Last Updated on June, 2023
Pet owners love to be in control of what their little buddy does. They want to know where they are, what they’re up to and keep track of their every move. This is especially true for dog owners because most dogs tend to be energetic.
With the help of pet trackers, taking care of the little guys becomes much more accessible. A pet tracker lets you know where they are at all times while having certain other features that can be pretty nice. More and more people are using these to keep their pets safe.
The Whistle GO Explore is one GPS tracker in particular that’s making waves recently, and we’re going to review it today. We did some research and testing to see just how good it is, and you can see our thoughts on every crucial detail regarding it below!
Table of Contents
- Whistle GO Explore: An Overview of the Device
- What is a Whistle Collar?
- How Does Whistle GO Explore Work?
- What Comes in the Packaging?
- Whistle GO App
- What are All the Features of the Whistle GO Explore?
- Price of Whistle Go Explore
- Is Whistle GO Explore Worth it?
- Customer Reviews for the GO Explore
- The Pros and Cons of This Device
Whistle GO Explore: An Overview of the Device
A good tracker can completely transform how you look after your dog, and the Whistle GO Explore is capable of that. It’s an excellent location tracking device with an extraordinary battery life that also functions as a dog collar.
On top of that, it features a highly durable design, waterproof build, a night light, and all kinds of other features. At first view, this Whistle GPS pet tracker seems like the best thing since sliced bread for any worried dog owner.
Let’s see just how good it is by taking a deeper look into its features, functioning, and other essential aspects of its working.
What is a Whistle Collar?
There are currently three collars from the brand Whistle, all of which are distinct in their ways. First is the Whistle Fit, which is just for tracking your dog’s health. Then there’s the Whistle GO and the Whistle GO Explore, which are GPS trackers. They tell you about a pet’s health, as well as your pet’s location information.
The significant difference between these models is that the Whistle GO Explore, the Whistle device we’re reviewing today, has a much longer battery life and many new features. It keeps track of fitness in various ways while tracking certain parts of your pet’s activity.
How Does Whistle GO Explore Work?
This device responsible for tracking your dog’s location constantly depends on the location itself. That’s because the Whistle GO Explore can only monitor all the areas your dog goes to in real-time thanks to AT&T’s cellular network.
Without cell phone coverage, this GPS tracking smart collar can’t function. It uses AT&T’s network with Google Maps to determine the dog’s location. It makes the most of a satellite’s tracking capabilities and tells your dog’s exact position by conveying it to your phone. This is possible through the Whistle app, which we’ll also discuss some more later.
The tracking unit is very reliable and effective, but remember that’s only the case in specific locations. Anywhere with inadequate coverage will cause problems for this GPS pet tracker since it won’t be able to communicate with satellites or your device correctly.
A significant advantage of using coverage is that the device doesn’t have a limiting range. Your dog can go hundreds or even thousands of yards away, and your phone will still be able to communicate with the GPS tracker.
Unlike other dog trackers that use Bluetooth, which can cause issues across only a short distance, cell coverage allows this device to go much further beyond. Your dog can go anywhere and you’ll still be able to keep track of the little guy. The track mode remains active, so you can quickly locate a lost pet.
Across the entire US and Canada, the device mainly functions quite well. But, it’s a complete miss anywhere beyond these two nations. Inside these countries, you can use it in any dog park, neighborhood, or area without worry.
Just keep in mind that upper regions like mountains might struggle with reception.
What Comes in the Packaging?
Now that you know how the device works, it’s essential to look at what it offers. Naturally, the first thing we’ll start with is everything that’s included in the package since it’s the first thing you’ll be interacting with. Here’s a quick rundown of each thing:
- The Whistle tracker unit itself (the main component of the Whistle GO Explore).
- A snap attachment for your pet’s collar. This accessory from Whistle Labs helps their devices stay firmly attached to the collar.
- A hook & loop collar attachment. This can fit any harness larger than a single inch, making the Whistle GO Explore accessible for even small dogs.
- A micro-USB cable that lets you charge the device.
