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I tested Minitailz’ AI-powered pet tracker, and it solved my biggest pain point as a dog owner

Invoxia Minitailz on Dog Collar

Sabrina Ortiz/ZDNET

ZDNET’s key takeaways

  • Invoxia’s Minitailz Health and GPS Tracker retails for $99 on Amazon or the company website. An additional subscription cost is required.
  • The tracker helps eliminate the guesswork about your dog’s whereabouts by tracking its location, activity, and even some biometrics. 
  • The subscription cost to use the tracker is more expensive than the actual hardware, making it a long-term investment. 

A year ago, I adopted my first dog, a Yorkshire Terrier named Jimmy. Little did I know that with the cute face and floppy years also came loads of parenting anxiety, made real by a $2,000 emergency vet bill. As a result, when I saw the Minitailz Health & GPS Tracker at CES 2024, I had to have it. 

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Leveraging AI and other advanced tech, the gadget tracks your dog’s location, activity, and biometrics, such as walking, playing, running, sleeping, and eating times and heart and respiratory resting rates. These capabilities earned it the “best innovation in the AI category” recognition at CES. 

View at Amazon

In the box, you get Minitailz, a USB-C charger, and the ring to attach it to your dog’s collar. To place it onto your dog’s collar, you just slip it right through the opening. Then, just download the app, create an account, select a subscription of either $129.95 for one year or $229.95 for two years, and you are ready to go. 

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To get the most out of your Minitailz, you need to let it gather as much information about your dog as possible, so it should be kept on your dog all day and night. To ensure that my experience with the gadget was as accurate and optimized as possible, I kept it on Jimmy’s collar for over three months, and the information it gathered in that time was impressive.

As advertised, it presents all the health and activity insights in a way that is easy to read, access, and understand, as shown in the photos below. However, even though it’s nice to have access to all this data, if I am being honest, I rarely look at it. My favorite feature of the app is the daily reports. 

Minitailz data insights

Sabrina Ortiz/ZDNET

The reports present all the data collected in the past 24 hours in a fun, comprehensive way, adding necessary context where it can be helpful, such as comparing your dog’s vitals to those of others in the Minitailz community. This is especially useful because, according to the company, a higher-than-normal resting respiratory rate can indicate impending heart failure, so having these insights into Jimmy’s health gives me peace of mind. 

As a crazy dog mom, this feature alone is worth the investment because it helps bridge the communication gap with my four-legged friend. It shows me things Jimmy can’t express, such as whether he had enough playtime, walks, exercise, and a good night’s sleep. 

Minitailz Daily Report

Sabrina Ortiz/ZDNET

The second best feature is the activity notifications. When I write stories from the office, my partner works from home and cares for Jimmy. Instead of feeling like I am missing out, I get notifications on my phone that Jimmy went on a walk, got in a car, or is currently playing. This feature would be especially useful if you leave your pet at a doggy daycare or with a sitter to ensure everything is going according to schedule. 

The only caveat is that sometimes it cannot accurately decipher whether Jimmy has the zoomies or is on an actual walk. This caused my partner to call me panicked once, thinking Jimmy had broken out of the apartment when, in reality, he was running around the living room playing with his toys. 

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Another great feature for concerned dog parents is the GPS feature, which tracks the pet’s location. Compared to the Apple Air Tag, it refreshes less quickly. However, the advantage is that it won’t start beeping if you are away for too long. Another perk is that, unlike the AirTag, it is rechargeable, ensuring you control how much battery it has instead of just dying randomly. 

The Minitailz’s fantastic battery life is also a highlight. It was advertised as lasting two whole weeks, and in my experience, that is accurate. My favorite part is that it notifies you via emails and phone pushes that your pup’s battery is running low, making it impossible to miss. I also shared my account login with my partner, which doubles the amount of people who have access to all of Jimmy’s insights and needs. 

ZDNET’s buying advice

If you’re a data aficionado and, as a result, a fan of wearables, this gadget is for you and your pet. With the Minitailz, you can access similar insights you get on your smartwatch or fitness tracker for your furry friend. Ultimately, this data helped me learn more about my pet’s needs through the comprehensive health data. However, if you don’t see the value of having a ton of metrics that aren’t necessarily actionable because of the steep subscription cost, I would skip it.  

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