Technology Makes It (Almost) Impossible to Lose Your Pooch!

Dennis Faas's picture

If you've taken a stroll through the park recently, you might have noticed a number of dogs sporting collars with attached ID tags, trinkets, G.P.S. equipment and...G.P.S. equipment?

Garmin, a manufacturer of global positioning equipment, now makes tracking devices that keeps tabs on dogs whether they are walking through the park for exercise or chasing down a rabbit during a hunt. The latest Global Positioning System comes in two parts: a hand-held unit for the owner and another device that is mounted directly onto the collar or harness of the animal. (Source:

Now if the dog runs away from home, the owner's device will reveal exactly where the dog is headed, even if the animal has run many miles away. Garmin is one of the many companies who have successfully developed an existing product line and introduced it into the pet market. The market is believed to be very lucrative as nearly 45 per cent of all U.S. households own at least one dog.

The Garmin dog tracking system, called Astro, is specifically designed for medium-to-large sized dogs. The device weighs approximately six ounces, which would be too heavy for smaller dogs like the Chihuahua.

The unit on the collar computes the location of the animal from G.P.S. satellites and sends the information to the owner's hand-held unit via radio waves. The unit on the dog even has tiny motion-sensing chips that can detect whether the dog is running, walking or sitting. (Source:

For dogs that are left at home while their owners are at work, a new company called SNIF Labs is currently in the process of developing a lightweight dog tag that records how much exercise the animal is getting. The device is expected to be small enough that even Chihuahuas can wear one. The tags are in the preliminary testing phase and are scheduled for release in early November. They are expected to carry a price tag of $199.95.

Similarly, the Astro, carries a price tag of $599. While the price may appear to be steep for some people, it might be a rather worthwhile investment for those who have a deep attachment to their animal. (Source:

Representatives for Garmin reason that since most people spend an average of $3,000 to $5,000 purchasing and training their animal, $599 is not a terrible price to pay for the added security that the device offers.

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