Along with the Whistle GO Explore, you can purchase a collar or leash from the brand to go along with it. These are much better suited to their device since they’re specifically designed to work with the trackers, making them more comfortable for your dog than other collars.
Whistle GO App
Before we finally get down to discussing the features, one crucial detail left to cover is the phone app. To put it frankly, this app is what’s responsible for making the Whistle GO Explore as easy to use and effective as it is.
It allows the device to communicate with your phone and gives you a detailed overview of all the most essential information regarding your dog. It recognizes when your dog does important things like playing, running around, or when he misses out on something important.
The app even keeps track of statistics, such as “time spent resting”. Through the app, you can even track multiple pets since it lets you easily switch between information for different Whistle collars and the dogs that are wearing them. That’s great for anyone who owns multiple dogs.
One thing we loved especially was how the app allows multiple safe zones. Many applications like these are limited to a single safe zone, which can be bothersome. But, the Whistle app keeps track of several points. If you’re unfamiliar with these zones, we’ll explain them more below.
There’s more to discuss regarding the Whistle app, but you’ll have to learn about some features to understand how helpful these things are. So, let’s get started by talking about this device’s capabilities and features.
What are All the Features of the Whistle GO Explore?
There are lots of great things to go over when it comes to this GPS pet tracker. It has many neat features that make usage much more convenient and make it much easier to take care of your dog. Let’s go over some of them to give you a better idea of what the device has to offer:
Let’s start with one of the tracker’s best features: health insights. These are part of what makes this device increasingly popular and a big reason so many people opt to go for it. It’s a huge step up from most other collars because of this alone.
There are lots of essential aspects of your dog’s health that it keeps track of. For example, it tracks their sleep, time spent licking, resting, scratching, and even drinking.
If you have multiple dogs, you’ll find these features especially useful since you can keep track of each dog’s drinking habits, sleep, and more.
It even keeps track of essential details such as disruptions during sleep or irregularities in drinking. Remember that the numbers and charts created from this data aren’t entirely accurate, but they’re relatively good estimates that can give you an idea of how your dog is doing.
What’s more, the application takes the responsibility of making things easier for you by converting everything into tables or charts you can easily understand. It also provides health summaries and weekly wellness reports that you can quickly review to get an idea of each thing if you don’t want to sit around and do the math for every little detail.
Based on all the helpful information the application provides, you can quickly determine just how good your dog’s health is. If there’s anything irregular, dog owners can quickly pick it up thanks to the app and contact a vet for help. Speaking of which, that brings us to our next feature.
Being a smart collar, it also considers your dog’s size. The needs of a small dog are much more different than that of a larger dog. The app differentiates between them to make sure suggestions and numbers you get are accurate, which is something we liked a lot.
This is a cool feature you’ll find in the app for this device. Once you have all the data from health insights, you can quickly contact a vet right on the spot.
The app lets you reach out to experts and show them the data it collected on your pup.
That way, the job is much easier for them and you. It saves you a lot of time and is highly convenient for everyone involved, especially your dog, since you can immediately learn about the help they need if necessary.
The only real downside is that this feature isn’t free permanently. It has a trial run, but you’ll have to start paying to use it.
Another difference between the standard GO and GO Explore models is that the latter has a built-in LED light. This is very useful for taking a walk in the dark or when you can’t find your dog in a tight spot. It’s also great for anyone that doesn’t have the best vision.
This night light on the collar acts as a significant bit of added visibility between dogs and their owners. You can switch it on/off at any given moment through the app, and there are three modes to choose between: slow flashing, fast flashing, and simply on.
One problem, though, is that the light doesn’t turn on immediately. Depending on how far away your phone is from the device, it can take more than half a minute to 2 minutes to turn on. Other than that, the light itself is very bright. It’s capable of efficiently lighting up the area around your dog, making late-night walks or spotting the little guy much easier.
Lost Dog Retrieval
Speaking of things that help when you can’t find your pet, it doesn’t get much better than the Whistle GO Explore’s lost dog tracking.
You can get detailed information on your pet’s location by simply hitting the “track” button on the app.
