Tractive vs Whistle: Which One Should You Pick? [2022 Upd.]

Tractive vs Whistle: Which One Should You Pick? [2022 Upd.]

Last Updated on September, 2022

Unlike kids, pets can’t exactly call you up when they get lost or tell you that they are feeling sick. 

But what if they could?

That’s where Whistle and Tractive- two brands of dog GPS trackers- come in.

Relaying location info, your dog’s activity, and even its health status, these GPS pet trackers have all covered.

The question now is, which one does it better?

Lucky for you, I’ve reviewed both these products in this article so that you can skip the trial and error process and choose the perfect fit for you in one go. You can thank me later!

About the Tractive GPS Pet Tracker

The Tractive Pet Tracker is- as its name suggests- a tool that allows the real-time location tracking of your pets.

With the help of the tracker, web interface, or smartphone application, you can always know your pet’s location.

When you order Tractive, you get the tracker, a charging cable, and a rubber clip in the box.

a human holding tractive gps tracker

To never have to go through the pain of a lost pet, all you have to do is purchase a Tractive tracker, choose a subscription plan and download the free Tractive GPS app on iOS or Android. Then on with the pet tracking!

Here’s the full review of the tractive GPS tracker, if you want to learn more about this device.

About the Whistle GPS Pet Tracker

The Whistle Pet Tracking device is a health and location tracker perfect for all pet parents.

This tracking device allows live location tracking and health monitoring, allowing you to take steps towards improving your pets’ quality of life.

All you have to do to start off with this tracking system is to- one pick a smart device out of the three that Whistle offers (and don’t worry, you can take a quiz to figure out the best one for you!) 

a human holding whistle go explore

Two, you need to settle on a subscription plan. And three, download the Whistle app and get right to it!

Here’s the full review of the whistle go explore, if you want to learn more about this device.

Tractive vs Whistle Product Comparison

Main Features: Tractive GPS Tracker

As mentioned before, the primary feature of Tractive is that you can engage in live tracking the location of your pet, with location data that is updated every 2-3 seconds. You will also have access to your pet’s location history.

Another notable feature of Tractive is that it allows you to create a virtual fence

You can set up a virtual fence on your map through your smartphone or computer and dictate a safe zone in which you want your pet to remain. 

tractive gps tracker live tracking feature

Then, if your pet wanders off, you will receive a notification alerting you of the fact. This feature will do wonders in terms of ensuring the safety of your precious pets!

This tracking device also provides data on an assortment of your pet’s other activities. We’ll get into the specifics in just a bit (under the activity tracker portion of this review.)

Tractive works in over 150 countries, and the device consists of an integrated SIM.

Main Features: Whistle GPS Tracker

Similar to Tractive, Whistle also allows for the live tracking of your pets. You can obtain their entire location history too.

This is done through Google maps and AT&T’s nationwide network that lets a dog’s location be established in a matter of seconds.

The most remarkable thing about this Whistle feature is that your pet’s location will be instantaneously discernible regardless of your distance from it.

whistle go explore live tracking feature

For example, your dog could be 3,000 miles away, but its location will still be crystal clear to you.

Like with Tractive, you can also set up safe zones for your pets, and breaching any of them will result in notifications and alerts sent to the pet parent. These reports can come as text messages or emails.

Additionally, Whistle gives you access to data regarding various facets of your pet’s health, including (but not limited to) your pet’s sleep, scratching and licking habits, etc.

Design: Tractive GPS Pet Tracker

The Tractive device is a rounded cuboid shape that weighs around 30 grams or less.

As you’ve probably already gathered, Tractive is excellent for dogs and cats. However, they have to be of a small breed because this device is pretty small. Tractive has a height of 2 inches, a width of 1.6 inches, and a depth of 0.6 inches.

You can attach this device to your pet’s collar with the help of the collar clips provided, meaning that it’s super convenient to use.

a human holding tractive gps tracker

No fumblings and bumblings are necessary to get Tractive in working order!

