If you’ve got an escape artist dog or cat at home, you might’ve considered strapping a tracking device to their collar. But in a crowded market, which one to pick? You might find yourself scrolling through Amazon and coming across Bluetooth item finders like the Samsung SmartTag. (And specifically, wondering if a SmartTag for pets is a good option for you.)

But is the Samsung SmartTag actually built for tracking pets? And in the long run, can it actually help keep your furry friends safe?

⚠️ Short answer: no and no. Samsung SmartTags are built for finding items, not animals. When it comes to tracking your wandering dog or cat, you’re best off using a GPS tracker specifically built for pets.

(Specifically, one which can help you track them live, across an unlimited range – and which has even saved the lives of hundreds of dogs and cats around the world.)

So how does a Samsung SmartTag compare to a dedicated pet GPS tracker? Let’s find out.

What is the Samsung SmartTag?

Similar to the Tile tracker or Apple AirTag, the Samsung SmartTag is a small Bluetooth tracker and item finder. (It’s basically an AirTag for Android users.)

You can attach it to your keys, car, handbag or other personal items. Now, your SmartTag can help you locate these when they get lost.

SmartTags have a 1-year battery life, and comes with some additional features like sound and augmented reality.

Source: Amazon

How does the SmartTag work?

The Samsung SmartTag uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) to detect where your lost item is – provided it’s within range. (Aka, around 130 yards, or 120 meters.)

  • Then, your device can pick up where your SmartTag is with its Bluetooth function.
  • If your SmartTag is outside of that range, you can still locate it offline using SmartThings Find.1
blue info icon

Just like Apple AirTags rely on other iOS devices to locate the AirTag, Samsung SmartTag also uses a network of other Samsung devices nearby to determine its location.

This makes the SmartTag the ideal tool for finding your misplaced backpack on campus. (Where there are sure to be plenty of other Galaxy users around.) Or it could help you figure out where you left your bike, in a city full of Samsung users.

Learn more about how SmartTag works in the video below.

Can you put a Samsung Galaxy SmartTag on a dog or cat?

You technically can hang a SmartTag off your pet’s collar. But should you? Here’s why we would strongly advise against it.

SmartTags weren’t built keeping pets in mind

So you’ll miss out on a ton of pet parent-friendly features you might find with a dedicated pet GPS tracker instead. Like live real-time tracking, Virtual Fences, Location History, and more.

Man and woman with dog

SmartTags don’t come with a readymade collar

So they’ll dangle from your pet’s collar instead with their keychain. Which isn’t by itself a problem if you strap a SmartTag to, say, a pair of keys or a wallet or a bicycle instead. (Since these objects aren’t likely to move around a ton by themselves.)

⚠️ Unfortunately for your pet, it might not be as easy.

Because if you’re dangling an object from their collar, it’s more likely to:

  • Stress them out (causing them to claw or chew at it)
  • Create a swallow hazard (meaning an expensive trip to the vet’s office to have your SmartTag surgically removed from their stomachs)
  • Or even make them get stuck in some weird, hard-to-escape spots

💡Tractive devices, on the other hand, come equipped with safety clips for dogs and a weight-adjustable Rogz safety collar for cats.

So it secures against your pet’s collar without dangling – meaning it’s less likely to fall off, get lost, or end up swallowed by your pet (or someone else’s.)

A woman holding a cat wearing a Tractive GPS

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Your SmartTag might overheat

Now while you naturally shouldn’t place your SmartTag on or near a heat source, other factors have been commonly brought up as ways of making your Galaxy device overheat. Including system updates, data transfer, or even charging with a non-Samsung cable.2

So if your SmartTag is heating up while in contact with your pet’s fur, it might even burn their fur off. Or even cause them organ damage if it’s against their skin for long periods of time!

SmartTags need other Samsung devices to work

Much like other Bluetooth-powered item trackers, Samsung SmartTags need a network of connected, compatible devices to work across a longer range. In this case, Samsung users specifically.

Which can help in specific situations – like if your dog or cat has gotten lost wandering around a city.

But take for example this scenario: you’re in a rural, forested area with your dog. Suddenly, they catch a scent and run after it. Now they’re out of sight, running deep into the forest – and you have no idea which way they went or how far they’ve gone.

⚠️ Chances are there will not be many Samsung users nearby, if any – so a SmartTag for pets wouldn’t be the best solution in this scenario.

A dog running off into the woods on a hike

SmartTags are designed for items – not animals.

Because your keys, wallet, bicycle, backpack, or handbag aren’t likely to:

Because when it comes to dogs and cats, there’s really no limit to how far they’re capable of roaming. So here’s a quick distinction between GPS and Bluetooth trackers – and why it matters when it comes to keeping your pet safe.

GPS vs Bluetooth tracker range comparison infographic
pink triangle graphic with exclamation

Better safe than sorry: Instead of relying on a limited range Bluetooth item finder to track your pet, it is recommended to use a GPS tracker specifically designed for pets like the Tractive GPS for Cats and Dogs.

“Much like the AirTag, your Tractive GPS tracker can use a short range radio to help determine your pet’s location.

