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GPS Tracking to Save Lost Pets: How Does Whistle Rank?

By Colleen Williams
published: September 8, 2016 - updated: March 30, 2023 • 2 min. read
GPS Collar for Dogs

Imagine you’re walking your dog when a squirrel gets the best of her, and—poof!—she bolts like lightning. She could be lost for weeks, maybe even forever. Or if you were prepared with the right tracking gear, she could be recovered within minutes.

Many pet parents don’t realize it, but microchipping doesn’t allow you to pinpoint your pet’s location. Your lost cat or dog would have to be picked up and taken to a shelter or vet to have their chip read to determine who their pet parent is and how to contact them. That can leave you filled with stress and worry for hours, days, even months. So when we discovered Whistle, a GPS collar that tracks your pet’s whereabouts via an app on your phone, we wanted to know more.

Whistle lets you see where your dog (or cat!) is anytime. We also found that Whistle is one of the most advanced options out there with app features like on-demand alerts, nationwide coverage, and health monitoring. Bonus: it’s waterproof.

It seems like a reliable solution for pet parents, especially those whose pets have a tendency to make a dash for it (i.e. the escape artists), but we wanted to dig a little deeper and ask some of our colleagues who use Whistle about their experience – is it worth it? We were met with a resounding “yes, absolutely” just because of the peace of mind it delivers. When we furthered our hunt on testimonials through the Whistle Stories page, there are 81 entries of pet parents experiencing major pet-saving moments.

Healthy Paws’ own Cynthia Short Trumpey had an experience with her Patterdale terrier, Ricky, running away while she was on vacation: “He was gone for 3 days – we didn’t have a collar on him, we were out of town, it was pretty bad,” Cynthia recalled. “As soon as he was found, we got him a Whistle, and it’s a good thing we did. He ran away again a few months later and I found his exact location as soon as the alarm sounded that he was beyond his safe zone.” Turns out Ricky was at a lakefront party nearby, hanging out with some people and their dogs. “We were able to pick him up immediately.”

Outside of GPS tracking for lost pets, Whistle also maps out your pet’s activity so you can keep tabs on their exercise, medication and food, and compare your furry family member’s activity to other pets in the Whistle community. “Tucker put on some weight over the holidays, but after a couple months of goal-setting and activity tracking with Whistle he lost about 5 pounds,” says Mandi Moshay, mom of a Yellow Lab-Beagle mix. “The goal-setting and gamification really motivated us to get him on longer walks more often.”

The Whistle GPS Pet Tracker is available online, and a monthly subscription fee of $6.95 – $9.95 a month applies.

If one of our best methods for pet safety and health is to be prepared, Whistle fits in admirably.

colleen williams
By Colleen Williams

Over the past decade, Colleen has written about health, wellness, beauty, and even pets for The New York Times, The Cut, Refinery29, xoVain, Healthy Paws Pet Insurance, and Seattle Met Magazine, as well as many beauty brands. She has a BFA in Art History from the University of New Mexico and an AAS in Fashion Design from Parsons School of Design in New York.

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