Tractive only comes in one size, but it does fit most collars. However, you can choose your favorite out of three designs; one is white with a blue logo, and the second is pink with a white logo with embedded Swarovski crystals. The third design Tractive offers is their Hunters Edition, a black-on-olive camouflage design. 

Design: Whistle GPS Tracker

With a rounded cuboid body design, the Whistle tracker measures 1.82” in length, 1.45” in width, and 0.61” in depth.

It’s available in blue, gray, and green colors and can be attached to your dog’s collar with a rubber strap. You can do this easily as the attachment mechanism allows you to twist the device on and off whenever you want.

Durability: Tractive GPS Tracker

The Tractive device is perfect for pets who love the great outdoors and getting rough because it’s 100% waterproof (rated IPX7) and shockproof. Tractive can handle deep water immersion of 1 meter for up to 30 minutes. 

So you don’t have to treat the device like it’s made of glass!

Plus the battery is easily replaceable, so you can pop in a spare battery while the other is being charged and switch them out regularly.

Durability: Whistle Tracker

Whistle has an IP67 dirt-proof, waterproof and shockproof rating, and this has been tested and proven true using the technique of submerging the device in 3 feet of water for 30 minutes.

The attachment strap used to clip the device onto your pet’s collar is also made of solid rubber and is resistant to bites from an unruly dog.

Battery Life: Tractive Tracker

Tractive is powered by a lithium polymer rechargeable battery, which lasts up to 7 days with normal use.

Live tracking significantly drains the battery, but you can still expect it to last for approximately 8 hours in live tracking.

Previous models of this tracker have only had a battery life of 2-5 days. The increase in battery power in the latest model is because of the introduction of the Power Saving Zones feature. 

This feature allows you to save a large amount of power when the tracker is connected to WiFi in a safe zone. For example, if your pet is resting at home, the tracker will detect that they are not moving and report fewer movements to save power.

Battery Life: Whistle Tracker

The Whistle tracker is powered by a rechargeable battery and has a long battery life of up to 7 days on a single charge.

The battery lasts for around 7 days if the device is used sparingly and if there is good WiFi and cellular coverage.

With poor WiFi and cell coverage, the battery will last for approximately 2-3 days.

Fully recharging the battery takes two hours.

whistle go explore on charge and a human holding it

GPS Tracking Features: Tractive GPS Tracker

The Tractive GPS dog tracker has a live tracking mode that updates your pet’s location every 2 to 3 seconds.

There is also a Find mode that comes with this tracker, which is helpful for when your pet is close by but impossible to find. Find mode will locate your pet using Bluetooth detected proximity.

When your phone and tracker are within Bluetooth range of each other, the Find mode symbol will appear in the bottom right corner of the app. If you press this symbol, which is a dog or cat standing in a circle, you will activate Find mode.

Tractive uses cellular GPS and is operable in multiple countries across the world.

In the US, Tractive works on the following 4 cellular networks:

  • AT&T Mobility
  • Viaero Wireless
  • CinBell
  • T-Mobile

The tracker has its own SIM card, so it doesn’t matter which mobile service provider you use for your phone.

With the interactive map feature offered, you can switch between a normal map, a hybrid map, an augmented reality map, and a satellite imaging view. 

Location history allows you to keep track of your pet’s previous locations, and you can also find out the speed and altitude of your pet. Therefore, you can know precisely how fast your pet is going and how high the device is above sea level.

You can create multiple safe zones for your pet and have an alarm go off if your dog leaves the safe zones with the virtual perimeter feature. The radius of these safe zones should be at least 164 feet.

If your pet goes missing (and god forbid), you can also share your cat’s or dog’s location with your friends and family for them to join in on the search.

The Tractive GPS dog tracker connects to GPS satellites for location tracking. Either Wi-Fi or cellular data network is used to provide the location information to the smartphone of a pet owner.