A simple click of this will tell you everything you need to know.
It’ll show the little guy’s position if he’s moving fast or just walking around somewhere and even shows a plot of the path he traveled by examining location history.
I mean, come on. Do we really need to say anything more about how all of this is extremely useful for any dog owner? Anyone that loves the little guys and wants to watch out for them will love this feature on the GO Explore, just like we did.
A neat feature we loved using on the Whistle GO Explore was its ability to track a dog’s calories burnt and overall diet.
The app features a vast database that features all kinds of different dog food brands and their products.
The app will ask you all kinds of questions when you download it. One of them will be regarding the things that your dog eats regularly.
It knows the ingredients and nutritional information for each dog food in its database and can easily track your dog’s calories per day.
On top of that, the collar is good at noticing how many calories the little guy burns daily. It even differentiates between those burnt during rest and those burnt during activities such as running or playing. That’s quite useful for seeing just how energetic and active your dog is and how much of an effect it’s having on his health.
As for the diet tracking feature in general, we love this because it helped us plan out our dogs’ diets much better. By calculating the nutrition in their food, considering the ingredients, checking the daily calories burnt, and putting it all together, it helped us determine an ideal diet for each dog.
Lots of people have multiple dogs, and they also have multiple people living with them. That’s why the Whistle GO Explore comes with a “family trips” feature that takes into account other people taking the dog out for a walk or just to play around.
When this feature is enabled, it allows the collar to connect to trusted devices around the one primary device.
That way, family members, friends, or even a dog walker can take your pup out without the tracker giving false alerts that the little guy left his safe zone unattended.
It’s already well established that this device isn’t your regular pet tracker. It’s much more than that and much more effective as well. Perhaps the most impressive thing it’s capable of is activity tracking. While this sounds very simple initially, the amount of detail that comes with this feature is astonishing.
There’s a tab for activities in the app that lets you see just how much time your dog has spent doing certain things.
This includes the details of their rest, distance walked, how much they’ve been playing, running around, and active time in their daily schedule.
By combining the GPS’ capabilities with the collar and app’s features, it can provide a detailed analysis of how many things. This includes what time he did specific things, exactly how much time he spent doing them, how many calories he burned in the process, and the distance covered during it.
Logs are recorded for all of these activities throughout each day of the week, and the app can provide you with a full report based on it. It even lets you know when the little guy seemingly misses out on activities that are supposed to be a part of his schedule, like walks, swimming, naps, or anything else.
SEE ALSO: Which Dog Activity Trackers are our #1 pick?
There are lots of other neat things to account for too. For example, you can set reminders to ensure you and your pet don’t miss out on important things, such as nail trimmings, vet visits, and more. You can also create entire daily schedules for separate days of the week.
Both you and your pup can follow these to lead healthier lives, which is a good thing for obvious reasons.
Similarly, there are many nice things to enjoy about the product, and you can take full advantage of them by purchasing and using this GPS tracking unit.
Battery life is one of the most important things regarding devices like this. Why’s that? The answer is very, very simple.
What’s the point of using a device to keep track of your pet if that device only has a couple of hours’ worth of battery life? That’s just begging to get the poor little guy into trouble. That’s not a problem with this tracker, though, since it has an exceptional battery life capable of lasting weeks.
Despite its great features and functionality, the tracker can run for up to 20 days after a full charge. The battery life is one of its best things, as it’s virtually impossible for the battery to run out anytime soon once you fully power it up. There’s also a power save mode that helps potentially extend this battery life even further.
Still, we charged it every few days to ensure its battery life remained full in case something unfortunate happened. We advise that you do the same, just in case your dog gets lost or something else happens, as the device will be vital in recovering the little guy.
As for charging it, we’ve already mentioned that a micro-USB charger comes with the package. This quickly charges the tracker to the max, so you don’t have to worry about the battery taking as long to fill as it does to drain.
Price of Whistle Go Explore
So, all of these great features and other things that we’ve mentioned so far, how much do they cost? Well, the tracker itself is currently on sale for $119.96, but the original purchase price of the product is $149.95.
