A compact enough and clever tracker with a decent app, one that backs up its promising premise with a long list of features which conspire to make your dog (or large cat) far safer and up their fitness too
- Good location tracking
- Health advice and tracking
- Well appointed app
- Alert functionality
- Could be too big for some
- Requires a subscription
- Needs a mobile signal for full functionality
The Pawfit 2 is half activity monitor, half location tracker: basically, it's an upgrade for your dog. There's a little SIM card embedded inside it, which reports on your pet's precise location, both allowing you to pinpoint it on a map should the little tyke abscond during a walk, and allowing you to look back on your walks to see how far you've gone. Put it on a cat, and you can get a good idea of their territory.
It also tracks movement, giving you stats on your pets' steps, distance traveled and calories burned, like a little collar-mounted Fitbit – and with the associated app, you can set fitness goals based on the Pawfit's knowledge of your pet's breed and weight. We called it our best overall pet tracker for dogs in our guide to the best pet trackers; let's find out why.
Pawfit 2: Features
GPS pet trackers aren't a new idea – Tractive's modules have been around for a while – but the Pawfit 2 does add some neat touches of its own. The unit is IP68 waterproofed, meaning it's suitable for submersion up to three metres, great for a bit of confidence on riverside walks. It click-fits into a collar mount, making it easy to remove for charging, and there's a custom charging dock which means you don't need to fiddle with any cables or rubbery port covers.
A lot of consideration has been paid to safety: you'll get alerts when the tracker is removed from (or has fallen off of) the collar mount, as well as geofencing facilities in the app which can tell you if your dog strays beyond a certain boundary. It'll also play an audio alert if someone finds your dog, with all the information they need to get your pet returned to you, and you can trigger an audio tone if your dog starts heading for the hills, something which may be enough to distract them from whatever quarry they're chasing.
Points to hardware design, too: while this is marginally more cumbersome than Tractive's tracker (particularly noticeable if you're using it to track a larger cat, something Pawfit suggests) it's light enough.
If you're in an area with cellular reception you'll get live updates through the app, which also gives you access to a host of activity monitoring metrics and all the information you need to make sense of them. It's worth noting, though, that the Pawfit 2 does require a subscription to get running. Connecting to mobile networks isn't free. Thankfully it's not too expensive, and there's a discount if you pay for a whole year at a time, compared to pay-monthly costs.
Pawfit 2: User reviews
Users of the Pawfit 2 seem, on the whole, overwhelmingly positive about it, and we can see why. The location tracking, in particular, appears to work very well, with some users applauding its ability to switch to a battery-sapping extra detail mode for ten minutes if your dog heads for the trees, and most people being very forgiving of the fact that it basically doesn't work to track your pet at all if you're in the countryside with no signal. You'll get the data later on, but it's only really suitable for finding an errant dog when the tracker can communicate with a mast.
Others have found the geofencing functionality gave them a lot of peace of mind, particularly with skittish dogs and rescues – it gives you an automatic alert should your pet stray from a particular area, which is perfect if you're leaving them in the garden unattended. The alarm function, too, is something of an unexpected highlight, startling dogs out of potentially unpleasant or undesirable activities; one user commented "It works a treat, and it's not too loud as its right next to his ear – our dog has an uncanny interest in consuming other animals' poo!"
Pawfit states 2-5 days battery life, and that really does seem to depend on the amount of use the Pawfit 2 gets on a walk. Some users manage two and a half days, some longer if they're only using it for walks and leaving it switched off around the house, but some with more energetic dogs don't quite reach those levels. We'd guess that a lack of signal might lower its longevity further; searching for a signal can be more demanding than maintaining one.
A few users have had issues with the twist-click mount, losing the device after it was dislodged in the wilds, and a very small number have had tracking issues – as it uses GPS, this shouldn't be a huge issue, but its ability to reach satellites could be affected if you're walking in a built up area.
Should you buy the Pawfit 2?
There's little doubt that the Pawfit 2 enhances the safety and potentially fitness of every dog and, indeed, many larger cats. It's compact and light enough so as not to be too obtrusive, and it's packed with neat features which make it useful both for you and for anyone that might find your dog too. A vast number of owners have found themselves very attached to using the Pawfit 2, and don't want to go back – that's something of a ringing endorsement. There are cheaper activity trackers (like the PitPat) which don't track their location and which may be better if you're only on a fitness kick – but this is certainly a top option if you're looking for location tracking too.
Pet Tech Week on PetsRadar
Pet Tech Week is brought to you by PetsRadar.com. Throughout this week we'll be showcasing the new tech that will make your pets happier and healthier. Whether you want a smart cat flap, a canine camera or the best vacuum cleaner for pet hair, we've got you covered.
Get the best advice, tips and top tech for your beloved Pets
Thank you for signing up to Petsradar. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.