GPS Tracking Features: Whistle Tracker

Say hello to the world of lost pet mode and GPS tracking with AT&T LTE service that updates your pet’s location every 60 seconds. 

Like with Tractive, you can access your pet’s 24-hour location history and set up a safe zone as required. If your pet breaches the safe zone, you will receive alerts via email, text, and push notifications.

Additionally, you can divulge full access to the device’s tracking features to a family member or a friend so that you are not the only one looking out for your pet.

Whistle uses GPS technology for location tracking, Wi-Fi for creating safe zones, and cell coverage for data transfer between the device and the owner’s smartphone. The smartphone and the GPS dog tracker are paired using Bluetooth technology.

Activity and Fitness Tracker: Tractive GPS Device

Activity tracking with the Tractive GPS device lets you see how much time your pet spends sleeping, playing, or engaged in another such activity. 

By setting activity goals, you can ensure that your pets stay happy and healthy by getting the right amount of sleep and exercise. A bonus feature is that you can monitor your pet’s diet and stay on top of the amount of calories burned and consumed.

You can gain achievements, earn badges, beat personal records, AND share your accomplishments with friends and fellow pet owners.

Activity and Fitness Tracker: Whistle GPS Device

With the Whistle GPS tracking device, you will have access to 24-hour activity records in a graph format that includes data on distance traveled, calories burned, and rest and active times.

You can find out how intense your pet’s activity levels are and set custom activity goals to help cultivate good habits in your pets.

Don’t know what goals to set for your precious pet? Fear not because the Whistle app can set optimal goals for your pet depending on their weight, age, and breed.

Smartphone App: Tractive Tracker

The Tractive app is free of charge and compatible with iOS 11, Android 7.0, and upward, PC, and mobile browsers.

You can activate the GPS with Alexa as well.

As mentioned earlier, you can access all manners of information via this app if you have the GPS dog tracker. From your pet’s activity status, location data, and battery life, all the information you need to keep your pet happy, safe and healthy will be right at your fingertips.

tractive ios app

Smartphone App: Whistle GPS Dog Tracker

The Whistle app is free of charge and available for users of Android 5.0 and iOS 10.0 and above. 

It lets you see your pets’ current location and location history on Google maps.

The app can also check out your pets’ activity status, safe zone data, the device’s battery life, etc.

whistle ios app

Pricing, Subscription, Refunds, and Warranty: Tractive GPS Tracker

According to the Tractive website, the Tractive tracker is priced at $49.71. Shipping is free for purchases over $29.99.

You have to purchase a subscription plan to use the app’s features thoroughly, and subscription plans start at a monthly subscription of $4.

Tractive offers a 12-month guarantee and makes free replacements during the service window.

BEST DOG TRACKER
Tractive GPS Dog Tracker with box
Tractive GPS Tracker
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Pricing, Subscription, Refunds, and Warranty: Whistle GPS Dog Tracker

The Whistle Health device is priced at $44.95, the Health & GPS tracker is at $149.95, and the Health & GPS + tracker is priced at $199.95.

However, all three devices are currently available at discounted prices here! You can also enjoy free shipping and returns if you opt for Whistle.

Like with Tractive, a subscription plan is necessary to use the device. A monthly subscription costs $9.95, a yearly subscription is priced at $5.00 per month ($60 billed annually), and you can obtain a two-year subscription at $4.50 per month ($108 billed bi-anually).

They offer a 1-year warranty period, and you will receive a refund for the cost of the tracker if it is returned within 30 days. 

If you cancel the subscription plan within 90 days of starting the subscription, you will be reimbursed for the unused subscription’s value. This is calculated based on how much time remains on the subscription term.

BEST HEALTH & GPS TRACKER
Whistle pet tracker
Whistle Go Explore
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Consumer Reviews: Tractive GPS Tracker

The Tractive GPS device has an impressive rating of 4.5 out of 5 based on a staggering 10,153 reviews on their website. 

