Have you ever wondered, is there is a GPS implant for dogs? Aka, a GPS tracker that can be implanted under the skin – so it can prevent your dog from getting lost? Sounds pretty useful, right? Because much like microchips, a dedicated dog GPS tracker is one of the smartest, most effective safety precautions you could take for your furry friend.

But to answer your question in a nutshell: no, a GPS implant for dogs doesn’t exist yet.

  • Microchips, which help identify your lost dog, are implantable and safe to use.
  • A GPS implant for dogs wouldn’t just be painful – there would even be a risk for battery leakage, which can harm your dog’s health. (Besides, how would you even charge it?)
  • So if you want to track your dog in real-time, you’re best off with a GPS tracker that attaches safely to your dog’s collar.

As a loving dog parent, you want to do what’s best for your buddy. So here’s a deep dive into GPS tracking for dogs – including whether you can implant one like a microchip. Let’s get started.

Is there a GPS chip for dogs?

The bad news? Implantable GPS chips don’t exist for dogs yet. The good news? You don’t need to implant a GPS tracker into your dog’s skin to find them. A dedicated dog GPS tracker that works across an unlimited range and includes real-time tracking works just fine.

Because, let’s face it – losing your dog can be a dog parent’s worst nightmare. (Especially in a world where dognapping is on the rise and with all the reasons that dogs run away.)

packaging of the Tractive GPS DOG tracker

Always know where your dog is

Follow every step in real-time with unlimited range. Get alerts if they wander too far. Keep them happy & healthy with Wellness Monitoring. And let others – like walkers or sitters – keep an eye on your dog too.

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So if you’re like most dog parents, you’re probably always looking for the best ways to keep your furry friend safe. You keep your dog on a leash when necessary, invest in training, keep dangerous items out of their reach, visit your vet regularly and make sure that your four-legged family member always gets the activity & exercise and love & affection they need.

And in your effort to best-prepare for this situation, you may have wondered if there is a GPS implant for dogs – a technology that can be implanted under your dog’s skin, which will help you to locate him or her in case they ever go missing.

But no, such a device doesn’t exist in the first place. (You might be confusing it with microchips instead – which we’ll cover a bit further below.)

What could a GPS implant for dogs be like? (Theoretically?)

The phrase ‘GPS implant for dogs’ is commonly searched for in search engines every month around the world. But what could such a device for dogs be like, theoretically at least? Let’s take a closer look at this phrase:

  • GPS – short for Global Positioning System: a technology which tells you where you are on earth at any given moment¹
  • implant – something which has been put into the body in a medical operation²
  • for dogs – for our favorite canine friends.

Which raises the question…

Is it possible to implant a GPS tracker into my dog?

The answer is a hard NOit is not possible to implant a device, which uses GPS technology to track your pet, into your dog at this time. Why? For the same reason such a device is not currently available for humans. Let’s explore this in greater detail.

dog receiving an chip implant by vet

If microchips can be implanted, why not a GPS tracker?

This is the most common misconception when it comes to the idea of GPS and implants for our dogs. As a dog owner, it’s very important to understand the difference between the implantable chips that are used for identification of your pet, and GPS trackers – which are another type of technology entirely.

Because unlike ID chips, GPS tracking devices are used for tracking your dog’s location in real-time rather than providing a simple solution to identify your dog if lost and found.

And in the end, microchips and GPS trackers are fundamentally different tools.

  • Microchips firstly can be implanted into your dog’s skin. But they only help a vet or a local shelter identify your dog if they’re lost.
  • GPS trackers can’t be implanted into dogs’ skin. But they help you track your dog in real-time and take a more active role in finding them.
 DetailsMicrochip for dogsTractive GPS Tracker
PurposeIdentifying lost dogsTracking down lost dogs
Size12 x 2 mm72 x 29 x 16 mm
Weight0,025 g35 g
ImplantableSymbol für Vorteile in Pro-und-Kontra-ListeSymbol für Nachteile in Pro-und-Kontra-Liste
WaterproofSymbol für Vorteile in Pro-und-Kontra-ListeSymbol für Vorteile in Pro-und-Kontra-Liste
Battery lifeNo battery includedUp to 7 days
Upfront cost ~85 €49,99 €
Ongoing costsNoneYes*
Location trackingSymbol für Nachteile in Pro-und-Kontra-ListeSymbol für Vorteile in Pro-und-Kontra-Liste
Are you going to have to rely on strangers?YesNo
Real-time location updatesSymbol für Nachteile in Pro-und-Kontra-ListeSymbol für Vorteile in Pro-und-Kontra-Liste
Legal requirementVaries from country to countryNo
Theft insuranceSymbol für Nachteile in Pro-und-Kontra-ListeNo**
Area of operationWorldwideWorldwide in over 150 countries
Runaway alertSymbol für Nachteile in Pro-und-Kontra-ListeSymbol für Vorteile in Pro-und-Kontra-Liste
Activity trackingSymbol für Nachteile in Pro-und-Kontra-ListeSymbol für Vorteile in Pro-und-Kontra-Liste
Sleep trackingSymbol für Nachteile in Pro-und-Kontra-ListeSymbol für Vorteile in Pro-und-Kontra-Liste
Health alertsSymbol für Nachteile in Pro-und-Kontra-ListeSymbol für Vorteile in Pro-und-Kontra-Liste
Light & Sound trackingSymbol für Nachteile in Pro-und-Kontra-ListeSymbol für Vorteile in Pro-und-Kontra-Liste
Dog weight requirementsNoneFrom 4 kg/~9 lbs onward
illustration of two dogs: one wearing a microchip and the other wearing a GPS tracker, dog tracker chip

Now that we’ve covered these basic differences, here’s why a GPS implant for dogs would be a terrible idea.

