Do you worry about your dog when you are away for work? What are they up to? Are they getting enough exercise? Are they resting? Or are you plain curious about how your dog spends its day?
You can find the answers to these questions with dog tech devices. These devices have become popular; you have GPS, health, fitness, and habit dog trackers.
One such device we will look at today is the Whistle GO Explore.
Buying the tracker for its GPS capabilities makes sense because it provides the location of your furry friend. If your dog wanders off, the tracker can provide escape alerts.
The tracker can also monitor and provide alerts about behaviors like scratching and licking. You can understand how your dog’s diet is impacting its health. You can set personalized activity goals and know what your dog is up to with the timeline feature.
But how helpful are these features, and how well do they perform? Also, these trackers are pricier than typical GPS trackers.
Let us start with the Whistle GO Explore GPS dog tracker review to understand.
|Model||Whistle GO Explore|
|Type||GPS, 4G LTE-M|
|Dimensions||1.8 x 1.4 x 0.7 inches|
|Weight||Under 1 ounce|
|Color||Grey, Green, Magenta|
|Battery||Rechargeable lithium-ion battery 520 mAhBattery life varies from 2 to 15 days|
|Power Output||5V 1 amp|
|Coverage||The USA and Canada|
|Tracker Cost||Starts from $94.57|
|Customer Support||Whistle Support-Email, Call - 10 am - 6 pm EST, Monday - Friday|
|Amazon Rating||3.9 out of 5 (3,696 ratings)|
The Whistle team consists of researchers, vets, and pet experts. Their aim is to offer personalized and preventative care for every pet out there.
Whistle is powered by the Pet Insight Project, wherein the team studied the health data of 100,000+ dogs and the medical records from the Banfield Pet Hospital. The data helped them create AI Whistle, the technology and its devices used to monitor and translate pet health.
Their product range includes smart devices and GPS trackers. You can shop for devices like Health, GO Explore, and Switch Smart Collar. You can also buy accessories like cases, leashes, collars, and attachment options.
Who is the Whistle GO Explore GPS Tracker For?
If you are a dog parent wanting to monitor your pet, the Whistle tracker can help. The tracker uses a mix of GPS technology, cell towers, and WiFi to provide you with updates on your pet’s location.
You can set up safe places like your home and receive alerts when your dog sneakily makes its way out. You can use the Find My Pet mode to get quick location updates.
If you have dog sitters or others looking after your dog, you can add them to the app account. They can have access to the dog’s location and activity tracking information.
The Whistle GO Explore also focuses on the dog’s health and fitness. For example, you can set activity goals depending on your furry friend’s breed, age, and height.
You can track behaviors like excessive licking and scratching, which could possibly indicate allergies, skin, or other health issues.
These features can help you better care for your dog.
Overall, the Whistle GO tracker is for concerned dog parents wanting to monitor their pet’s location, behaviors, activity, and health.
5 Important Factors We tested the GPS Tracker on
The intention behind the Whistle tracker with its GPS and activity tracking and health monitoring is great. Let us see further if the tracker stands up to its claims.
The Whistle GO Explore tracker is relatively small, with its dimensions being 1.8 x 1.4 x 0.7 inches. It weighs just under 1 ounce. With the collar attachment, the tracker can weigh up to 1.3 ounces.
The tracker is meant for dogs weighing more than 20 lbs.
The Whistle GO Explore tracker has a waterproof rating of IPX8. This means the tracker will work fine even when submerged under water for 30 minutes, up to 6 feet.
Your dog can roam around outdoors, in the snow, rain, or wind, without you worrying about the tracker’s health. Whistle recommends you rinse the device and thoroughly dry it before charging.
You get two attachments with your purchase to help attach the tracker. The snap collar attachment fits on a 1-inch wide flat collar made from nylon or cloth. It can also fit on a harness.
The other is a hook and loop attachment that fits on collars wider than 1 inch and is made from non-standard materials.
The waterproof rating, relatively compact size, and attachment options make the Whistle a well-designed GPS tracker.
The Whistle GO Explore is equipped with a lithium-ion battery. It has a capacity of 520 mAh.
You can charge the tracker using a wall outlet with a 5V 1amp charging adapter. You can also use a USB cable for charging.
The GO Explore tracker takes up to 2 hours to get a full charge. The LED light will be solid amber when the tracker is charging. It will turn solid green when fully charged.
If the tracker’s battery is too low, the LED light will blink red or amber. You will also be notified through your chosen mode when the battery drops below 25%.
The battery life is advertised to last up to 20 days on a single charge. The Whistle tracker has a good battery life, but it also significantly depends on usage.
For example, if you have a senior dog with limited activity and only occasionally leaves the house, the battery can last longer.
If you are tracking a younger active dog that likes to run and play around and spends time away from predefined safe places, the battery can drain in 2 to 3 days.
Whistle recommends you add areas under safe places where your pet spends most of its time. In these zones, ensure the tracker can connect to WiFi networks. Use the Find My Pet and Update Location features only when required.
With these recommendations, you can easily extend the battery life to a week or ten days, even in the case of active dogs.
3. Ease of Use
Setting up the Whistle tracker was pretty straightforward. Ensure the tracker is charged and you have the Whistle app downloaded. Start with the setup process at home, as the tracker will need to connect to a WiFi network.
You have to create your account on the app and add details about your pet. Turn on the Bluetooth to ensure the sync between the tracker and phone goes smoothly.
