babies

David
Not just campgrounds, many HOA’s are banning certain breeds now as well. Probably liability concerns I would guess.
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Old 03-12-2021, 03:13 PM   #19
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yup many ban pit bulls
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