Microchipping your pet is a great first step to keeping them safe, but, unfortunately, it’s passive. If your dog or cat runs off, you have to wait patiently for someone to find them and take them to the vet to be scanned, and then wait some more until the vet reaches out to you. Many pet owners have wished that they could be a little more proactive when one of their furry loved ones goes missing, which has led to the phenomenon of putting AirTags on pets. Read on to discover how to put an AirTag on your pet, plus the pros and cons of tracking an animal via an AirTag.
Do AirTags Work on Pets?
The short answer is yes, AirTags work on pets — even though Apple doesn’t endorse it. In fact, the company has said explicitly and publicly that AirTags should not be used to track people or pets. However, Apple probably said this to protect the company from potential legal action because it’s totally possible to put an AirTag collar on your pet.
To put an AirTag on your pet, pair it with your phone and assign it a name — or, since you’re using it to track a pet, type in a custom name. Then, confirm your email and phone number to register the AirTag to your Apple ID.
To mark your pet’s AirTag as lost, go to Find My > Items on your iPhone and tap the appropriate AirTag. Swipe up on the menu to reveal additional options and select “enable” under the Lost Mode heading. Hit “continue,” then enter the phone number or email you want people to contact and hit “next.” On the final page, select whether or not you want to be notified when the item is found, add what message you want to show up on the finder’s phone and hit “activate” to save everything.
Pros and Cons of AirTags for Pets
Now that you know that you can track your pet via an AirTag, you may be wondering if you should track your pet using an AirTag. While tracking a pet via an AirTag may sound fantastic in theory, it’s definitely a mixed bag in reality. To start off, here are some advantages to using AirTags for your pets:
- An AirTag plus a dog collar is much more affordable than GPS collars for dogs and cats, which cost hundreds of dollars.
- The AirTag is lightweight and water resistant, so it is comfortable and durable for your dog to wear.
- AirTags are great for finding pets, especially cats, who tend to hide within the house.
- It will display your contact information and instructions to anyone who taps their NFC smartphone against the AirTag.
- AirTag batteries last for one year, and you don’t have to worry about charging them.
- You can personalize the AirTag with your pet’s name.
While this list of pros may sound great, it also comes with some pretty big cons. Here’s a list of disadvantages of using an AirTag on your pet:
- The Bluetooth range is estimated to be only 800 feet, which isn’t big enough to find a lost dog on its own using just your phone.
- If you live in a lower populated area with spotty cell phone coverage, it’s unlikely that someone else with an iPhone will pass your dog and activate the Lost Mode.
- If you don’t choose the correct AirTag case for a dog collar, your dog might be able to remove the AirTag or otherwise damage it.
- You can set up a “separation alert” to go off if your dog leaves the Bluetooth range, but this will happen a lot and the sound can scare your dog.
- AirTags can only be connected to one Apple ID, so only one family member can see and track the pets at any given time.
Basically, an AirTag might be a viable and affordable option for tracking lost pets if you live in a populated area with good cell coverage where lots of people own iPhones. However, if you live in a more remote area with bad cell coverage and/or not a lot of people around, it might be worth it to invest in a GPS collar that doesn’t rely on other people’s phones to work.
If you don’t choose the right AirTag collar for your pet, they can remove it or damage it, thereby defeating the entire point of wearing an AirTag! At Case-Mate, we offer an entire range of durable and comfortable AirTag accessories, including AirTag cases for dog collars.