There is no more horrible feeling then coming home and not being able to find your dog. Or taking your dog on a hike in the woods and having him run off never to return. Not knowing if your dog is lost, hurt, stolen or just having fun. I’ve been through this – kind of. A couple of months I ran home from work because my wife called me frantic that she could not find Teddy, our one year old Jack Russell terrier. We searched the yard and neighborhood high and low until it was dark. But no dog. In our case we had a happy ending. Teddy was hiding in the guest bedroom and he just chose not to bark when we called his name. When he finally came out I did not know weather to kill him or love him. The preceding three hours was absolutely the worst three hours of my life. It seemed like an eternity. I chose to hug him and not let go until next morning. I was so scared. I cried so hard. But every year many people are not so lucky. Thousands of dogs are lost (or stolen) never to be found. Teddy was micro chipped. We encourage this. But this only does good if the dog is found, taken to a shelter or a veterinarian, scanned and ultimately reunited with the owner. It is ineffective if the lost pet never gets that far. It is NOT proactive. At this point I began to think of something better. How about a GPS tracking device that is attached to the dog’s collar? This technology has been widely used by wildlife biologist to monitor herd migrations and follow endangered species. But until recently it has been cost prohibitive for most people. Things have changed. The technology has improved, the devices are lighter and smaller, they connect with smart phones and most importantly they are affordable. There are many GPS tracking devices around. Just google it. The one I am keying in on is the Whistle GPS dog tracker. But there are others and each has its own pros and cons.
I chose to write of this now because I think it would make a GREAT holiday gift for the pet lover in your family. It’s unique It’s loving and joyful. It’s not gimmicky. It’s affordable. Think about it. I think GPS tracking devices will be a hot holiday item this upcoming holiday season.
Dr. David Roy Hensen, DVM, DABVP has been a Veterinarian since 1983. He opened Paumanok Veterinary Hospital in 1992 and is board certified in the American Board of Veterinary Specialists, canine and feline.