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Should I Microchip My Cat?

Should I Microchip My Cat?

A cat’s natural instinct is to roam. How often does your house cat stare out the window wishing he could chase birds and climb trees? It would be all too easy for him to escape your house as you’re entering the door.

If you have an outdoor cat, the possibility that he will wander too far and become lost is very high: Approximately 10 million pets are lost every year, and only 10% of them make it back to their owners.

So what can you do to protect your cat?

A microchip provides a way for your cat to come back home to you if he gets lost.

What Exactly Is a Cat Microchip Implant?

A microchip is a tiny device about the size of a grain of rice that is placed under your cat’s skin. Once the chip is in place, you’ll go online to enter your contact information in the national pet recovery database. Should your lost cat be taken to a pet shelter or vet, the microchip will be scanned, and whoever found your cat can recover that data to contact you.

Difference Between a Cat Microchip And a Cat GPS Tracker

If your cat wanders away from home and gets lost, a cat microchip will only help you if someone else picks up your cat. Should a helpful neighbor or animal control specialist take your cat into a pet shelter or vet, the chip can be scanned.

There’s no guarantee that someone will pick up your cat, but this device is ultimately a good idea because it’s always under the skin, so there’s no way your cat might accidentally remove it. It needs no battery to operate, only a compatible scanner.

Alternatively, a cat GPS tracker uses GPS technology to actively track your cat’s whereabouts and find him if he gets lost. You can track him down yourself if he wanders too far.

However, this type of device requires GPS coverage and a battery. It’s usually found within a cat collar and could be removed easily if your wandering cat wriggles out of it. If the battery runs out, the GPS technology won’t work, and it’s likely that you won’t find your lost cat.

Ultimately, a combination of these two devices would work best to make sure you always know where your pet is.

Why Should My Cat Get a Microchip?

Only about 2% of lost cats get returned to their owners, but for cats with a microchip, that number rises dramatically to 38%. When you take the time to microchip your cat and register his information in the online database, you increase the chance to find him should he ever get lost.

A microchip is an invaluable tool in your arsenal to find your beloved furry family member.

Are There Any Side Effects To Microchipping My Cat?

Just as with any other medical procedure, there are some potential side effects. There may be a hemorrhage, infection or other irritation at the injection site. If you turn to a qualified vet for the microchipping, the risks are virtually eliminated.

Is The Microchipping Procedure Painful?

The procedure is practically painless with about the same discomfort to your cat as a vaccine. The chip is injected using a syringe between your cat’s shoulder blades. Your cat may be sensitive in that area for a short time after the procedure but will return to normal within a day or two.

Ok, let’s go for it! What’s next?

If you’ve decided to microchip your cat, you’re making a great choice for his safety! Pick up a cat microchip implant like the HomeAgain Microchip Implant Kit or check directly with your vet.

Once your vet implants the microchip, make sure to register your cat in the pet recovery database with up-to-date information. Your vet can give you more information about how to access the database.

It’s important to ask your vet to check the microchip yearly at your annual checkup. This gives you a chance to make sure the microchip is working and ensure that the database information is still accurate.

Do you have any questions? Ask us about any other information you’d like to know, and we will be pleased to answer your questions!

Should I Microchip My Dog?

Should I Microchip My Dog?

With all the technology in your daily life, you may be wondering if it’s a good idea to microchip your dog.

Just look!

Dogs can and do escape; a glance at the ‘lost pets’ section in your local newspaper is proof of that. Microchipping your dog is a way to keep track of your beloved pet should the unthinkable happen.

I remember a time shortly after we moved. Our middle-aged black lab mix, Rocky, went missing. He was mostly blind, and we were heart-broken.

Want to know the best part?

About a month later, I found him at a neighbor’s house!

What Exactly is a Dog Microchip Implant?

A typical pet microchip is about the size of a grain of rice. It’s injected under the skin, and contains data stored in the chip, which can be read by anyone with a scanner, such as vet’s offices and animal shelters.

What’s the Difference Between a Dog Microchip and a GPS Collar?

You might be debating between chipping or using a GPS collar. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. You might be wondering:

  • Microchip Advantages
    • This is a passive tracking device; it stores owner information like a dog tag.
    • The chip is injected and will always be under the skin.
    • Does not require a power source; no batteries to change.
  • Microchip Disadvantages
    • Requires a scanner to access stored data.
    • Only works if the pet is found and taken to someone with a scanner.
  • GPS Collar Advantages
    • Worn on the dog’s collar with its own battery source.
    • It’s an active device in real time.
    • Can give exact coordinates of the pet.
  • GPS Collar Disadvantages
    • Batteries can run down.
    • The collar can be removed or lost.

