Should You Put an AirTag on Your Dog’s Collar?Reading Time: 4 minutes
AirTags make it easier than ever to find lost objects that you attached them to. But should you buy an AirTag to track your dog? Let’s find out.
For many people, dogs are part of the family. Many dog owners splurge on expensive food, endless toys, and even doggy birthday parties. If you’re dog-obsessed, just thinking about life without your furry friend might bring a tear to your eye.
One of the biggest concerns of dog owners, especially if it’s an expensive breed, is probably their pet wandering off and getting lost or potentially even stolen. As a result, many wonder if Apple’s AirTags could be a better way to keep tabs on their animals.
So, here’s what you need to know about putting an AirTag on your dog’s collar.
What Apple Says About AirTags and Pets
There are many reasons you should buy an AirTag, but Apple’s official stance on AirTags is that they aren’t designed for tracking your pets.
In an interview with Fast Company, Apple executive Kaiann Drance clarified that AirTags are for tracking objects, not people or pets. However, she also said, ‘If people do that, [track pets], they just have to make sure that their moving pet gets into range of a device in the Find My network.’
So, even though Apple doesn’t officially recommend putting an AirTag on your dog’s collar, the company is well-aware that some people will probably try it anyway.
Can an AirTag Actually Track Your Dog?
If you do decide to upgrade your dog’s collar with an AirTag, there are a few things to keep in mind.
AirTags operate on the Find My network, the same system that powers tracking for lost iPhones. You can also set up Find My on your Mac, and accessories like AirPods. Although Apple’s Find My network has hundreds of millions of devices connected to it, any lost items need to be in the range of one of those devices to join the network.
If your dog goes missing in a dense urban area with lots of iPhone owners around, you should be able to track them with an AirTag without any issues. But if you live in a rural area, or if your dog decides to run off into the woods, your dog’s AirTag will probably be too far off-grid to be tracked.
Are AirTags Safe for Your Dog?
You should take your pet’s size and strength into consideration when thinking about using an AirTag as a way to track them.
AirTags have a diameter of about 1.26 inches (31.9mm) and weigh about 0.39 ounces (11 grams) each. Before committing to the hefty price tag of an AirTag, you might want to see how your dog deals with something around the same size and weight as an AirTag. You should also consider the weight of the accessories you’ll need to use an AirTag with your dog.
And even though AirTags are relatively compact, that small size might be a problem for your pets. If your dog decides to turn their AirTag into a chew toy, it could be a potential choking hazard for them.
If you do lose an AirTag, they’re designed to emit a loud beep from time to time to help you find them. That comes in handy when you lose your keys, but your pet is unlikely to appreciate the noise. Think about how your pet handles loud sounds before putting an AirTag on their collar. Even if they’re usually good with noise, that could change if they’re stressed out from being lost or separated from you.
Are AirTags Durable Enough for Your Dog?
AirTags work well in harsh environments, and they’re dust and water-resistant. They’re also good at withstanding a range of different temperatures. So whether your dog decides to run away in the middle of the summer or the winter, an AirTag should be able to track them without any issues.
But even though AirTags are IP67 water-resistant, they’re not waterproof. So while they can definitely survive light rain and being submerged from time to time, if you’ve got an active dog that’s constantly in and out of the water, an AirTag in its collar could eventually become damaged due to constant water exposure.
What if Someone Finds or Steals Your Dog?
AirTags have some built-in anti-stalking features designed to keep humans safe, but those same features could make an AirTag less useful as a tracker for your dog.
If an AirTag is separated from the iPhone it’s paired with for more than eight hours, it will start emitting an audible alarm. That makes it easier to know if you’re being stalked with an AirTag, but it’s also a dead giveaway to a dog thief that someone is looking for them.
But an AirTag can be a lifesaver if a good samaritan finds your dog. Activating Lost Mode on an AirTag will let you send a message and share your contact information with whoever’s found your AirTag. All they need to do is hold their iPhone next to the AirTag, and they’ll receive a notification giving them the details.
AirTags can be a valuable tool for finding your dog if the other person has good intentions.
Tips for Using AirTags With Your Dog
If you’re buying an AirTag for your dog, it’s important to hide it well. If a thief gets their hands on your dog, one of the first things they’ll probably do is remove any identification on it. So if they spot an AirTag, it’ll probably be one of the first things to go. So, if your dog is large enough, you might want to consider hiding the AirTag within its collar to ensure it stays out of sight.
Also, remember to keep yourself safe even if you find your dog’s location with an AirTag. Never go searching for your dog in people’s homes or other questionable locations.
If you decide to meet with the person who found your pet, make sure it’s in a public location and let someone know where you’re headed. And if you suspect that someone stole your pet, don’t confront the thief yourself.
So, Are AirTags Right for Your Dog?
At the end of the day, Apple didn’t design AirTags as pet trackers. But if you do decide to put an AirTag on your dog’s collar, know that Apple claims no responsibility if something goes wrong.
As long as you understand the risks, AirTags can be a valuable tool for keeping your dog safe. Although it’s not a foolproof solution, putting an AirTag on your dog’s collar might help you sleep better at night.