We recently adopted a 1 year and a half old dog from a shelter. We knew when we got him he was a shy dog and was not properly socialized. We gave him a month to adjust to his new surroundings. Then after about four months of walking our dog in our neighborhood, I decided to try a new place. I took him to a quiet cemetery by our local reservoir. Soon into our walk, I tripped. It spooked the dog, and his leash slipped out of my hand. He took off into the woods like a bolt of lightning. We spend four days trying to get him back. Ultimately it took the help of the local neighborhood and wonderful rescue organization to trap him to get him back. It was a terrible ordeal. So, after all of this, we decided to purchase a GPS tracker to locate our dog if this were to happen again. We purchased the Whistle GO Explore. It just clips onto his collar, and you use the Whistle app on your phone to track your dog’s location. We have had it for a few months, and so far, it works great.
The Whistle GO Explore Features
The Whistle GO Explore offers many features besides just tracking. It also has health tracking like how much your dog is drinking, licking, scratching, and sleeping. They are cool features and can provide useful information, but I wish Whistle just made one with tracking only. The Whistle GO Explore does require an AT&T cellular subscription plan for GPS tracking, which is around $100.00 a year. The service plan can be purchased through the app during the setup process.
- Tracks your dog’s location in real-time
- Uses 2 satellite systems (GPS and GLONASS)
- Leverages local Wi-Fi and cell tower data
- Receive escape alerts via text or via the Whistle app
- Waterproof rated IPX8, submerged in water up to 6 feet
- Built-in night light
- Alerts for over-itching, licking, drinking, and sleeping
- Fitness goals by tracking distance, calories, and duration
- Set reminders for vet visits, grooming, meds, play dates, and more
- Free Tele-vet: Chat, call, video call, or email
- 20 Day battery charge
Setting Up The Whistle GO
Setting up the Whistle GO Explore was relatively easy. When it arrived, I unboxed and followed the start guide instructions included in the box. The first step was to charge the device. It is charged using a Micro-USB cable provided, but you will need to USB plug or power outlet. Once charged, which took about 1 hour, I downloaded the Whistle app to finish the setup. I just followed the instructions on the app to activate the device.
Attaching The Whistle GO Explore
The Whistle Go Explore comes with two types of collar attachments. One is designed for flat collars, which fit perfectly on the Martindale no-slip collar we already had on our dog. The other attachment is for larger collars or rounded colors. The clip works with a snap attachment that you place between the collar and snaps into place. Then the Whistle GO Explore is inserted into the clip clockwise and snaps into place. To remove, press the tab on the side of the clip and turn the Whistle counterclockwise to remove. This made removing the device easy for charging. I was worried about how stable this method would be, but I have not had an issue with it coming off. The tracker is notable on the collar and can be slid from side to side. Our dog seems to be quite comfortable having it on. It is relatively small in size. Whistle also makes a dedicated collar with the twist attachment fixed to the collar.
We have used the tracking feature quite a bit. My wife also has the app on her phone. So we both have the ability to track him. We walk our dog every day in our neighborhood and have had many opportunities to test the tacking abilities. The Whistle GO Explore uses cellular towers, satellites, and Google maps to find your dog. Updates could take longer if cell phone coverage is limited. On the location tab of the app, press the track my pet button, and it will begin tracking your pet. It takes a few seconds to track and display where your pet is currently on a Google map. It will also show your location in relation to where your dog is currently. The GPS tracker also uses your phone’s Bluetooth to sync with the device to improve battery life.
I have been impressed with the life of the battery. It can go a couple of weeks without charging. If your pet is home most of the time, the Whistle will connect to your home’s wireless network. This will save on battery life because it does not have to ping the cell towers and uses your home wireless to save energy. Generally, I won’t let the device get below 40% before recharging to be on the safe side.
Alerts and Updates
This tracker comes with many types of notifications and alerts, which I generally turn off. For those who like to get notified, you can set up text alerts and push notifications on health insights, achievements, activity levels, and reminders. It will also give escape alerts if your pet is no longer in its safe zone, which you can set up as your house and yard or other places that your pet stays like an office and relatives house. You can also be alerted when the battery level is low and needs recharging. The device will automatically get firmware updates to keep it up to date with any improvements or new features.
Where to Buy
Whistle GO Explore – Use this link to get $20 off your order
Recommendations for a Scared Dog
We also implemented a few changes and products that have helped us better control our dog when out walking and in the car. Our dog gets easily startled and likes to bolt. So we bought a leash system that clips to a belt around your waist. This way, if he decides to run and the leash slips out of our hands, the belt clip will prevent him from running off. So far, it’s worked great. It gives us confidence when walking him. He has tried to bolt a few times, and the belt and bungee system kept him secure. It also saved my arm from being pull out of its socket.
Back Seat Car Cover
We also purchased a backseat car cover. Not only does it keep the back seat clean, but the hammock style also prevents our dog from coming to the front seats. The cover clips easily into place using your seat headrests.
Dog Seat Belt Clip
For added safety, we got a dog seat belt clip. One end clips into the car’s seat belt buckle and the other to the dog’s collar. This has worked well. It keeps our dog safe when driving and keeps him secure when opening the door to put on his leash.
The Whistle Go Explore has performed well. The tracking feature has worked every time we used it and has been very accurate. It is relatively small and does not seem to bother our dog. It is easy to set up, remove and charge. I have heard some people complain about false notifications or alerts of their dogs escaping from their safe zone. We don’t use that alert feature because our dog is generally around us and, when outside, is not left unattended. I hope that our dog does not run away again, but having this tracking device does give us peace of mind that we can find him.