But unlike the AirTag, Tractive also uses mobile connectivity and GPS. So even if your tracker is nowhere near another mobile device, it’ll still be able to send data to the Tractive servers. So you can quickly and easily see your pet’s location in the app.”

– Ivelin Nenkov, Embedded Systems Engineer at Tractive since 2016

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Does the Samsung SmartTag have GPS?

Like the Apple AirTag, the Samsung SmartTag by itself doesn’t have any GPS functionalities.

  • It’s a Bluetooth tracker, so you’re limited by its range.
  • Plus, you’re also limited to a network of other devices and users in case your dog or cat goes missing.
  • However, you can use it’s Navigate features to pick up your SmartTag’s location via Google Maps on your device instead.

Which, if you ask us, is a pretty cumbersome way to locate a moving pet.

💡 Rather, it makes way more sense to use one device that both runs on GPS, helps you track your dog or cat in real-time, and works across an unlimited range.

Like, for example, the Tractive GPS dog or cat tracker which includes both a GPS unit and 4G technology – and connects your device to mobile networks across 175 countries via it’s built-in SIM card.

So you can track your dog or cat in real-time worldwide, anywhere there is cell coverage, and over any range.

Tractive Trustpilot review

Always know where your pets are

Follow every step in real-time with unlimited range. Get alerts if they wander too far. Keep them happy & healthy with Wellness Monitoring. And let others – like walkers or sitters – keep an eye on your pet too.

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💡Besides real-time GPS tracking, Tractive also helps you track via Bluetooth. So you can get the best of both worlds – all in one device. Here’s how you can use Tractive’s innovative Radar Mode to locate your dog or cat indoors.

Samsung SmartTag vs SmartTag Plus

In addition to the SmartTag ($29.99), Samsung also offers the SmartTag Plus ($39.99).

  • The main difference is that the SmartTag Plus also features ultra-wideband connectivity (UWB), besides Bluetooth.
  • It can also use your phone’s rear-facing camera to help point you to the SmartTag – as long as you have one of the latest Samsung Galaxy phones.

⚠️ Now UWB features can help track you in real-time – but only up to a range of around 3-164 feet (1-50 meters).

Meaning, it works best only at super close range. So ideal for finding a misplaced set of keys on a busy morning. (Or if your dog or cat doesn’t like straying past your bedroom door.)

Read more: What’s UWB & How Does It Compare To GPS For Pets?

Samsung SmartTag vs Apple AirTag

The Samsung SmartTag and Apple AirTag were built for the same purpose: to keep track of personal items that you might lose easily, like keys or a bike. Additionally, they function in the same way, each relying on other devices in the same network (Apple or Samsung) to locate your own device.

The two item finders are essentially the same – with the main difference being that AirTag is only compatible with Apple devices and SmartTag is only compatible with Samsung Galaxy devices. So you won’t be able to use the Samsung tag if you have an iPhone and vice versa.

airtag and accessories on a wooden table

💡On the other hand, Tractive devices are compatible with Android and iOS devices – making the tracker suitable for everyone.

Besides, Tractive GPS trackers don’t rely on any specific network of users to function – but rather on universal technologies like GPS and the cellular network. Meaning you can track your pets across the world, no matter where you are. (Or they are.)

Tractive Trustpilot review

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Samsung SmartTag: What to watch out for

It’s also worthwhile to consider the potential risks of using Samsung SmartTag. Given its similarity to the AirTag, it’s worth noting that AirTags were recently in the news given their use as the “perfect tool” for stalking.3

  • Despite Apple’s commitment to data security, there’s growing evidence that these kinds of tracking devices are being used for criminal activity across the US.
  • So be extra careful and look out for possible security threats that might affect you or your loved ones.
A cat wearing an ID tag on their collar

Another potential downside of Samsung SmartTag for pets? Much like Tile tags or the AirTag, its small size means that your dog or cat could easily swallow it.

  • So it’s a good idea to supervise your pet if they come into close contact with a SmartTag.
  • We’ve also come across some SmartTag users who reported that their cat’s fur got burnt off from close contact with it.4

GPS pet trackers: What are they & how do they compare?

brown dog in backyard with a family

Now that we’ve considered the use of SmartTag for dogs, let’s consider GPS pet trackers and how they compare.

A GPS tracker for pets is a small device that attaches to their collar. It allows you to see where they are – and follow every step – with the help of GPS.

Besides worldwide location tracking in real-time, modern GPS pet trackers like Tractive GPS also allow you to keep track of your pet’s activity. So you can see how much exercise and sleep your furry friend is getting – and keep track of their overall fitness.

Most importantly: With a GPS pet tracker, gone are the days of lost dogs and missing cats. You’ll know where your pet is anytime.

