Wearable tech isn't just for people – now you can get your pets synced up with the latest gadgets. Obviously we're not talking about a pug gaming on Oculus Rift or a cat with an Apple Watch – that would be ridiculous. We're talking the best pet GPS trackers to smart dog collars on the market.
There are an increasing number of companies that are crafting wearable gadgets just for animals, whether that's to monitor their health or keep track of them via GPS when they're on the prowl.
Essential reading: Best fitness trackers (for humans)
We've rounded up some of the best pet wearables complete with handsome four-legged models to show them off.
Boasting proper wearable tech pedigree (excuse the pun), Whistle is the work of New Deal Design, which also designed the Fitbit Flex. Whistle marries GPS tracking and pet wellness in one band; the unit clips to any collar more than 1-inch wide and connects to a smartphone app to keep tabs on your pooch's step goal. On the GPS side you can get real-time location anywhere in the US, and set a geo-fenced area and receive an alert if your pal moves out of the zone.
The battery recharges in one hour and lasts around 10 days. However, on top of the price tag you'll need to pay between $6.95 and $9.95 per month for a data subscription.
Essentially a Fitbit for dogs, UK-based PitPatPet boasts an entire year of battery life for keeping tabs on your dog's movement 24/7. As well as making sure that your dog is getting enough exercise, and check you're getting your money's worth from that expensive dog walker, PitPatPet will warn you of any changes in your dog's active behaviour, which can be an indicator that they're feeling under the weather. Importantly, PitPatPet is fully waterproof and compatible with both iOS and Android phones.
TabCat by Loc8tor
Built by GPS beacon veterans Loc8tor, TabCat is designed to clip to kitty's collar and help you find them if they get lost. Rather than connect to a fancy iPhone app, TabCat comes an RF receiver, which displays a nearby signal on a strip of LEDs and causes the sensor to beep – guiding you to your cat.
It's no-where near as advanced as something like Whistle, but it has its benefits. Firstly, it's small enough for a cat to wear comfortably, which is the reason that there's more GPS trackers for dogs than for cats. Secondly, you don't need to pay a data subscription. It should pick up a signal within 400 feet and, allegedly, you can 'train' your cat to return home when it hears the beep.
Kyon Pet Tracker
Available in a variety of different colours, Kyon's smart pet collar is like Fitbit for your pet. The waterproof collar does more than track your pet with the built-in GPS and 3G radios. A water sensor detects if your little pal is in danger of drowning, while the heat sensor sends alerts to your phone if you've forgotten your pet in a hot car.
The accelerometer and altimeter can be used to warn you if your usually perky pet is unusually sedated, a sign of potential health problems. You can also pacify your pet with an ultrasonic buzzer to prevent unnecessary dog fights. Notifications about your pet's health and reminders for vaccinations are sent to your phone and shown on the LED display on the collar. The battery lasts for 30 days, and Kyon can be recharged on its base station.
$249 on Kickstarter; $4.99 monthly subscription for 3G connectivity
Billed as "the dog collar reimagined", Buddy sports a distinctive design with multi-coloured LEDs that are designed to keep your pooch visible and safe from potential collisions. You can choose from a large selection of different lighting patterns. The smart collar also features real-time GPS tracking, activity monitoring and a temperature sensor with information displayed on a tiny OLED screen. The collar comes in three different sizes and works with a smartphone app, as well as an Apple Watch app. You can also set up virtual boundaries and set reminders for important events like vet appointments.
$180, pre-order, full price $450, squeakerdogs.com
Described as "dog tracking and training for the modern, mobile dog owner", this connected collar is available in three different sizes. The doggie wearable packs GPS tracking along with activity monitoring. WÜF also includes two-way audio for keeping in contact with your pooch if he's out of earshot, while a virtual leash will keep him from straying too far. As the gadget is still at pre-order stage, there isn't that much information on how all this on-board tech works. The dedicated app is also set to include games, training exercises and social challenges to help your make the most of your time with your canine pal.
One of the only pet wearables that works for both cats and dogs of any size (well, 8lbs upwards, to be precise), the PetPace is a comprehensive health monitor. Because your furry pals can't tell you if they're in pain, this gadget tracks vitals such as temperature, pulse, respiration, activity, calories and posture, notifying you of any abnormalities. The data can also be accessed by your vet to keep your animal chums in fine health. The woven fabric colour bears more of a resemblance to traditional pet collars, rather than the rigid design seen on most smart collars.
$149.96, $14.95 monthly subscription, petpace.com
This smart collar will keep you up to date with what your pet is doing throughout the day using GPS, Bluetooth and an activity tracker. Suitable for both cats and dogs, the gadget comes fitted to a collar but can also be mounted on your own collar or harness using the supplied attachment. Various factors such as temperature can be monitored using the dedicated app and you can even add multiple pets. You can also set up a geofence so that you get notified if your pet wanders off. Unlike some other animal trackers, there are no subscription fees.
This dog harness from action cam kings GoPro can be used to capture the world from your pooch's point of view. The camera (sold separately) can be attached to the chest for videoing “bone-chewing, digging and front-paw action"or on the back for overhead shots of running and jumping. A rugged build means that it'll withstand your dog gambolling around in water and mud and it's also washable.
Available in different sizes up to a 32-inch neck, this waterproof smart collar is designed to keep you connected with your dog. Along with activity tracking, the gadget will monitor heart and respiratory rate as well as rest patterns and calories burnt. As Voyce becomes familiar with your dog's stats, it'll start to offer tips tailored to its specific needs. You also set goals, such as extra activity to burn off those extra pooch pounds. He'll thank you for it in the end.
$199 (plus $9.50 per month), mydogsvoyce.com
Shop for recommended fitness trackers on Amazon
Wareable may get a commission