One thing people have been using their AirTags for is to keep track of their pets. We’ve found out that’s not really a good idea because, well, dogs tend to chew on stuff. Then they swallow them. So, how else can you keep tabs on your furry loved ones? There are actually a few much better options out there.
Why Not Just Use an AirTag as a Dog Tracker?
The Wall Street Journal highlighted the problem here, bringing up doggo owners who had to take their dogs to the vet after Fido swallowed an AirTag used as a dog tracker.
In my own experience, I saw a pit bull mixed puppy chewing on an AirTag attached to my dog’s collar using an OtterBox case just for that purpose. The puppy chewed it so fiercely that it actually broke the circuit board inside the AirTag. Luckily, she didn’t yank it off and swallow it.
So, let’s look at some better options for keeping tabs on your furry friends.
Jiobit Smart Tag, by Life360
This first option is offered by the same folks who provide the popular Life360 service. It clips to your dog’s collar, or you can place it inside an optional pouch for better protection.
The Jiobit Smart Tag is too big for most dogs to swallow, but large breeds still could. One major upside to Jiobit is it has its own cell chip, so it doesn’t rely on other devices to track. This makes it a terrific alternative to the AirTag as a dog tracker.
The downsides are the subscription cost, and the fact that it won’t show up in your Find My app. Jiobit has its own app.
The tracker itself costs $129.99. The subscription is between $8.99 and $14.99 a month, depending on whether you go with no contract, a 6-month agreement or two years of service.
Link, a Tracker and Training Tool for Your Dog
Then there’s Link. Link offers features very similar to Jiobit, but adds some training tools. You can have it make a good noise or bad noise to train your pup, or use the static probes for a gentle buzz or vibration.
Link also monitors your dog’s activity, like how many minutes it’s been active, how many steps it’s taken and how many miles your furry friend has covered. It can even track calories burned.
Link can also warn you if your dog’s body temperature is too high, and it’s got a built-in LED flashlight.
The Link Smart Pet Wearable costs $149. The service plan costs $12.99 a month and yeah, Link has a cell connection.
The Fi Smart Collar
Another option is the Fi Smart Collar, but I’ve never used this one. This one appears to offer all the same tracking and activity monitoring options as Link, but not the training tools.
Fi attaches inline with the collar, so there’s no yanking it off and swallowing it. While Fi comes in a variety of colors and styles, there’s also a third-party marketplace of makers who offer even more collar options.
With the Fi collar, you don’t pay upfront for the hardware. Instead, it’s membership based. Month-to-month pricing is $19 a month. You can bring that down by prepaying for 6 months, a year or two years.
One benefit to this membership model is when a new generation of the collar comes out, you can upgrade at no additional cost.
The Halo Collar, Pricy But Feature-Packed
Finally, what I’d call the Roll’s Royce of smart collars for dogs: the Halo collar. This is a virtual fence, a training tool, and a tracking device for your dog.
Halo is promoted by Cesar Millan, “The Dog Whisperer.” It has its own integrated collar, so there’s almost no way for your dog to rip it off or another dog to chew it off.
With Halo’s wireless fence enabled, you can set physical boundaries for your pet without having to dig up the yard. These are GPS-enabled, and you can store up to 20 of them for when you take your dog away from home.
With Halo’s training features, you can have the collar play a sound for good and unwanted behaviors. There are also options for voice encouragement, like saying “Good girl” or “You’re going home.” It also comes with static probes for vibration or buzz corrections.
Halo can track your pup’s activity level and has its own GPS and cell connection.
This one’s the most expensive I’ve seen. The collar itself runs $699. Still, that’s quite a bit cheaper than installing just one underground fence, and Halo supports up to 20 of them.
Subscription pricing ranges between $4.49 a month up to $29.99 a month.
Keeping Track of Your Pet the Safe Way
Any of these options are much, much better than dangling an AirTag from your dog’s collar. They’ll work even when no iOS devices are around, and it will be mostly impossible for another dog to chew them off and swallow them.