See how the Tractive GPS Dog Tracker works in the video below:

Tractive GPS: Built for your peace of mind as a pet parent

Besides that, the Tractive GPS tracker for pets comes with a whole bunch of pawsome features, since it was built specifically for our favorite four-legged friends. These include:

A man hugging his dog who's wearing a Tractive GPS collar
  • Radar Mode: Pinpoint your dog or cat’s location in close range, like inside the house.
  • Activity Monitoring: Set daily goals, see how other pets are doing, and keep your four-legged friend in shape.
  • Power Saving Zones: Save on battery life in places where your buddy spends lots of time.
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How a GPS tracker could help save your pet’s life

To see how a Tractive GPS tracker could help save your pet’s life, check out the video below. One man shares the story of how his dog got stuck in a freezing, snowy crevice in rural Norway, and how the Tractive GPS led to his rescue and safety. Warning: language advisory 😅

Tractive has also saved the lives of curious cats around the world. Here’s the story of Nala, an adventurous outdoors cat who went missing one evening. With a little help from Tractive’s LIVE mode, her parents Michel and Anja were able to track her down in an abandoned house:

“We went into LIVE Mode and…ran towards the location Tractive GPS had pinpointed. We came to an empty house that was still under construction.”

 At that point, we had already given up hope and thought that we were never going to be able to find her. So, out of desperation, I shouted out her name.

A cat wearing a Tractive GPS tracker outdoors

“And she responded! Nala started screaming as soon as she heard our voices...our little furball managed to pull it together and we finally took her home. After a little comfort food and some cuddling, her world had been restored to normal.

“We are both so very thankful that this day – after a few hiccups – had such a happy ending. The fact that Tractive GPS even worked inside that empty house completely saved us and really turned this thing around. I love Tractive for keeping our cats safe.

– Michel and Anja

Now, let’s look at how the Tractive GPS Tracker compares to the Samsung SmartTag.

Tractive GPS vs Samsung SmartTag for pets: A quick comparison

Samsung Galaxy SmartTag
Samsung Galaxy SmartTag
Tractive GPS Dog Tracker 4
Tractive GPS Pet Tracker
Type of trackerBluetooth Tracker & Item LocatorDog & Cat GPS Tracker
Intended useTag and find lost items like keys and bags when they are nearby.Follow your dog or cat’s every step in real-time; never lose your pet again.
Cost$29.99$49.99 + subscription
Phone requirementsOnly compatible with Samsung devicesWorks on most Android and iOS devices
Dimensions40.9 x 40.9 x 9.9 mm17.5 x 71.4 x 28 mm
Weight14 grams35 grams
Range130 yardsUnlimited
Battery life1 year, replaceableUp to 7 days on one charge
Water durabilityWater resistant (IP53)100% Waterproof (IPX7)
SharingYes – share with other users in the SmartThings appYes – share with anyone by link or in the Tractive GPS app
Augmented reality
Rechargeable battery
Web app
Virtual Fence w/ alerts
Activity tracking
Sleep tracking
Health alerts
Cattery owner and trainer, Clair Chesterman

“Tractive is the #1 cat GPS tracker in the industry. And it’s the highest quality cat tracker you can find. I was able to set the safe zone as my house area and once my cat gets outside I get an alert right away.

In fact, it probably saved my cat’s life that time she chased a bird and got lost. She was scared and I was able to find her with the help of the GPS tracker. Tractive’s chip frequently calculates your cat’s location and is updated on the map every 2-3 seconds. Furthermore, the LED will help you guard your furry friend at night..”

– Clair Chesterman, Owner of CFA and CCA-registered cattery and fostering company, FluffyMeowPaws

Ready, Set, Track

So, is a Samsung SmartTag for pets the best choice?

No. When it comes to keeping your pet safe, you’re always in the right hands with a dedicated pet GPS tracker.

Because with a Bluetooth-powered item tracker like a Samsung SmartTag, you’re going to have deal with problems like:

  • Limited range. SmartTags limit your dog or cat to a range of 130 yards (or 120 meters) – while the Tractive GPS works across an unlimited range. Meaning you just need to glance at your phone to know where your pet is.
  • Limited network. You’ll only be able to track your SmartTag if you’re surrounded by fellow Samsung users. On the other hand, the Tractive GPS connects with mobile networks across 175 countries – and is compatible with iOS and Android devices alike. So you can track your pet even while on vacation.
  • Limited safety. SmartTags aren’t built for pet safety. Their small size and tendency to overheat can seriously harm your pets if left unattended.

Bottom line: the SmartTag is a Bluetooth item finder that was made for finding lost keys and other personal items.

Two cats sitting on a bridge overlooking a city

💡 On the other hand, GPS pet trackers are built to help you keep your canine or feline family member safe – they’re literally life saving tracking devices for pets.

So no matter how far you or your pet roams, consider investing in a GPS pet tracker for complete peace of mind and the freedom to enjoy your adventures together.

Tractive GPS Dog + CAT GPS Trackers and packaging

Always know where your pets are

Follow every step in real-time with unlimited range. Get alerts if they wander too far. Keep them happy & healthy with Wellness Monitoring. And let others – like walkers or sitters – keep an eye on your pet too.

Get Tractive GPS

Strapped for time? Here’s everything you need to know about the Tractive GPS – in just 2 minutes:

And if you’ve got a tech-savvy friend or loved one, share this article with them – and help keep their furry friends safe.