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.

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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)