When AirTag first hit the market last year, one common question was whether Apple’s tracker could work as a tracker for dogs, cats, and other pets. Now, the first Find My-compatible dog tag has officially hit the market, but there are a few things to keep in mind before attaching one to your furry friend.
The YIP Smart Tag is currently being sold by PetSmart, touted as a way to “help you locate the most precious things in your life.” It is fully customizable and can be engraved, just like any dog tag, allowing you to engrave your pet’s name and any other contact information you might want someone to have quick access to.
But of course what sets the YIP Smart Tag apart from a traditional dog tag is its smart capabilities. The tag integrates with Apple’s Find My network, which means you can track your pet via the Find My application on your iPhone or iPad. This also means that the YIP Smart Tag can tap into the vast Find My network, so its location is updated anytime it’s near an iPhone user.
The company explains:
The YIP Smart Tag is an engravable I.D. Tag that helps you locate the most precious things in your life. Your tag communicates with hundreds of millions of Apple devices on the Apple Find My network. In just a few easy steps, you can add your YIP Smart Tag to the Apple Find My app on your iPhone or iPad. During those stressful moments, go to the Find My app and see on the map where your smart tag is or put it in Lost Mode and your iPhone will notify you when your smart tag comes in contact with another Apple device.
The YIP Smart Tag is available to order from the PetSmart website for $34.99 in rose gold and black color options. It’s touted as being waterproof and resistant to the elements, and it includes a ring to easily attach it to your pet’s collar.
But a word of caution…
Shortly after AirTags were announced, Apple executive Kaiann Drance noted in an interview that AirTag was designed to track items, not people or pets. Drance explicitly noted that if people used an AirTag to track their pets, they would have to “make sure that their moving pet gets into range of a device in the Find My network so its location can be tracked.”
As anyone with a dog can attest to, a dog on the loose moves fast and without any specific pattern. Your pup might be in range of an iPhone one second, then three blocks away the next second. This type of fast-moving, real-time location tracking isn’t necessarily something that AirTag and the Find My network excel at — particularly if the dog gets out of range of iPhones altogether.
An AirTag or something like the YIP Smart Tag could be a good fallback option if you know your dog might just wander off inside your neighborhood, but more often than not, you’re better off with a dedicated GPS dog collar for pet tracking.
One of the best accessories for this is the Fi Smart Dog Collar. What differentiates the Fi Smart Dog Collar from something like an AirTag or the YIP Smart Tag is its built-in GPS and LTE connectivity. This means you can track your dog in real time, whether the pup is within range of another iPhone or not.
We’ve taken a closer look at the Fi Smart Collar a couple of times:
- Review: Fi Smart Collar uses GPS and LTE to track your dog’s location on your iPhone
- AirTags for your dog? Fi will track your buddy everywhere for $150
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