Why Your Pup Should Have a Dog ID Tag

Photo of a brown dog with a visible ID tag

Why Your Pup Should Have a Dog ID Tag

If you recently welcomed a new fur-baby into the family, the Wagsworth team wants to say, “Congratulations!” We know you probably spent a lot of time getting ready for your puppy to arrive and have provided them with plenty of toys; a comfy bed; a leash and collar; puppy treats, chews, and food; and more. However, there is one other important item that Wagsworth wants to make sure is on your new-puppy checklist. In addition to directing you to Pennsylvania’s state dog license and rabies vaccination requirements, we would like to encourage you to get a dog ID tag as soon as possible. In this blog post, we help you determine some of the information you might want to put on your dog’s ID tag, provide a few tips on how to choose one that is a good fit for you and your dog, and share why dog ID tags are important even if you plan to get your pup microchipped.

What information should I include on my dog’s ID tag?

Since a dog ID tag typically has very limited space for printing information, it’s important to prioritize details that give your pup the highest percentage chance of being returned home to you safely and quickly if they go missing. At the same time, you want to include information that can help increase the likelihood they will be well cared for until they can be reunited with you. Consider including the following details on your dog’s ID tag:

  • Your contact information: The most essential information to put on your dog’s ID tag is a way for people to reach you at if they find your pup. At a minimum, this means having it engraved with the best day and evening phone numbers to reach you at. You may also want to consider adding the phone number of a friend or family member to increase the likelihood that whoever finds your roaming dog will be able to contact someone who knows your pup. It can also be useful to put your street address, city, and state on the tag. Many dogs are found in or near the neighborhood where they live. If they have your address, your dog’s finder could simply walk your pup back to your house, putting a swift end to your panicked search.
  • Your pup’s medical issues and required medications: If your dog has a serious health condition or needs meds regularly, it is a good idea to put this information on the dog ID tag. Knowing your pup needs special attention may encourage an even faster response from the person who finds your dog, whether that means they get your dog to a local vet for safekeeping or work extra hard to get ahold of you.
  • Your dog’s microchip company: If your dog is microchipped, it is recommended that you indicate this on your pup’s ID tag or attach another tag that lists the microchip company’s name and phone number. As long as you’ve registered the chip with the company that manufactured it, someone who finds your pup will be able to bring them to a local vet or animal shelter where an employee can scan the chip and find out that this lost pup belongs to you!

Of course, there is not much value to a dog ID tag with outdated information, so remember to get a new tag whenever your contact information changes. It is also good practice to check your dog’s collar every couple of months to make sure all your pup’s tags, including licenses, rabies vaccine, and ID, are intact. Dogs frequently lose their tags, plus ID tag information can fade over time and become unreadable, so it’s smart to keep spare sets of tags around the house.

What type of dog ID tag should I get?

If you’ve started searching online for just the right dog ID tag for your pup, you know there are lots of different options out there. So, how do you figure out which one to get for your pooch?

Since the main purpose of getting your dog an ID tag is to ensure their safe return home if they go missing, it makes sense to select a tag that has important safety features, such as one that is reflective or that glows in the dark.

Another way to narrow down your choices is by considering your and your dog’s lifestyle and preferences. For example, if you have a dog who loves to take hikes with you, enjoys a lot of rough-and-tumble play with other pups, and destroys pretty much everything they get their paws on, be sure to select a dog ID tag made of materials that can stand up to a high level of stress and activity. Durable materials, such as stainless steel and aluminum, are excellent choices, as is brass, which also has inherent antimicrobial properties.

What if you’re not a fan of the constant jingling of your dog’s metal ID tags? While some dog parents might find this sound reassuring because it confirms their dog is nearby, we completely understand that many other parents might find this clanging way too distracting. If you prefer that your dog move around the house and yard like a ninja, you may want to try either a silicone dog ID tag or a slide-on tag. Both are jingle-free while also being sturdy enough to withstand all sorts of weather conditions as well as a new pup’s various escapades.

Do I still need to get a dog ID tag if my pup is microchipped?

More and more pet parents are opting to get their dog microchipped to increase the odds that if their pup goes missing, they will be found and returned. If you’re planning to have your pup microchipped, you may be wondering if a dog ID tag is even necessary.

The answer from veterinarians is an emphatic “yes!” It may seem old-school in today’s high-tech world, but a simple, traditional dog ID tag is typically still the fastest—and most cost-effective—way for you to track down your lost pup. While a microchipped dog must be brought to a vet or shelter for the chip to get scanned, someone who finds your pup may be able to return them to your family right away by reading the information on their ID tag.

That does not mean a microchip isn’t a worthy investment. In fact, having both a dog ID tag and a microchip may exponentially speed the recovery process if your pup is lost.

Wagsworth is here to help you keep your dog safe and sound.

You can give your dog an ID tag, get them microchipped, or even have them wear a GPS tracker dog collar, yet they can still escape through an open door or gate, industriously dig a hole under a fence, or wriggle out of their collar and take off for the hills. A fur-baby that is new to the family and their surroundings can be especially full of curiosity and wanderlust.

If your dog is missing, there are several immediate steps you should take to get the word out about your lost pup. Thanks to the many ways today’s technology enables you to share the news of your missing dog, there is a good chance your four-legged friend will be returned to you safe and sound.

However, if you want true peace of mind that your pup will be under watchful eyes when you can’t be with them during the day or overnight, you can sign them up for Wagsworth’s Daycamp or as a Boarding guest. Your dog will love having the freedom to explore the wide variety of spaces—indoors and outside—on our six-acre, fenced-in property, and you’ll appreciate that our highly trained staff members are there all day to monitor, support, and most certainly have lots of fun with them.

Also, while your pup is staying with us, why not sign them up for one of our professional and comprehensive dog training programs? Puppy Preschool is an excellent choice for parents who recently brought home a young dog. This is an all-inclusive program, tailored to your puppy’s unique personality and learning style, that combines basic training, Daycamp, and socialization skills. Through this program, your little bestie will be introduced to many different situations they may encounter in their daily life, including the interesting sights, sounds, and smells that might lead them astray. Puppy Preschool is a great starting place for your dog to learn obedience, problem solving, and behavioral skills that will benefit you and them for a lifetime.