You have to then add a first Safe Place, which could be your home. Lastly, add your credit card details and pay for the annual subscription plan.
The Whistle app has five main tabs – Location, Activity, Health, Pet and Human. You get detailed information about your pet or account depending on the tab you select.
For example, under the Activity tab, you can see how your dog is doing on its personalized activity goals, how many calories it has burned, or hours it has rested.
The only drawback is that the Whistle app is mandatory for tracking your dog. Whistle currently does not provide a web interface for tracking.
The Whistle app is fairly intuitive and easy to use.
If you want to know where your furry friend is, simply open the Whistle app. You can tap on Update Location to get the most recent update.
If your pet is missing, you can use the Find My Pet feature to get updates every 15 seconds.
Under the Pet tab – Settings – Manage Family, you can add family members to help you care for your pet. They can have permission to track your dog, receive tracking notifications, add safe places, and edit pet profiles.
A Reminder & To-Do tab is added so you can take better care of your dog. For example, you can add notes about your dog’s dietary restrictions, medications, or vet appointments. So, each person taking care of your dog is on the same page.
Timeline is another feature I liked. The tracker can detect activities like walking, running, play, active, and rest. The data can help you better log your pet’s activity even when you are not around and make adjustments to improve their quality of life.
The Whistle GO Explore tracker uses GPS satellites, AT&T cellular coverage, and WiFi to provide location updates on your pet.
The location updates are not in real-time. When you request a location update, you will receive the data in about a minute.
You can add up to 10 safe places. It would be best if you paired the safe place with a WiFi network. When the Whistle GO Explore tracker is connected to WiFi, it goes into battery-saving mode. It checks if the tracker is still connected to WiFi every 3 minutes.
So, in such cases, the safe place exit alerts could be delayed by 3 minutes. The location notification timing is surely something Whistle needs to improve.
The behavior and health tracking details were pretty informative. You can add notes under the Checking in tab and log how your dog feels.
You can choose to get push, in-app, email, and text notifications.
The tracker alerts are decently accurate, and the activity and health monitoring data are insightful. The notification lag time is what Whistle needs to concentrate on performance-wise.
What Sets the Whistle GO Explore GPS Tracker Apart from its Competitors?
Sometimes, dogs can behave unpredictably. They might suddenly start licking themselves or scratching too hard.
They might gobble some food off your plate, and you might be unsure if it is ok for them to have that food. Or your dog could be limping after getting up from a nap. What do all these behaviors mean?
You might be tempted to call your vet for every change you notice; this is not feasible.
With the Whistle app, though, you can consult with an experienced vet. You can get advice on any pet care question through email, chat, and call.
The in-app vet consultation is not an alternative to regular vet appointments. But they can surely help answer any health or care queries you have. It is a good feature, especially for new dog parents.
Should You Purchase the Whistle GO Explore GPS Tracker?
The Whistle GO Explore tracker is a multifunction device that offers GPS, activity, behavior, and health details.
The tracker includes two attachments that can fit standard and non-standard collar types. It offers features like safe places, personalized activity goals, a 24-hour timeline, daily check-ins, and Ask a vet.
The tracker is straightforward to set up, and the Whistle app is intuitive. The location updates and safe place notifications can lag.
So, consider the below pros and cons before buying.
- With Find My Pet mode, get location updates every 15 seconds
- You can set up to 10 safe places
- It can track behaviors like scratching, licking, sleeping, and eating
- You can add family and friends to your Whistle account
- The Timeline feature captures events like running, walking, resting, playing, and being active
- You can chat with a vet for free advice
- The safe place entry/exit notification can be delayed
- You can only track the GPS device with the Whistle app
The original price of the Whistle GO Explore GPS tracker is $102. With the one-year subscription, you can buy the device for $228.
You can get good discounts on websites like Amazon. For example, when writing the Whistle GO Explore GPS dog tracker review, the device was available for $94.57.
You will need a subscription for the Whistle tracker and app to work. A plan is necessary so you can get access to the tracker’s GPS, health monitoring, and data sharing capabilities.
The subscription will also cover the cost of the AT&T plan that the tracker runs on.
Currently, the subscription plan is priced at $99/year, which comes down to $8.25/month.
Apart from the GPS tracker, you can shop for accessories like cases, leashes, collars, and USB cables. These can cost anywhere from $4.95 to $49.99.
No. While setting up the GPS tracker, you must assign the device to a single pet. Every dog will need their own Whistle GO device. You can, though, track multiple devices using the same Whistle account.
No. The Whistle tracker subscription includes an AT&T plan; you do not have to buy one separately. You can use any carrier on your smartphone to use the Whistle app.
No. You can track the Whistle device only using the smartphone app available for iPhone and Android devices.
The Whistle GO Explore tracker significantly improved over the previous Whistle GPS trackers.
Some of its notable features include a waterproof device, attachment options, Find My Pet, safe places, activity, behavior and health monitoring, and vet accessibility.
You will need an annual subscription for the app to work. The alerts can be delayed by 2 to 3 minutes.
We hope our Whistle GO Explore GPS dog tracker review helps you make an informed decision.
Carson Harris is a highly qualified author and expert in GPS tracking technology. With a background in electrical engineering and machine learning, he has established himself as a trusted source of information. Carson’s work experience at Garmin and Panasonic has further enhanced his expertise. He possesses creative skills in website design and AI applications. Known for his clear and concise communication, Carson’s articles on Trax Family’s website provide valuable insights on GPS trackers.