Pawscout is a Bluetooth enabled dog or cat tag tracker that attaches to your furry friend’s collar and connects with a companion app to clue you in on your dog’s whereabouts. If your dog is lost, you can also count on other Pawscouters who come across your pet to identify it, get information on possible medical conditions, and hopefully reach out to you. For just under $20, Pawscout is a decent enough purchase to safeguard from lost-pet heartbreak, but it does have its limitations.
Set-Up and App Connection
Setting up the Pawscout is fairly easy and on par with most Bluetooth-connected devices. It comes with two batteries included, each which is promoted to last six months. My first one lasted two weeks. I switched to the second battery and it is still going strong. After downloading the Pawscout app (available both on iOS and Android), and powering through the ongoing upsell of custom name tags, you set up a profile of your dog so that others can recognize it along with medical conditions or general info they should know about for your pet. That profiles pairs with the tag that you attach to your dog either by a metal loop or by using flush mount loops that lay flat against the collar. The latter is definitely the more comfortable of the two options since a dangling Pawscout is heavier than it is comfortable while they run and shake it, but barely noticeable when flush mounted.
Tracking You Furry Friend
From the App, you can see where your dog is on the map. You can log tracked walks. You can report the pup missing if necessary, alerting other users who come near it. Most importantly, you can enable and disable the leash.
Pawscout demands “Always” on Location Services. This means that while allowing that, you will see that little blue location hijack button on your iPhone all the time. What’s more, is that app takes priority over even Google Maps so if you are used to clicking on the blue to return to the map, it takes you to Pawscout, which is very annoying.
An ever-present blue hijack corner can be avoided by using Pawscout, not all the time, but in camping/walk scenarios where the dog is most likely to wander off and need the tracker. The range is 300 feet and thus you cannot just wait and turn it on only when the pet is lost. It needs to be on from the start of the walk. Since there is no interior tracking feature worth speaking of, it makes sense to do this anyways. There is no need to have it on while the pet is inside. So think of Pawscout as a virtual leash you use only while on a walk or camping, rather than something that works 24/7.
Pawscout asks you to have family members join so they too can track your pet when needed. If you do that, prep them on it being an “only while out” tracker, because they will (and did) get frustrated at the harassment of the app.
The Bottom Line
Nearly anything is worth avoiding the stress of a lost pet and for around $20 (currently on Amazon for just $13.49), Pawscout offers a virtual leash system of about 300 feet that must be turned on and connected before a pet gets lost, not after. The App offers a map to track it with, walk logging capabilities and lost dog alerts so other users may be able to help.
The community features are still pretty barren but the medical information you can share about your dog may be life-saving if it is needed (hopefully it won’t be). We recommend using Pawscout only on walks or outings where you may have a wandering pup. Using it all the time results in inconvenient location services demands that are too obtrusive. Pawscout comes with two batteries, several flush mount tag attachment options, and a free app.