Either method may help to recover a lost pet. But, for added security, you might decide to use a combination of both methods. The GPS allows you to see exactly where your dog is, and in the event your dog loses the collar, your owner information is still available via the microchip.

Why Should My Dog Get a Microchip?

Pet Finder says the Humane Society estimates over 10 million pets are reported missing each year.

That’s crazy!

That’s 1 in 3 pets lost during their life! I have 5 pets now, and those numbers aren’t good! You want to spend a lifetime with your pet, and chipping can be a good way to recover him if he is lost or stolen.

Are There Any Side Effects to Microchipping My Dog?

The chip is injected under the skin by your vet like a vaccination. Because the syringe breaks the skin, there’s a small chance of redness, swelling, or bleeding at the injection site. Having a qualified vet do the procedure reduces the risk of any side effects.

Is the Microchipping Procedure Painful?

The chip is injected between your pet’s shoulder blades. The needle is not much larger than that of a vaccination, and shouldn’t cause your dog any more discomfort than his yearly shots.

Okay! Let’s Go for It! What’s Next?

Great! You’ve decided to microchip your dog. The next step is to either find one online like the Home Again Microchip Implant Kit or go to your veterinarian.

Once your vet has implanted the chip, make sure to register your information with the microchip company. Sadly, only 58% of microchips are registered. This is not good! The 10 minutes registering your microchip will cost you is one of the smartest investment you can make.

This is extremely important! If you don’t register the chip, your name and address will not be available on it. I once adopted a dog who had been microchipped; her original owners never registered her. There was a small fee to register the chip, and then her microchip contained accurate information. We never needed the chip, thank goodness, but it was peace of mind knowing it was there.

We also highly encourage you to have your vet check your pet’s chip at his yearly checkup. If your address or phone number changes, make sure to update that information with the chip’s manufacturer. The vet cannot do this; you must take the responsible step to ensure correct information is encoded.

Have any questions we didn’t address? Feel free to ask them below.

Amber Alert GPS Review

Amber Alert GPS

Pros

  • 2-way voice calling
  • Predator alert
  • SOS button
  • One of the prettiest looking GPSs on the market
  • Great software

Cons

  • Unit is fairly expensive up front
  • After initial cost of unit, still must pay decent amount for monthly service
  • Short battery life

Verdict: 9/10

The Amber Alert has more functions than you can shake a stick at. If you really think about it, battery life – as long as it holds a charge long enough to get through the day – shouldn’t be an issue. So the only thing holding this device back is the (ongoing) cost. But in the end, you pay for what you get, which in this case is quite a bit.

Click right here for Pricing, Ratings and Reviews of the Amber Alert GPS on Amazon.com

General Thoughts on Amber Alert GPS

The Amber Alert GPS is like the Swiss Army Knife of the GPS world. This unit was designed specifically for the use of keeping track of children ages 2 to 10. It is a small, lightweight device that is jam-packed with features to fit the needs of most anyone. It’s sort of a combination between a typical GPS and a cell-phone, in that it uses GSM networks to help with determining its location. The software used in conjunction with the Amber Alert, called the Tracking Portal, is intuitive and offered for your computer and as a mobile app. With it you can configure and track multiple devices quickly and easily. Though the battery life is relatively short, this device holds its own against the competition in terms of functionality as a whole. If you have the extra cash to spend, and don’t mind continuing to shell it out on a monthly basis, the Amber Alert GPS is the way to go for keeping track of your young child.

Features 10/10

When it comes to features, all of the usual suspects are available. On-demand location is obviously possible. Zone alerts allow you to set imaginary zones wherever you wish, and be notified any time your child goes into or out of them. Speed limit alerts will notify you if your child is travelling above a pre-set speed. Or, if you would like to be updated regularly, you can set up Breadcrumbing. This allows you to set a schedule of when to be notified your child’s location. One of the features that you won’t find on any other GPS is called the Predator alert. This will trigger an alert should your child be within 500 feet of the home of a registered sex offender. And lastly on the alert front is the battery alert, which occurs when the unit is down to 15% capacity. With any of these alerts, you can set the device to email and/or text you.

The other extremely useful features are the 2-way voice calling and the SOS button. The 2-way voice calling is just like it sounds; call your child and talk to them on the device, or they can call you from the device (though they can only call one pre-set number). You can also listen in on their surroundings. And the SOS button, when pressed, will send a text and/or email to up to 10 people that you set in advance. Ah, how far we’ve come from Morse code.

