I’ve owned the Tagg Pet Tracker for about 3 months now, so I figured it was about time to create a full Tagg Pet Tracker review for the site. I decided to purchase this cool little gadget because I sometimes like to leave my dog outside unsupervised. I live in a rural area where my dog has lots of room to run. No sense keeping him cooped up in the house all the time. But, I also want to make sure he doesn’t stray too far from home, especially if he starts getting too close to major roadways in the area. The Tagg Pet Tracker doesn’t seem to have much competition. It was either go with the Tagg Tracker or pick a Garmin GPS unit that cost over $500 and virtually no reviews online. I decided to take my chances with Tagg.
Overall, I really like this cool little tracking gadget, but there are also things I don’t like. I purchased the Tagg Pet Tracker from Amazon at a price of $99 (check current pricing here). The shipping was fast as I am an Amazon Prime member, so I got it in just two days. The unit was safely shipped and the packaging can certainly handle a few bumps and bruises without damaging the contents inside. But who cares about that… Let’s get into the functionality of this unit!
Assembling The Tagg Pet Tracker
They actually have a pretty good design for this tracking device. First, there is a small clip that straps on with a flexible band. You strap this piece onto your dogs collar. This will not work well (if at all) with a coke chain or prong collar. It is designed to fit on a most customary “flat collar” or something similar like a martingale collar. My guess is you could also strap this onto a harness, although that’s not something I’ve tried personally. It think it’s probably best just to use a regular flat collar. It will fit several different sized collars and also comes with additional bands just in case yours breaks (mine hasn’t… yet).
Once the clip is in place and securely fitted onto your dogs collar, the Tagg Pet Tracker easily clips onto that piece. What I like about this design is that it makes the unit very simple to attach and detach from the collar. The clip itself is very small and unobtrusive when you’re not using the tracker, but when the tracker is attached, it seems to stay on pretty firmly. My dog frequently plays with other dogs and things can sometimes get a bit rowdy. In 3 months, the tracker has only come detached once. I didn’t see the unit get detached, but was promptly alerted via a text message that the unit had become detached from my dogs collar. Cool! I ran outside and was able to find it, undamaged.
Included with the unit is a nice cover that is specially designed to protect the unit and still be able to clip onto your dogs collar when in use. I have found that the overall design is very solid. The only worry I have is the two plastic clips which hold the Tagg Pet Tracker onto clip on the collar. Initially, those clips seemed pretty fragile, but so far so good.
Setting Up A Virtual Perimeter
In order to set up a virtual perimeter around your property, you need to register an account on the Tagg website. This is fast and easy. Once you enter in your address, you can use a Google Map to drag and show the boundaries you want. Once you have everything where you want it, the Tagg Pet Tracker does the rest. Anytime your dog leaves the virtual perimeter, you’ll be alerted and given a location of where your dog is.
The battery life on the Tagg Pet Tracker is fantastic. As long as the tracker stays in the virtual perimeter, it remains in power saving mode. The batter can last a month easy. However, outside the perimeter the battery will drain much faster. You might get a week out of it before it will need a recharge. In either case, you do not need to charge the device daily. At the most, you’ll need to charge it about once per week and at the least, about once per month. The charge takes about 4 to 6 hours to complete. You also get alerts when the batter is getting low and also once it is fully charged.
This unit is very cleverly designed and obviously designed specifically for dogs. For instance, the curved design allows the unit to easily conform to the curvature of the dogs neck. This unit is also water resistant and I put that to the test. My dog decided to go for a bit of a swim with this unit on and the unit didn’t stop functioning even though it was fully submerged for some time. Is this unit indestructible? Definitely not. A dog deciding to use the unit as a chew toy would probably render it broken. However, for normal day to day use, I think it is much more durable than they had to make it.
Tracking Is NOT Real-Time
Don’t Forget The Monthly Fee!
A monthly fee?!? Yes! The $99 you pay for the unit is only for the unit itself. It does include 3 months of service (at least when I bought it), but after that, you have to pay $7.99/mo to make sure the tracking feature keeps working. Essentially, this unit is worthless unless you pay them $7.99 every month. While I can understand having a monthly fee as the unit utilizes cell towers, I think $7.99 is a bit excessive. I have, however, continued paying this fee so obviously I’m finding it useful enough to keep active. But, again, this could be a deal breaker for many.
Health & Activity Tracking
I really wasn’t expecting this feature but it has turned into one of my favorites. The Tagg Pet Tracker will keep track of your dogs activity level throughout the day. It’s fun to be able to go back over the past week and see what time of the day your dog is most active and exactly how active your dog gets. Each day, your dog will get an “activity score” that you can compare to past activity. You are also able to print out a report of your dogs activity history so you can show it to your vet. Very handy.
Quality Of Phone App / Online Interface
The interface itself is simple, but excellent. They have made this VERY easy to use and you do not need any technical knowledge at all. If you know how to use Google Maps, you can use their interface. Basically, you show up as a blue dot on the map and your dog shows up as a little Tagg Pet Tracker icon. If you click on the icon, you’ll get the closest street address and can even get directions to that location. All other features used in the dashboard are simple and self explanatory without any bugs or problems. Very well done and very intuitive.
Ok, so, maybe the updates aren’t “free” exactly, but the software updates are included with your $7.99/mo subscription fee. Anytime you hook the unit up to the docking station, it will automatically check for updates. If an update is available, the unit will download the update by itself. You do not need an internet connection for this but will need a cell signal as everything is done over the cell network.
Recommended For Casual Users Only
While I can recommend this unit, I only recommend it for casual users. At a price point of $99, this unit is affordable by most dog owners and certainly adds some piece of mind. Just be aware that if your dog leaves your virtual perimeter, it could take up to 15 minutes before you are alerted. In fact, one time I was alerted my dog left the perimeter and by the time I went outside to find him, he was already laying at my back door. On another occasion, however, the Tagg Pet Tracker took me right to him.
If you’re simply looking for some added security in case your dog strays a little too far from home, this is a great unit at an affordable price. For those who need real-time GPS tracking capabilities, unfortunately there isn’t much on the market for that, especially at an affordable price. It is my hope that over time, the Tagg Pet Tracker will get faster updates and maybe eventually real-time tracking, but until then, I’m happy with the job it has done.
Where To Buy
Through my research, the best place to purchase this unit is from Amazon.comalthough most pet stores and other online retailers do carry the unit.