Microchip, tattoo, tag…Oh, my

When it comes to choosing a way to put identification on your dog, there are several different options. Is there one that is the best? The next few posts will look at some of the different options.

Tag- the most common form of identification. A metal or plastic tag that attaches to the collar either by hanging from a ring or by being riveted to the collar. They come in a variety of collars and styles, such as those offered at Drs. Foster & Smith.


– Most people are familiar with dog tags so it is the first thing they look for when they find a dog. This can mean your dog gets back to you sooner.
– Tags are inexpensive. Even with the variety of tags available, this is the cheapest form of identification.
– You can often add additional information, such as an alternate phone number, health problems your dog has or even put that a there is a reward if your dog is found.

– tags and collars can be lost or removed by someone, leaving your dog with no identification.
– tags can get caught, making it so the dog can’t move. This can be dangerous if your dog is lost in a remote area
– they must be updated whenever the owner moves or changes any contact information
– If your dog is lost away from home, there might be a delay in being reunited with your pet unless the tag has contact information for you in that area or someone who can reach you
– tags can become worn making the information hard to read

Dog with collar and tagThere are several things you can do to make sure a dog tag does its job-

Include your name, address and phone number. A cell phone number would be ideal since most people carry their cell phones everywhere, but if you don’t want to be that number on a a tag, include an alternate number, such as your work number or a family member’s number, in case you can not be reached right away.

Attach the tag to a buckle collar. Leaving a slip collar, such as a choke chain, on your dog can be dangerous. It is possible for the slip collars to get caught and actually choke your dog to death.

Make sure the collar is on your dog at all times. A tag won’t do any good if the collar is sitting on your kitchen counter and your dog just ran out the front door.

Check the collar and tag on a regular basis. Tags can fall off or get damaged. You may want to keep a few back-ups to insure your dog always has ID.

For more in the “Microchip, tattoo, tag…Oh, my” post series, read Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4.

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