Tracking 8/10

Tracking is accomplished via the Tracking Portal software or your smartphone (dumb phones need not apply). There is even the option to print out detailed Excel spreadsheets showing location and alert breakdowns. Helpful when little Johnny is insistent that he didn’t go to his friend’s house after school when you told him to come straight home.

The only downside to the combination of GPS and GSM technology is that in order for the device to actually report its location, it needs to be able to receive a GPS and cell signal. In the event that you do not have a GPS signal, the device will use its last known location and use the cell system to track its current location from there. However, seeing as it uses 3G, which has widespread coverage, this will give you an accurate location the vast majority of the time.

Click right here for Pricing, Ratings and Reviews of the Amber Alert GPS on Amazon.com

Ease of Use 9/10

Monitoring the location is a snap, whether using the software or the mobile app. And setting alert preferences is as simple as a few clicks. The device itself has no screen to complicate things, just indicator lights and the SOS button. There are also a number of easy ways to keep it with and/or attached to your child, like lanyards, a neoprene pouch, or sleeves that fit on arms, ankles or wrists. And the Amber Alert comes with a micro USB charger to power up the lithium ion battery that’s said to last for approximately 48 hours.

Help & Support 9/10

It would appear that the manufacturer has confidence in their product, as evidenced by the help and support options. First off, they offer a 14-day money back guarantee (though this will only refund the price of the unit, not activation or subscription costs) should you not be happy with the device. They also have a customer service line that says that they will never “leave you hanging”. There is a good amount of help offered in the software if problems arise, and should you have a pressing issue, there is an emergency tab where you enter your phone number, and a member of their support staff will get in touch with you. This is offered 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. And lastly, the device comes with a one-year warranty.

Summary

Really the main downside is the cost. With a fairly pricey initial price tag plus activation fee, it starts off a little spendy. And from there, plans for a small recurring monthly fee, with additional monthly costs for the Tracking Portal, it can add up pretty quickly. Barring the high cost, with all of the functions, accessories and support offered with this GPS, you really can’t do much better.

Click right here for Pricing, Ratings and Reviews of the Amber Alert GPS on Amazon.com

Falcon GPS Tracker Review

Falcon GPS Tracker

Pros

  • Simple to use, from setup to actually using tracking features
  • Free SIM card and Otterbox case included
  • Good battery life
  • Unique motion detection feature
  • Cheaper monthly plans since it uses a SIM card

Cons

  • Since it uses a SIM card, it is dependent on cell coverage
  • Unit is a little more expensive up front than some other units

Verdict : 9.25/10

The Falcon GPS Tracker is just as good, if not better, than any other GPS on the market. And considering widespread cell coverage and a pay-for-itself-in-the-long-run SIM card tracking system, you can barely even say that it has any weaknesses.

General Thoughts on Falcon GPS Tracker

The Falcon GPS tracker is different than its traditional GPS comrades, as it uses a SIM card to track the device. This is a much more cost-effective solution in the long run, with the only tradeoff being that your ability to track it is contingent on it being in an area with cell coverage. The good thing about this is that cellular technology and networks are not only widespread, they continue to grow and develop, making this less of an issue from a tracking standpoint. For this small tradeoff, you save a lot of headache in the financial department, as well as having additional software to use, whether for configuration or actual tracking purposes. With the Falcon, you use your cell phone for everything, which is great because these days, most people (I know I’m guilty of this) feel naked if they don’t have their phone on them almost anywhere they go. Additionally, the full complement of features present on the Falcon make it just as useful as any other GPS on the market, and it also includes a couple of features that few others offer, giving it that extra edge over the competition. Because of the features, cost-effectiveness, and simplicity of operation, it should be at the top of the list of anyone who is considering buying a GPS.

Click right here for Pricing, Ratings and Reviews of the Falcon GPS Tracker on Amazon.com

Features 10/10

The Falcon is as feature-rich as any other GPS out there. You can program Geo-fences, which are imaginary boundaries. You set up these areas, and the GPS will then send you an alert if it enters or exits the area that you have set. If you have a 16-year-old on your hands, and they have a bit of a lead foot, the OverSpeed alarm is just what you need. With this, you preset a speed, and the device will alert you if that speed is exceeded. Even if they don’t get a ticket, they’ll regret putting the pedal to the metal. Live tracking mode is also convenient, in that you are able to make the Falcon notify you of its location at time intervals that you determine. This is very similar to what are called “Breadcrumbs” on other devices. The other extremely helpful feature, especially if you want to use this gps to track your kid, is the SOS button. When this is pressed, the unit will send a text message with its current location to up to 3 preset phone numbers. And last but not least is the motion detection. Did you tell your child or grandma (or possibly dog) to stay in the same place? Well the Falcon will let you know if they don’t obey. That way Rover, the kiddo and gram-gram only get a treat if they earn it.