That’s not much at all, given the things that Whistle’s unit is capable of.
Well, at least that’s what you might be thinking. But, the payment isn’t a one-time thing.
Surely you’re familiar with Netflix, right? Or Amazon Prime? Disney+? Hulu? Basically, any streaming service, for that matter. Well, if you’re familiar with them, you know that a subscription is needed to keep on using them. Otherwise, you get locked out.
Well, that’s the case with the Whistle GO Explore. This device is $149.95 during the initial purchase, and then you have to purchase a plan to go with it. This plan lets you keep using features such as the GPS tracking that comes with the smart collar.
Frankly speaking, it’s not much use at all without the plan. Luckily though, these plans aren’t that expensive. You can get them monthly, which costs $12.99/mo. Then there are annual and bi-annual options as well.
The annual option costs $8.25/mo. That’s a much better option than the monthly if you have the funds to spare immediately. Then there’s the two-year plan/bi-annual, which costs $8.00 a month. On the plus side, if you buy any of these plans with the device immediately, you’ll get $10 off the Whistle GO Explore.
Whether or not the entire system and its features are worth paying for on a subscription basis is worth it; that’s for you to decide since it’s your money. We’ll share our own opinion on the matter later. For now, let’s discuss warranties and other essential details next:
Warranty and Refund
One thing that made the purchase decision much easier for us was the “no-commitment” system that Whistle has set up. This system means that you don’t have to worry about wasting your money when it comes to their trackers.
The company is confident in your satisfaction, which is why they offer all customers a 90-day trial period. If anyone decides they don’t like the tracker or can’t use it for whatever reason, they’ll be given a full refund within 90 days.
Getting a refund is very easy for anyone because of this. Simply contact the brand’s customer support and talk to them about why you want one in the first place. After that, they’ll ask for some details, and you’ll be able to get your money back in no time!
Where to Buy?
Whistle GO Explore is available for purchase at the brand’s official website. You can get it, along with the plans we mentioned, from there. It’s the most reliable option since you’ll be dealing with the company itself, and there’s no third party involved.
As for other reliable retailers, the product is also available on Amazon. These are the only two options that we’ll recommend to our readers. Any other website might not be safe enough and could land you into trouble if you purchase online from it.
Is Whistle GO Explore Worth it?
Simply put, the Whistle GO Explore is worth it to us. We’re big fans of keeping our dogs safe, and it’s easier than ever, thanks to this device. Taking care of their needs and becoming better pet parents became much, much easier for us thanks to it.
So, to us, this subscription-based device is worth trying out. Something that helped our decision to test it out was the warranty, and it’s something you should consider too. The investment is generally risk-free, meaning you can try it out whenever you have the budget without worrying about wasting a single penny.
Customer Reviews for the GO Explore
To give you a better idea of how this tracker’s performance is, we’ve compiled a few user reviews on it. Give them a read to see how others liked it:
This review shares a good example of just how helpful the tracking features can be.
A detailed look at how it’s a good device while also discussing certain flaws users can run into.
This reviewer really wasn’t a fan of durability, and they’ve shared exactly why that’s the case.
The Pros and Cons of This Device
Before we wrap things up, let’s go through some of the best things the Whistle GO Explore has to offer:
Not everything is sunshine and rainbows with the Whistle GO Explore. There are a few negatives to take into account too. Let’s take a look at what these are:
Other Dog trackers we’ve compared whistle with:
Now that you know our two cents about the Whistle GO Explore, what’s your view on this device? To us, it’s a great safety tool for your dog that lets you do a lot more than most trackers would since it also focuses on their health.
Thanks to the app, the device provides detailed information in every aspect while being very easy to use. We didn’t have huge issues with it, but of course, everyone’s experiences are unique, and so are their opinions.
Because of the hassle-free warranty, we’d recommend giving the device a go since we’re big fans. It’s a risk-free investment, and you might love what you find in the Whistle tracker as it’s a neat little gadget packed with all kinds of great features.
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