Report Highlights Danger of Using AirTags for Tracking Dogs

AirTags may be a convenient way for tracking dogs that might get off leash or otherwise lost, but there are dangers associated with the practice, as outlined by a report from The Wall Street Journal.

dewey airtag
At 1.26 inches in diameter, AirTags are able to fit easily on a dog's collar, but that size also makes the tracking devices small enough to swallow, at least for a medium to large-sized dog, and a quick internet search indicates multiple incidents where dogs gobbled up an AirTag.

Dog owner Colin Mortimer told The Wall Street Journal that the ‌AirTag‌ on his dog Sophie's collar went missing. He tracked it with the Find My app and was able to get it to play a sound, with the beeping coming from the stomach of his other dog, Sassy. Sassy was able to throw the still-functioning ‌AirTag‌ up, but sometimes these incidents can require surgery.

Over on Reddit, a user's doberman swallowed an AirTag, while another user reported watching a dog at the dog park eat an AirTag. A MacRumors reader also saw a swallowing incident with a dog and an ‌AirTag‌, suggesting accidental ‌AirTag‌ consumption by dogs is not super rare. In fact, a Louisiana vet told The ‌Wall Street Journal‌ that he had treated six dogs that had swallowed an ‌AirTag‌ in the last 18 months, and in each case, the ‌AirTag‌ had initially been attached to the dog's collar.

Apple does not recommend that AirTags be used for tracking pets or children, and in fact, has said that it is not something that people should do, as AirTags were designed for tracking items rather than living creatures. AirTags that are swallowed may pass safely through a pet's digestive system, but there can be complications if the ‌AirTag‌ should come apart.

There is a CR2032 battery inside the ‌AirTag‌, and if damaged, some batteries can leak a caustic substance that can damage a pet's stomach or mouth, if the battery is chewed, or lead to poisoning. Ann Hohenhaus, a senior veterinarian at the Schwarzmann Animal Medical Center in New York said that if a dog eats an ‌AirTag‌, it needs to come out "as quickly as possible."

Dog owners who do attach an ‌AirTag‌ to a pet collar should look for one that is as secure as possible, with no hanging component that a dog is able to reach or chew through, such as the TagVault from Elevation Lab. There are many ‌AirTag‌ dog collar options on the market, but there is no oversight for these products nor does Apple recommend any of them, so they should be used with caution.

Popular Stories

iPhone 16 Pro Max Generic Feature 2

5 Biggest Changes Rumored for iPhone 16 Pro Max

Tuesday May 21, 2024 7:29 am PDT by
Given Apple's rumored plan to add an all-new high-end tier to its iPhone 17 series in 2025, this could be the year for Apple to bring its boldest "Pro Max" model to the table — the kind of iPhone 16 upgrade that stands tall above its siblings, both figuratively and literally. If you have been holding out for the iPhone 16 Pro Max, here are five of the biggest changes rumored to be coming...
6chatgpt mac app

5 Reasons to Use OpenAI's ChatGPT App for Mac

Thursday May 23, 2024 6:07 am PDT by
On May 13, OpenAI during its Spring Update announced that it would be releasing a desktop ChatGPT app for the Mac in the "coming weeks," and said that ahead of a wider launch it had started rolling out the app to some ChatGPT Plus subscribers. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. After testing the app for a few days, we thought it was worth sharing some reasons why...
macOS 15 Feature

macOS 15 System Settings to Get Design Overhaul

Thursday May 23, 2024 12:51 pm PDT by
With the macOS 15 update that is set to debut at WWDC in June, Apple plans to rearrange "menus and app UIs," according to a report from AppleInsider. The System Settings app, which was last updated with macOS Ventura, will get one of the biggest updates. With macOS Ventura, Apple renamed the System Preferences app to System Settings, introducing a design similar to the Settings app on the...
new best buy blue

Best Buy's Memorial Day Sale Has Record Low Prices on iPads, MacBooks, and Much More

Friday May 24, 2024 7:12 am PDT by
Best Buy today kicked off its Memorial Day weekend sale, and it has some of the best prices we've tracked in weeks on iPads and MacBooks. Specifically, you'll find record low prices on the 5th generation iPad Air, iPad mini 6, M2 MacBook Air, and M3 MacBook Pro. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Best Buy. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment,...

Top Rated Comments

antiprotest Avatar
17 months ago
This just means you need a collar that completely seals the AirTag rather than allow it to dangle. The problem is poorly designed AirTag collars.

Dogs can swallow all sorts of things around the house anyway. And just like if you have kids in the house you need to organize your things with that in mind.
Score: 83 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jsalda Avatar
17 months ago
This also just in: AirTags pose a threat to infants who may ingest.

Use common sense people.
Score: 36 Votes (Like | Disagree)
atomic.flip Avatar
17 months ago
For Christ’s Sake!!!! Dogs are bound to swallow all sorts of stuff. It’s not like the medallion on dog collars is immune to their ingestion either.

This article is just stirring up worry over nonsense.
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Attirex Avatar
17 months ago
How do we know these articles aren't being written by ChatGPT?
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
john123 Avatar
17 months ago
Ruff news for pet owners.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
brijazz Avatar
17 months ago
I'd like to see a comparison of the rate of ingestion for AirTags vs. all other manner of indigestible crap that some dogs eat.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)