Tracking 9/10

What you achieve with this is the ability to cut out the higher-cost middleman and replace them with a more reasonable substitute. Normally, when you pay a monthly fee for a GPS, you are paying for a monitoring service, and all of the money that they have put into their systems and software. With the SIM card-based GPS, you are basically paying for a text-only (SMS) cell phone plan.

The actual tracking function can be done by texting or calling the unit. It will then send you back either GPS coordinates, or a link that you can click on that will take you directly to a map, displaying the current location.

Ease of Use 10/10

By eliminating additional software, screens on the device, and 1200 buttons, the Falcon has become very easy to use. The 3 lights on the front of the unit tell you if the unit is powered on, if the GPS is calculating its position, and if it is sending or receiving a message. And there are only 4 buttons: a power button, the SOS button, and two buttons that will allow you to call two preset phone numbers and talk to them.

From the other end, it is just as simple. If you know how to send a text message, you can operate this tracker. Every programming command is sent via text, so you can change settings quickly and on the fly. The unit will even send you a low battery alert, so you don’t need to worry about monitoring this. And it can still be used while charging with the included mini-USB cable, and only takes 3-4 hours to charge fully, which will last you about 5 days.

Click right here for Pricing, Ratings and Reviews of the Falcon GPS Tracker on Amazon.com

Help & Support 8/10

There is live tech support offered over the phone should you need any sort of assistance. The website has a good deal of information to help you as well, including a comprehensive user’s manual, which should be able to answer any questions you have. The unit has a one-year warranty, though as with most items like this, only the actual unit is covered. Should you have an issue with the battery, cables, or any adapters, you’re on your own.

Summary

The Falcon GPS Tracker is a quality GPS device with enough features and functions to make sure anyone and everyone who uses it is happy. The SIM card-based tracking allows you not only to pay less on a monthly basis, but to interact with the device quickly and easily from wherever you may be. If you’re looking for a tracking device, this is definitely your solution.

Click right here for Pricing, Ratings and Reviews of the Falcon GPS Tracker on Amazon.com

Best Car Tracking Devices on the Market

Best Car Tracking Devices on the Market

Whether you’re concerned about your teen speeding, your employee sloughing, or your great-grandma straying, purchasing a car tracking device will certainly pay off in peace-of-mind, safety and even savings.

The number of devices on the market can be overwhelming, but understanding your own needs and knowing a few key features can ensure that you choose the right product.

Guide to the Top Rated Car Trackers

The following chart will help you quickly find the best tracker for your needs, but here’s what you need to know first:

Price Key: $ = under $100, $$ = $100 to $150, $$$ = $150 to $200, $$$$ = over $200

These prices are general and can vary with sales and availability. Note that if you locate a $$$ rated tracker for only $69 dollars, you’re getting a bargain.

Power Source: Some Trackers are hard-wired to your vehicle or plug into your OBD II (on board diagnostics) port, which is in all vehicles manufactured since 1996. These trackers get their power from your vehicle. Other Devices rely upon batteries whose life generally average 10 days under regular usage of 2 hours per day. Many other options will affect battery life such as how often you receive notifications, whether monitoring is constant or motion detected, etc.

Installation: Hard Wired trackers require the most effort, while those that plug into OBD II ports or simply attach anywhere in the vehicle with their own battery source are the easiest.

Active Devices: Allows you to monitor your vehicle’s activity in “real-time”—as it’s actually happening—via a computer or smart phone.

Passive Devices: These systems are called “loggers” and act primarily as recording devices whose information such as speed, driving time, etc. can be downloaded later onto a computer, but do not allow monitoring in the moment.

Monthly Fees: Most real-time systems require a monthly subscription fee for an average of $15 to $50 depending upon your level of service and commitment length.

Rating: Included is the user satisfaction rating from Amazon.com customers, with five being the best possible score. This information is invaluable in that it gives the best indication of how the tracker really performs in different scenarios.

Here’s a brief summary.

