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CES: A New Trick for Old Dogs — GPS Tracking

Kelli B. Grant

Senior consumer reporter and “Deal of Day” columnist Kelli B. Grant travels to Las Vegas to find the best, the worst, and the most hyped gadgets at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show. Join her as she roams the exhibit floor for three days, with dispatches here and on Twitter @kellibgrant.

Pet owners must often rely on scannable microchips and the kindness of strangers to reunite them with a lost pet. Now, a new device uses GPS tracking enabling Fido to automatically text his whereabouts if he gets lost or simply needs to hot-foot it home for his supper.

A $99 Tagg kit comes with a GPS-enabled chip (“basically, a mini cellphone,” says a spokeswoman) that snaps on to your dog’s existing collar, as well as a charging station. The first month of service is free, and costs $8 a month thereafter.

For that fee, owners receive alerts via text, or on the linked app for Apple and Andriod phones, any time their pet leaves a pre-set area. They can also actively hunt for their pet as needed. Something else to be aware of: The battery can last up to 30 days, but this will vary based on usage patterns.

The spokeswoman says Tagg is fairly secure on the collar, so it’s unlikely to get knocked off. But it’s still important to get your pet microchipped — many pets become lost because they slip out of their collars, says Melissa Morgan, an adoption counselor for rescue group Stray From the Heart.

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