Dogs with GPS

If your dog is a chronic escape artist (like my shepherd mix Moose used to be), you can now have state-of-the-art tech on your side.

I saw a magazine ad for the Zoombak — a small Assisted GPS (Global Positioning System) locator that fits on your dog’s collar. If your dog leaves the yard, the folks at Zoombak will send you a text message or an email to let you know where your pup has gone. You can check maps online and get phone or email updates until your furry wanderer is home safely.

That’s pretty darn amazing if you ask me! (Assisted GPS, if you were wondering, uses a combination of satellite and cellular locators.)

I was intrigued enough to visit the Zoombak web site — Their dog locator weighs just two and a half ounces, is water resistant, and has a battery life of five days or so. You can program up to ten “safe” zones — where the dog is allowed to roam — and get unlimited on-demand location information. The company has live customer support every hour of every day in case you would rather talk to a live person when your dog goes wandering.

The pros of a Zoombak:

  • You don’t have to go to the vet or have surgery on your dog like a microchip.
  • You don’t have to go wandering around after a lost pet — you’ll know exactly where he is.
  • The Zoombak works in a lot of places across the United States.

The cons of a Zoombak:

  • The device is not recommended for dogs weighing less than 15 pounds.
  • You do have to pay for a monthly or yearly plan — they have several options available.
  • You have to remember to charge it every so often. The company does offer automated reminders when the battery is low via email or text message.
  • The Zoombak doesn’t offer complete coverage across the United States. In fact, it looks like coverage may be kind of spotty in my area (the Pacific Northwest).

The Zoombak is pricey — nearly $200 for the unit plus a service plan — but it’s less expensive than other options like installing an electronic fence to try to keep your wandering pup in the yard.