These handy new devices are designed for keeping track of things we lose every day like keys, wallets, and backpacks. But could they also be used to keep track of pets?

By Abbie Harrison
May 19, 2021
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using Apple's Airtag to find your dog
Credit: Courtesy of Apple

Ever since my husband went on an hours-long run in the woods by our house looking for our lost dog (don't worry—after she had all her fun, she walked herself home), we've been researching dog GPS trackers so that if her hound nose ever takes her on another adventure, we could track her down.

Apple's AirTag is an easy way to keep track of lost items (and their answer to similar products on the market), and now many people are wondering if the button-sized AirTag could work for dogs. It sounds genius in theory, but it's important to keep a few things in mind before attaching an AirTag to your pet's collar.

In an interview with Fast Company, Kaiann Dance, Apple's VP of worldwide iPhone product marketing, cautioned against using the device for pets. Because AirTag works by sending out a Bluetooth signal that's detected by other devices in the Find My network, Drance said that in order to be tracked, your pet has to be in range of the network.

So in my case, it might not have worked to help find our dog in the middle of the woods where there aren't a bunch of people on their iPhones. And it goes without saying, but microchipping your pet is the best practice to reunite you and your furry friend if you were ever separated. Any other trackers can be used as back-up options for additional peace of mind.

The Apple AirTag is available for $29, which makes it a pretty affordable way to add another layer of protection. A keychain with a leather or silicone protective case will keep it clipped to your dog's collar—just remember that the device is not waterproof. The company Wairco has debuted the Snap Case, a pet-specific, waterproof case that's up for preorder now; and we anticipate more companies will soon follow suit. Here are some other Airtag pet collar attachments options we like: