One of the leading GPS makers has hit on a new market for pet owners in the face of slumping sales.

I used to have a Miata and if you know Miatas, you know that they're tiny, like a pregnant roller skate. I remember years ago when my wife and I were riding along one night in our tiny car when two giant dogs darted out into the road.

My wife yelled, "Stop!" and we got out to chase down these huge dogs that were over 100 pounds each. When we got them, we noticed one of the dogs had a tag with a phone number and an address on it. But when we called the number, there was no answer.

So we loaded them into our car and drove about a mile and half to the address on the tag. This was before the era of cameras in cell phones, but wow, what a picture that would have been with our tiny car packed full of canines!

The owner was there and I remember the guy didn't seem happy that we brought back what I believe were his girlfriend's dogs!

This story would end there except that I saw a Sun Sentinel  article about a new Garmin device that's essentially a GPS for your dog. The Garmin GTU device attaches to a collar and allows you to track in real time where your dog is should it get lost.

The traditional GPS makers like Garmin, TomTom and Magellan have found their market demolished as the navigational tools in smart phones get better and better. Hardly anyone uses a standalone GPS unit anymore. It's gotten to the point that I sometimes see GPS units that once sold for $250 being unloaded for $39 on the deal-a-day sites like Woot.com, 1SaleaDay.com and DealNews.com, among others.

As the GPS makers look for a new market, I think they're really onto something here with this doggie GPS idea.

Image of Clark Howard About the author: Clark Howard

Clark Howard is a consumer expert whose goal is to help you keep more of the money you make. His national radio show and website show you ways to save more, spend less and avoid getting ripped off. View More Articles

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