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Should You Put an AirTag on Your Pet’s Collar?

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It’s no secret that for many of us, our pets are part of our families. We may even like them more than we like other people. We splurge on expensive food, endless toys, routine medication, and even birthday parties. Just thinking about a life without our furry friends may bring tears to our eyes.

Many pet lovers won’t be able to sleep at night knowing their favorite animal is at risk of loss or theft. This particular fear is real when they have an adventurous spirit that craves for the outside world. Here’s how an AirTag can help with that.

What Is an AirTag?

An AirTag shown in the packaging after being unboxed

The AirTag works by utilizing Apple's expansive Find My network. Using the Find My network, AirTags can be located anywhere in the world as long as an iPhone is within a relatively close proximity. The Find My network can even work offline and is integrated to every iPhone upon purchase.

The AirTag was marketed as a way to keep track of important items like wallets, bags, and keys. For items prone to loss, the AirTag can reveal their general location on a map and their precise location using its locator arrows.

During its initial launch, Apple was criticized for how the AirTag could possibly be used for stalking. Due to its small, unassuming appearance, it was possible to slip it into someone’s coat or purse without them realizing it. Various tests by external reporters helped validate how it was not only possible, but also straightforward to do.

While consent among human beings is necessary, this unusual use for the AirTag sparked interest from pet owners everywhere. If the AirTag could be used to track human beings, could it also be used for pets? If yes, is it actually a good idea?

Should You Put AirTags on Your Pet's Collar?

Apple's graphic of all AirTag features from the keynote

When it comes to using the AirTag for pet collars, there are several aspects that you should first consider. Here are some of them.

The Weight and Size of an AirTag

Regardless of their size, many of us still think of our pets like babies. However, for their comfort, it’s necessary to take their weight and size into consideration when thinking about using the AirTag as a way to track them.

If you’re curious whether an AirTag would be a reasonable weight to have on your pet’s neck, have a look at these specifications:

  • Diameter: 1.26 inches (31.9mm)
  • Height: 0.31 inches (8.0mm)
  • Weight: 0.39 ounces (11grams)

Before committing to the hefty price tag of the AirTag, simulate this size and weight using a piece of paper or cardboard to see if your pet can handle it with ease. You should also consider the weight of the accessories that you will need to use to attach it to your pet.

Durability

Aside from the possibility of scratching the surface, the AirTag works well in harsh environments with an IP67 dust and water-resistant certification. Because it is battery powered, you can also opt for batteries that can withstand harsher temperatures for long periods of time. If your pet managed to run away during winter or the rainy season, it’s likely the AirTag will stay intact to do its job.

Food Safety

No matter how much we love our pets, some of them use their mouths when they’re curious a little too much. Made of stainless steel, the AirTag is the same material as many premium pet bowls. For this reason, it’s generally safe if your pet decides to give it a little chew every now and then. However, it is still important to ensure your pet won't swallow it.

Beeping

Depending on how you use the Find My app, the AirTag may emit a loud beep from time to time to help you find it. This is useful if you've dropped your car keys down the back of the sofa, but your pet is unlikely to appreciate it.

Think about how your pet handles loud noises before putting an AirTag on their collar. Even if they're good with noises, that might change if they're in a heightened state of stress from being lost of stolen.

Tips to Remember When Using AirTags for Pets

AirTags Safety Featured

Here are some tips that you should remember when using the AirTag for pets.

Hide the AirTag Well

When it comes to theft, one of the first items that people will look to remove is any form of identification on your pet. With this, an AirTag out in the open will be easy to take off and throw away once identified. If your pet is large enough, you may want to consider hiding the AirTag within the collar to draw less attention to it.

The Pros and Cons of Lost Mode

Once you activate Lost Mode, a potential thief will be alerted of the presence of the AirTag on your pet by the beeping sound it makes. On the other hand, information cannot be read unless the AirTag is in Lost Mode, so if a good Samaritan finds your little one, they can’t use any information to return them if you haven't activated it.

Once your AirTag is in Lost Mode, the person who finds it can simply tap the back of the AirTag to their iPhone and receive an NFC-enabled notification of your mobile number.

The Eight-Hour Window

Due to its anti-stalking features, the AirTag will emit an alarm if separated from its owner to notify nearby iPhone users are once every eight hours. This is to let iPhone users if there is an unknown AirTag that has been travelling with them.

If the person who tries to steal your pet has an iPhone, this will give away its presence prematurely. With this, it's important to locate your pet within eight hours of disappearance to prevent any issues.

Don’t Look for Your Pet By Yourself

Never go into people’s homes or questionable locations alone. Should you meet with the person who found your pet, make sure to meet in a public location and always tell people where you’re going when off to find your pet. If you suspect that someone stole your pet, be careful not to confront thieves yourself. It’s always better to ask the help of law enforcement to reduce the risks of getting hurt.

Keep Track of Your Pet

Because it was not manufactured as a pet tracker, Apple has no liability when it comes to the AirTag's effectivity for this task. At the end of the day, making sure your furry friend never gets lost or stolen is still the priority.

While the AirTag can help alleviate fears, it’s not fool-proof. But it’s definitely a better option than its various competitors in the market.

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