Who let the dogs out? A smart GPS dog collar could prevent your pooch from becoming a statistic

March 9, 2021

Has your dog hightailed it? If you haven’t seen Fido in a dog’s age—and you are beginning to worry that he (or she) has gotten out of the house, or wandered off, there’s now an easy way to locate your pooch.

It’s called the Fi Smart Dog Collar—and, combined with a dedicated app and base stations, it tracks your pet’s exact location using GPS; as well as the number of steps that he or she takes in a day, reports Futurism.

Indeed, the American Humane Association estimates that 1 out of 3 household pets becomes lost at some point, and nearly 10 million pets are lost or stolen in the United States every single year. Thus, it may be worth $149, the price of the new smart collar, to save the tears, time, and money involved in locating your pet.

The Fi Smart Dog Collar uses the AT&T network to locate your dog when he or she is out of the house alone—or has gone to a Wi-Fi or Bluetooth-based safe zone, which, according to Trail and Kale, would typically include:

  • Your home, where your dog’s Fi Collar base station should be plugged in and connected to Wi-Fi;
  • In proximity to you—or more specifically, within Bluetooth range of your phone; or
  • As needed, additional base locations (such as your office, or dog sitter/parents’ home), and the phones of other trusted people, such as your dog walker, friend, spouse, or child.

If your dog is near one of your designated owners/walkers when out of the house, you can get notified via app notification and/or text message when Fido leaves the safe (home) zone for a walk with that person, Futurism notes.

However, if you receive a message that “Fido just left home” and you know your dog should not be out on a walk; then this may be the trigger you need to set off the Lost Dog Mode and start tracking your pooch immediately. (Note: you need to have a Fi subscription so that your Fi Smart Dog Collar acts as its own cell phone, to enable the Fi collar to be tracked using phone signal for GPS, when your dog is not with an owner. The subscription costs $99/year, or $8.25/month.)

Lost Dog Mode also activates a red pulsing light on your dog’s Fi collar to help make them easier to spot in the dark, and sends a location notification to you every minute so you can track them down. When in Lost Dog Mode, the battery life of the Fi collar is up to two days, as it’s using GPS signals to refresh the location status every minute, which consumes a lot more battery juice than regular use.

According to the manufacturer, the collar is “chew-proof, waterproof (even the ocean), and generally dog-proof.” To date, there is no Fi collar for cats. The current collars are too big to fit a cat’s neck.

Research contact: @futurism