- Category: Opinion
An Opinion Editorial
Why I Chose Not To Use A GPS Tracker
First and foremost, I have to acknowledge that I am a dog fanatic. I am the type of pet-owner who will do anything for their pooch and treat my loveable puppy as if he were my own child. My dog Sinatra has his own drawer filled with different novelty shirts, Winter jackets, jean diapers for when we have to go to other people’s home’s and an assortment of harnesses, collars and leashes. Sinatra even has his own Facebook page.
Sinatra’s security is always something on my mind, and that is why I do not let him go in the backyard unattended near dawn and dusk for fear a coyote might snatch him up, let him chew on raw hide bones produced in China or walk him in areas where big dogs roam. However, recently some of my dog-loving friends told me about how GPS trackers were changing the way people were monitoring and protecting their pets. Intrigued at the notion that a GPS tracker could help keep Sinatra safe, I began researching how GPS tracking devices were helping keep dogs safe.
What I discovered is that the GPS tracking device was embedded into a collar that the dog would wear. The collar would then send out real-time GPS tracking data that the dog owner could view over any computer that was connected online, or mobile phone. The data from the GPS tracker was sent out in real-time and placed over the backdrop of a mapping program such as Google Earth, making it easy for the dog or pet owner to view the location of their pet. Since I always carry my iPhone with me everywhere I go, having an app that provides real-time locational data of my dog's whereabouts seemed like an awesome piece of technology.
GPS trackers designed for pet protection have been heavily marketed toward people who fear their dog may become lost because of either age or move to a new location.
After some in-depth research on how the assisted-GPS tracking technology works, I learned that real-time GPS trackers record an animal’s position, but are dependent upon cellular towers to send the stored GPS tracking data to an avenue where it is accessible by the pet owner. Therefore, if Sinatra became lost and began roaming around in an area where no cellular coverage was present I would be unable to access his location. When a pet is lost, time is of the essence. Pet parents who do not find their dog within the first 24 hours are likely never to see their furry children again.
GPS trackers are not cheap items, costing sometimes as much as $500 or more. However, I for one would be willing to spend almost any reasonable amount of money if it meant that my dog would not become lost. Lost dogs are usually the poor animals that get hit by cars, attacked by wildlife or get into pesticides. Since GPS tracking devices designed for pet protection are dependent upon cellular technology I felt they were not secure enough. This is why I chose not to use a GPS tracker.
If you are a pet enthusiast, would you use a GPS to protect/safeguard your animal, or do the cons out-weigh the pros?