How To Choose a Pet Tag

Pet ID Tags

According to the American Humane Association, one in three pets will go missing at some point during their lives. It is said many pets have an innate sense of direction and keen sense of smell, which allow them to find their way back home. However, it’s very easy for an animal to get turned around in an unfamiliar area and become lost forever.

Fewer than 2 percent of lost cats return home. Only 22 percent of dogs are reunited with their owners after they’ve been lost on the streets. Those pets that do return home usually have some form of identification on them.

The Problem with Microchips

Microchips have gained a lot of positive attention since they hit the market. Although it is recommended that all pets get a microchip, the system does have its flaws. For instance, if nobody takes the animal to a vet, the microchip will never be discovered. Many people pick up stray animals believing they are abandoned. The pets readjust to their new lifestyle, and the former owners grieve their loss. It is wise to have a second form of identification on pets. ID tags make a statement before they’re read. They say, “I have a family.”

Types of Dog Tags

Dog tags are made of various materials, including metals and plastics. All types have benefits and drawbacks.

Metal Dog Tags

Meg Ryan pink pet tagThe most common metals used are brass, stainless steel, and aluminum. Stainless steel dog tags are the most durable. They will not show wear and tear after many years of use. Unlike their brass counterparts, stainless steel dog tags also fare well in water. Many people choose aluminum dog tags because they are less expensive and come in many colors; however, the main goal of a dog tag is to get the pet home safely.

Plastic Dog Tags

Some prefer plastic pet ID tags because they can be easily decorated. Some plastic dog tag makers can even add a photo to the tag. It should be noted, however, that plastic dog tags are the least durable of any type of dog tag.

Fancy Dog Tags

Some dog owners love to spoil their pets by adorning them with bling pet ID tags. These tags are decorated with rhinestones, crystals, and other sparkly rocks. While these are beautiful, loose stones can become a choking hazard for the pet. With laser engraving, dog tags can have more detail, and artwork can even be added.

Choosing a Size

Dog tags, when properly fitted, should not distract or bother the pet. Purchase small dog tags for puppies. Puppies that grow into medium or large dogs will need bigger tags as they grow. Tags that are 1 inch wide or less are ideal for cats and small dogs. Tags that are more than 1 inch in width are for medium and large dogs. Shoppers may also want to consider purchasing a pet tag holder.

Choosing an Inscription

Engraving the pet’s information is the most important step. Many pet owners choose to have a double-sided tag. The front displays the pet’s name, and the back displays the owner’s contact information, which should include a name and two phone numbers. Blank pet tags are available for those who have access to engraving equipment.


It is estimated that 5 million pets go missing each year. This is traumatic for both the families and the pets. Protect dogs and cats by having a microchips implanted. To increase the odds of a safe return, it is wise to add an engraved dog tag to every pet’s collar. Dog tags come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. It is crucial that pet owners inspect their pet’s tag regularly to ensure that it is still legible as the years pass since some metals are not as durable as others.

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