Why you can’t implant a GPS tracker into a dog

There are several reasons why it is not possible to implant a GPS tracker into a dog at this time.

Firstly, think of any device you know of that uses GPS technology – for example a smartphone or automotive navigation system. All of these devices contain other important hardware components that must be built into the device to keep it running. For example, a battery, or screen to show you the GPS location information.

So here are two main reasons why these components make it impractical to implant a GPS tracker into your dog’s skin.

Reason 1: Size

The Tractive GPS dog tracker, has dimensions of about 72 x 29 x 16 millimeters and weighs approximately 35 grams. Below, you can see the size of the GPS tracker, which easily fits onto your dog’s collar or harness:

close up hand holding a white Tractive GPS dog tracker

Small, compact and lightweight, your dog can comfortably wear their GPS tracker at all times, in the same way that you wear a standard or smartwatch.

⚠️ So imagine the face of a watch being implanted under your skinouch! In this way, it would not be comfortable nor safe to implant a GPS tracker into your dog.

By comparison, an implantable ID chip or transponder is about 11 millimeters long and two millimeters thick – nearly the size of a grain of rice. At this size, they can be safely implanted between your dog’s shoulders. It is a simple, electronic chip enclosed in a glass cylinder, as shown in the x-ray photo below:

Feline identifying microchip x-ray

Why is there a size difference between GPS trackers and implantable chips?

Current implantable chips contain no information about your pet, or have any other functions or features, other than to provide an ID number which can be linked to your pet. They contain no GPS hardware components or technology.

This key difference between implantable chips and GPS trackers explains the first reason why GPS devices cannot be implanted into dogs at this time.

Ivelin Nenkov, Embedded Systems Engineer at Tractive

“We use modern high-integrity components for building our GPS trackers. These components tend to consume space – because we want to ensure the best quality. Also, if you want to reliably and continuously track your pet, you’ll need a strong, heavy battery pack. (In some cases, more than half the space in the device is reserved just for the battery.)

It’s a balancing act to find a compromise between size and quality. And one we can assure you that we’re constantly working on.”

– Ivelin Nenkov, Embedded Systems Engineer at Tractive since 2016

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Reason 2: Battery & Charging

As we mentioned above, a GPS tracker contains several necessary hardware components, each of which is larger than a grain of rice and therefore contributes to the size of the device. Here are some of the hardware components you’ll find in a GPS tracker:

  • GSM module
  • GPS antenna
  • LED-light
  • loudspeaker
  • battery pack

Standard GPS trackers come with an integrated battery, which you need to charge every now and then.

  • Since the size of the battery is directly related to the battery life of the device, this is the component which takes up the most space inside of the tracker.
  • If you implant this in your dog’s skin – how are you going to charge it? (No way of inserting the USB charging cord, right?)

⚠️ Implanting a lithium-ion battery inside your puppy would likely come with certain health risks as well. It’s one reason why vets discourage the use of Apple AirTags for dogs – because if your buddy chews or swallows the little tag by mistake, it could severely damage their organs.

Ivelin Nenkov, Embedded Systems Engineer at Tractive

“A battery pack is built from very poisonous chemicals. A little puncture can lead to a leakage, fire or explosion. That’s why implanting a battery pack under the skin of your dog or cat can be very dangerous. So we wouldn’t recommend it.”

– Ivelin Nenkov, Embedded Systems Engineer at Tractive since 2016

Technically, there may be a way to integrate the tracker inside your furry buddy – but this is far from a “smart solution”. Implanting a GPS tracker under your dog’s skin is neither a pet-friendly nor healthy way to keep your pet safe.

The safe, sane way to keep your buddy safe? A dedicated pet GPS tracker that’s saved dogs’ lives

Two huskies sitting on a beach with Tractive GPS trackers

Tractive pet parents from around the world are relying on our life-saving technology to keep their dogs safe and healthy.

Like Imogen the Borzoi who bolted her fence and crashed through the ice in a nearby frozen lake. Luckily, her Tractive device and Location History helped her mum rescue her from freezing and drowning.

Or Happy, an off-leash Golden Retriever who ran off during his first hike in the Alps – but whose mum found him soon after with Tractive’s LIVE Mode.

Besides being lightweight and easy to wear, Tractive comes in three different versions – for dogs of every shape, size, and speed.

So no need to implant anything besides a microchip into their skin. With Tractive, you have the peace of mind that your buddy is safe – no matter where they are (or where you are.)

More: Tractive reviews on Trustpilot

Track Your Dog With Tractive

So, is there ever going to be a safe GPS implant for dogs?

At present, there’s no such thing as a safe GPS implant for dogs available on the market today. While an implantable GPS tracker might be available in the distant future, the technology to make this device small enough, and safe enough, to be implanted into your friend is not available (or affordable) for mainstream use at this time.

But even so, we have good news:

💡Both GPS trackers and implants are widely available and necessary and helpful precaution measures to keep your dog safe.

Even the most well-behaved and properly trained dogs can sometimes get scared and run away. For instance, in the case of fireworks, or being in an unfamiliar new environment. When this happens, it’s best to make sure your dog is already equipped and prepared with both a GPS tracker on the collar and a microchip ID implant.

A leashed dog relaxing outdoors wearing a Tractive GPS tracker

This will ensure that if lost, you can track your dog:

  • In real-time with Tractive’s LIVE Tracking, or
  • brought into a vet and identified with the help of an RFID chip (if found by someone other than you)

Track Your Dog With Tractive

Again: a GPS implant for dogs is 100% unnecessary. You can already easily keep track of your dog’s whereabouts anytime with the Tractive GPS dog tracker and companion app. Like this pet parent, who considers Tractive the best GPS Dog Tracker for 2022:

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