Can an AirTag be used on a dog collar safely? Is this even a good idea?

Do you have a dog and want to track it? You may want take an AirTag and snap it onto your pup’s collar. It will keep track of your dog when playing in the yard and also on walks when he can’t resist the temptation to chase a squirrel.

Why you Should Use an AirTag
to track your dog

✅ Affordability

Dog trackers are no joke. They can be Dear, especially if they are equipped with GPS or cellular communications. Those that are cellular may also require a monthly subscription with the service or a mobile carrier. AirTags are a much more affordable single solution.

Once you purchase an AirTag, you can use it for tracking at no additional monthly cost. Compare them $29 with the Garmin Astro which costs $699 or the Fi necklace which is $129 and requires a monthly cell plan.

✅ Easy fixing

There are a wide variety of accessories you can use with an AirTag. Belkin, Speck and others make AirTag holders that connect via a key fob or a loop. The are even dog collars that have a dedicated pocket for the AirTag. Just make sure the AirTag is securely attached. A blow through a rough brush could easily tear off an AirTag that was not firmly attached.

✅ Effective

In high traffic areas, an AirTag can be an effective tool for locating lost devices. We’ve heard of people finding stolen motorcycles or even tracking down trash with an AirTag. Personally, I have located keys that flew out of my pocket during a ride at a local fair. Without the AirTag, I would never have found my keys in the crowded fairgrounds. The AirTag would work just as well for finding a lost dog in an urban or suburban environment.

Get AirTags here

Why you Should not Use an AirTag
to track your dog

🚫 Not reliable in rural areas

Apple doesn’t recommend that you use an AirTag on your dog, but don’t let that official advice completely discourage you. It’s not that the AirTag won’t work on a dog, it will, but its ability to track your dog is limited.

As Apple’s Kaiann Drance, vice president of worldwide iPhone product marketing, points out, “If people are doing that (putting an AirTag on a pet), they just have to make sure their moving pet is within range of a device on the ‌Find My‌ network so that its location can be tracked.

In the real world, the AirTag has no GPS. It only records a location when it encounters an iOS device in the wild. If you’re hiking a lonely mountain trail and your dog runs away, you probably won’t be able to find him using your AirTag.

Walking in a city is another story. A city street is probably filled with iPhones, each recording your dog’s location. You would be able to see their location and watch them move from block to block.

🚫 Size

Another limitation of the AirTag is its size. The AirTag isn’t the world’s smallest tracker. Although it can be carried easily by a medium-sized dog, it can be a bit bulky for a small dog like a Chihuahua or a Dachshund. The dog not only wears the tracker, he must also wear a collar large enough to accommodate an AirTag or an accessory pouch attached to the collar.

🚫 Bite or Scratch

Many people leave the tracker dangling like a name tag, but that may not be ideal. An AirTag hanging around your dog’s neck can be very tempting. It can get your dog’s attention, prompting him to scratch or even bite it if it’s within reach. Once a dog gets their hands on an AirTag, you have to say goodbye to that AirTag.

Elizabeth J. Harless