Can You Use Apple Tags on Pets? (Solved & Explained!)

Apple AirTags are useful for helping you find lost items, as long as the items are within range of an iPhone with Bluetooth turned on. This makes many people wonder if Apple AirTags can help track lost pets.

Due to the nature of Apple AirTags, they are not recommended for tracking pets. Apple does not recommend this usage. The rare circumstances where it may help are not worth the expense nor the liability.

In this article, we will look at how Apple AirTags work and why they would or would not work for tracking lost pets. We will look at how to set up an Apple AirTag, costs, troubleshooting, and other GPS options for tracking pets.

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Will Apple AirTags Work for Pets?

Under very specific circumstances, an Apple AirTag could help you reconnect with a lost pet. However, outside of those circumstances, AirTags can be entirely unhelpful. For this reason, Apple does not recommend that you use AirTags with your pets.

Understanding how AirTags works helps explain why AirTags are not generally recommended for use with pets.

AirTags can send locations anytime that they are within range of a phone that has Bluetooth. This can then send a signal that can be traced, so you can find the AirTag. Because it uses Bluetooth, it can stay anonymous. That means your AirTag can send its location even if it is near someone else’s phone, not yours.

The reason that this setup is not ideal for tracing animals is it limits finding your pets by assuming they are within range of phones. With the range of an AirTag, it may help within your house, but outside of your home, it could be very difficult to find your missing pet.

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In large neighborhoods with many people, consider how many people would be outside with their phones and within the range of the tag while your pet is missing. Chances are, the number is fairly low. Also, if they are in their homes, they may be far enough away for the AirTag to not be received.

If you wanted to use an AirTag for your pets, the best chance at having it work would be if you lived in a large city where people did not have yards and many people regularly walk by with their phones. Even then, you may still not get enough pings to find your pet as they run.

For this reason, Apple does not recommend that you use AirTags to help locate pets. They do not want to be liable for you counting on the AirTag and not being able to find your cat or dog.

How Long Can AirTags be Traced?

AirTags have a range within which they can connect to iPhones. That means if you use your AirTag within a certain distance of an iPhone, you can locate it, but if you are outside of that range, it will not give you an accurate location.

In general, AirTags can be traced within 10 meters or about 30 feet.

AirTags use Bluetooth, so they are bound by the range of the Bluetooth signal available. This means it may vary slightly based on the makeup of buildings.

That limited range is why AirTags are not the best way to track your missing pets. While sometimes the Bluetooth signal may reach farther, it generally means that someone’s phone must be within 30 feet of your pet if you want to find them. Most residential areas do not have people walking around enough for that.

How to Set up an AirTag

To set up a new AirTag (for your pet or not) you will need to:

  1. Pull out the tab to activate the battery of the AirTag. Your AirTag should make a small sound to indicate that this was successful.
  2. Bring your AirTag close to your iPhone or iPad. Your phone should have a pop-up that detects your AirTag. Click on “Connect.”
  3. There will be a list of items, so you can label which item this AirTag goes to. Select the item that you will use this AirTag for. Because Apple does not recommend using AirTags for pets, there is no pet option. You can select an emoji to represent your pet if you plan to use it for your animals.
  4. Register your AirTag with your Apple ID. You will need to select “Continue” on your phone to do that.
  5. Select “Done.”
  6. Attach your AirTag to the device you would like to track with it.

How Much Does an AirTag Cost?

Apple AirTags cost about 29 dollars. Best Buy and the Apple Store regularly have bundled deals, so you can purchase four for closer to 25 dollars each.

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Troubleshooting Apple AirTags

If your AirTag is having difficulties connecting, you may need to reset it and reconnect to your device. To reset your AirTag:

  1. Press down on the battery cover and spin it.
  2. Remove the battery cover.
  3. Remove the battery.
  4. Place the battery back in your AirTag.
  5. Press down on the battery until your AirTag makes a sound.
  6. Align the three tabs on the battery cover with the slots on the back of the AirTag.
  7. Press down on the cover and spin it back into place.

GPS Pet Tracking Options

Even though the Apple AirTag is not recommended for tracking your pets, other GPS tracking options are designed with animals in mind. Many of them also have features that can help you with other ways to take care of your pets.

Whistle Go GPS Tracker

The Whistle Go GPS Tracker is one of the most popular options for pet lovers. It has a GPS that connects via a cellular network, which gives you more options to track your pet since you are not relying on Bluetooth.

It also offers Wi-Fi features that you can use to create a “safe zone” for your pet and get alerted if they leave that zone.

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Garmin Alpha 100 GPS Dog Tracker

The Garmin Alpha 100 uses satellite GPS to connect to and track your dog. This makes it easy for you to find your dog, no matter where they have wandered.

This option is especially popular for people who regularly travel to rural areas with their dogs.

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Click the image above to check the current price on Amazon and read more about it.