Tractive lets you track your pet’s location in realtime using 3G-based GPS

One of the biggest fears of any pet owner is having their dog or cat escape from the house and disappear out into the world, never to be seen again. But a handy new device from a company called Tractive looks to eliminate that fear forever. The gadget brings realtime pet tracking capabilities to smartphones, allowing owners to determine the whereabouts of their furry friends at any time and making it much easier to find them should they runaway.

The Tractive GPS Pet Tracker is a small, lightweight device that is clips directly onto a pet’s collar. It features an onboard GPS chip that tracks the whereabouts of the gadget — and the pet it is attached to — at all times. But what makes the tracker unique is that it is also equipped with a 3G cellular connection, giving it the ability to transmit its coordinates back to the user, who can then see that location in realtime using an app for iOS and Android.

Tractive

In addition to displaying a pet’s current location on a map, Tractive users can also use the app to define a virtual “safe zone.” If the animal wanders outside of that area for any reason, the owner will automatically receive an alert on his or her smartphone. The app even allows users to track their pet’s path over the previous 24 hour period and it will also send a notification when the device’s battery starts to run low.

Tractive has partnered with a number of local cell phone providers across the globe to extend its coverage dramatically. Its tracking service now works in over 80 countries, including all of North America, Australia and Europe, as well as much of South America and Asia as well. And since the device operates on 3G networks, it is able to provide relatively fast and accurate tracking updates at all times.

Tractive has just launched its 3G service in the U.S. for the first time and is selling the new device for $70. Owners of the company’s first generation tracking device are eligible for a 50 percent discount when they upgrade to the 3G GPS Tracker.  A monthly subscription fee of $5 is required.