Tracking technology seems like a no-brainer for pets, particularly those that have a penchant for roaming their hoods. It’s a horrible feeling when a dog or cat goes missing, mostly because you have no idea what happened. Is it just hanging out a bit long with a kid neighbor down the street? Did someone actually poach your pup? Or worse — is Scruffy lying somewhere by the side of a road?

Enter Tagg, the Pet Tracker gadget. At 3.18 x 1.49 x .77 inches an 1.16 ounces, it’s a small GPS device that can be worn on the collar. While it might be too chunky for teacup pups, this water-resistant product doesn’t look like a bad fit for medium-smallish animals and bigger pets. The owner creates an account, actives the gizmo and sets up a safe zone. Whenever Fido leaves the pre-defined area, you get an email or text message. You can even invite others to track your pet via email, which can come in very handy for sitters, or map their whereabouts online.

Of course, with any system like this, battery life is going to be key. It’s rated for 30 days, though this reviewer found that it didn’t measure up to real-world usage. (More like 3 or 4 days.) But at least the rechargeable gadget pushes out notifications when it’s running out of juice.

The best part is that iPhone and Android users (as well as VCast users) can map Fido’s whereabouts on their devices, get driving directions to his location and find vets, pet stores and dog parks nearby. It can even track multiple pets.

Pricing starts at $99.95 for 1 Tagg Tracker, 1 Docking Station, Collar Clip Assembly, and Power Kit. It also includes the first month free, with ongoing monthly service fees going for $7.95 for the first animal and $0.95 for each additional one.

I like this solution better than the alternatives. Other GPS collars seem rather huge and kind of pricey, and implanting a microchip actually does no good unless whoever finds the pup has a compatible reader. (Plus, the thought makes me a little squeamish. The embed can move under the skin, making it tough to find.)

Do you have some sort of tracking device or system for your pet? Tell us what you’re using and if you’re satisfied with the gadget or service.

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