ProductPricePower SourceInstallationActive / PassiveMonthly Fees?Amazon Rating
Falcon NO FEE GPS$$$BatteriesIn or Under CarActiveNo5
Linxup GPS$$CarOBD II PortActiveYes4.5
MasTrack OBD $$$CarOBD II PortActiveYes4.5
GoTrack EZ-Zero$$$CarOBD II PortActiveYes4.4
PocketFinder$$$CarHard Wired ActiveYes4.4
LandAirSea
Silver Cloud
$$$$BatteriesIn or Under CarActiveYes4
LandAirSea
LAS-1505
$$$BatteriesIn or Under CarPassiveNo3.7

Highlights of Top 3 Car Trackers

Falcon No Fee GPS Tracker

Pros—cost, easy installation, easy to hide, long lasting battery, features

While the initial cost is around $160, there isn’t the usual monthly service monitoring fee associated with most other real-time tracking systems. Rather than using the computer, this active automobile tracking device communicates and is programmed with SMS messages. You simply load a text messaging plan onto the included SIM. This type of plan starts as low as $5 per month for 200 messages.

It’s very small—3 x 0.6 x 1.8 inches—so it can be installed easily, and if desired, discreetly in any vehicle. The company reports that the battery will last for 3 to 5 days under normal usage, but according to an Amazon reviewer, it lasts much longer!

This system tracks and alerts for all the basic features that that one would want in a monitoring tool, such as high speed, location, direction, battery-life remaining, and crossing of geo-fences—virtual boundaries set by the user. Furthermore, assuming the driver is aware of the device, it can be used to send an S.O.S in the event of an emergency. By pushing a button, up to 3 pre-programmed numbers will automatically receive necessary information to help. Overall, this is a high functioning, basic and convenient tracker sufficient for family and individual use.

Cons—battery powered, no detailed informational reports

It doesn’t work if it’s not charged, so the battery must be monitored. This doesn’t provide the same convenience of systems that are powered by the vehicle.

Because alerts are limited to text messages, the Falcon doesn’t offer the same historical data and reports that might be useful for companies managing multiple vehicles.

Click here to purchase theFalcon No Fee GPS Tracker from Amazon.com

Linxup GPS Vehicle Tracker

Pros—money-back guarantee, easy installation, car powered, detailed reporting

This device is a bargain and with a reasonable monthly fee. Plus, the company offers a free 30 day money-back guarantee.

You can’t beat the convenience of installation as it either plugs under your car’s dashboard or installs directly into the OBD II port. Furthermore, there are no batteries to re-charge because it draws power directly from your automobile’s electrical system.

By providing sophisticated tracking information through a web-based portal, this system allows greater real-time and historical analysis of location and trends. This is particularly helpful to companies managing vehicle fleets in knowing, for instance, how far a service vehicle is from a scheduled appointment location, or overall mileage for the purpose of fuel re-imbursement. Most companies find that the device more than pays for itself by preventing accidents, unauthorized use, and wasted time. But even for teen and senior tracking, this gives nearly all the desired features at a low cost.

Cons—less discreet

At just 2 x 1.8 x 1 inches, it’s small but must be installed where the small led light could be detected.

Click here to purchase the Linxup GPS Vehicle Tracker from Amazon.com

Mas Track OBD Real Time GPS Vehicle Tracker

Pros—exclusive dual-network support, easy installation, car powered, detailed reporting, one month free service.

With Mas Track, you can rest assured on all fronts. It is the only car tracker to operate on the top two wireless networks, giving you the greatest possible coverage. Plus, it’s up and running quickly by just plugging into the vehicle’s OBD II port where it receives power directly from the car, eliminating the need for charging.

You receive alerts for almost anything that could aid safety, security and efficiency. In addition to the usual speed and geo-fence crossing, you’ll also know if there is aggressive breaking or acceleration, tampering, idling, or if the ignition goes off or on. Mas Track provides one of the most customizable tracking devices on the market. You can choose to be alerted at certain intervals as well as get all information “on demand”. Overall, the Mas Track is a very sophisticated, yet easy to use tool. It’s great for every tracking purpose, from large company fleets to personal vehicle monitoring.

By purchasing one month of the service plan as low as $14.99, you’ll receive one other month free.

Cons—higher initial cost, less discreet.

At approximately $200, it’s priced slightly above other top rated products, but that’s slightly offset by the free month of service.

With the installation in the OBD II port, the led is detectable.

Click here to purchase the Mas Track OBD Real Time GPS Vehicle Tracker from Amazon.com

Making Your Purchase

Don’t be daunted by the details involved in car trackers. First, understand your own tracking purposes, then match them with the appropriate features and benefits outlined here, and finally choose a top rated product. You’ll be quickly on the road to protecting your most valuable assets. Not sure which product fits your needs yet? Take a look at our top 5 gps trackers recommendation for car.