Peter I. wrote the following review regarding his experience with Tractive:

Tractive GPS Tracker Consumer review 1

Many other users have had similar positive experiences with Tractive, but it is worth noting that there is a sprinkling of bad reviews here and there. One such example is the review that Tom Shahood wrote, which goes as follows:

Tractive GPS Tracker Consumer review 2

Consumer Reviews: Whistle GPS Dog Tracker

The Whistle Go Explore device has a rating of 4 out of 5 stars on Amazon from 3,332 reviews and many positive reviews from happy pet owners.

“I have a smaller dog, and after using two other Whistle models, it’s great to have a collar that’s small enough to leave on my dog full time. The ability to swap the battery in a matter of seconds is a huge benefit. They finally nailed it for me with this model.”
Mike J.

But as with many products, some users haven’t had the best possible experience with their Whistle products. For example, Seah L. writes:

whistle Consumer review

Pros and Cons of the Tractive GPS Pet Tracker

Pros

Good durability as it is both waterproof and shockproof.
Good tracking features with live tracking and a history of your pet’s location.
You can set up virtual perimeters.
Relatively less expensive.

Cons

You need to purchase a subscription plan.
Battery life is not as good as the Whistle battery.

Pros and Cons of the Whistle GPS Pet Tracker

Pros

Excellent health and activity monitoring features.
High durability as it is waterproof and shockproof.
You can set up virtual perimeters.
Excellent battery life.
It does live tracking well.

Cons

A subscription plan is required.
Very pricey.

The Winner: Whistle GPS Pet Tracker

After weighing both products’ features, we’ve concluded that in the Tractive Vs. Whistle debate, the Whistle Pet Tracker, is the better product.

It would honestly be an issue if it weren’t the case, considering that Whistle is way more expensive.

That’s not to say that Tractive is not a good pet tracker.

For its price, Tractive does an outstanding job, and you should not take it out of consideration just yet.

Whistle pet tracker

If Whistle is outside of your budget, Tractive is an excellent alternative.

Tractive holds its ground in terms of design and features as it is- dare I say- somewhat superior to Whistle in design and offers many of the same features as Whistle. 

However, when it comes to battery life and live tracking- the essence of a pet tracker- Whistle comes out on top. Whistle lasts for more than ten days on an initial charge, while Tractive gets drained in less than half that time.

Whistle is also more accurate and instant in its live tracking and notifications than Tractive.

Other Comparisons:

Bottomline

While we’ve deemed that Whistle comes out on top in the Tractive Vs. Whistle showdown, you shouldn’t dismiss Tractive as an option, either.

If you’ve got the money, Whistle is a great choice.

But if you’re on a tight budget, Tractive will still get the job done.

Either way, you can rest assured that your bundles of joy will NOT be getting lost in the future! 

FAQs

The Whistle GPS is generally accurate within about 10 to 15 feet.

Its accuracy depends on many factors such as signal strength, thick tree coverage, bodies of water, etc.

You can only use the Whistle Pet Tracker if you purchase a subscription plan.

OUR #1 RECOMMENDATION
Whistle Go Explore
Whistle pet tracker
Accuracy
Range
Price

4.8

4.9

4.9

Overall Score

4.9

Pros
Activity tracking gives you a detailed overview of what your dog does and how it affects him.
A great way to stay ahead of the curve regarding your little buddy’s health.
Thanks to the cellular network connectivity system, the range is also amazing.
It has many features that make taking care of your dog much simpler than ever before.
The “no commitment” warranty system is fantastic and easy to work with.
Get the BEST PRICE until the end of September
Cons
The initial notification can take up to a minute to reach your phone.

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Author
Shir Weiss
Shir Weiss is a pet product reviewer for IPetGuides, and has been writing since 2019. She is a graduate of the University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine, and she has a special interest in animal behavior and nutrition.

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