Dog tags, perhaps the king of all canine accessories, are a must-have addition to your dog’s collar. But does your fur baby really need them? From how to silence the jingle-jangle to picking the best of the best, we’ve got it all right here.
Also, what information you put on these tags can be the difference between a lonely petless existence and a quick and happy reunion.
Let’s get on with this tail-wagging deep dive.
Why Do Dogs Need ID Tags?
Dogs need dog tags for numerous reasons. Yes, they are a primary form of identification for your fur baby, but they also provide many other benefits.
What to avoid when attaching dog tags:
What you may have thought was just a simple piece of metal or silicone could actually be seen as a lifesaving accessory!
Do Dogs Have to Wear ID Tags?
We would have included this point in the section above, but whether or not your pet needs to don an ID tag depends on the specific laws and regulations of where you reside.
In most cities around the world, having a dog tag with proper information on it is a requirement in public spaces. Some places may even specify what owners must include, such as your dog’s name, your address, and maybe even your phone number. Some cities in the U.S. even require a rabies tag alongside the pet ID tag.
You can’t go wrong with including a dog tag.
If you’re not too sure about your local requirements, we’d suggest getting one anyway. It’s easy to do, effective, and can save you from fines for not having one.
What Information to Put on Your Dog Tag?
What if your area doesn’t have laws about what to put on a dog tag?
If this is the case, then you have a lot of autonomy over what to include. This can be good or bad news. With traditional dog tags that are just round pieces of metal, your space is limited. So, you have to pick and choose carefully what information to put down.
This problem can be easily solved by choosing a different type of dog tag, which we will get into in the next section. No spoilers yet!
Info you can pick and choose to include are:
- Your phone number – Add one that you’re most likely to answer, because trust us, you’re not gonna wanna miss this call
- Your email – Hey, if it’s easier to reach you by email, then leave that instead of your number. We don’t know about where you are, but there are spam calls abound in some places
- Your address and city – You can leave your address if it’s not too invasive, or just include the city, or both – whichever you feel more comfortable with. But we’re not going to lie, having your entire address increases the chances of a reunion
- Medical info or needs – If you feel more comfortable, you can leave your vet’s info instead. A quick message about your dog’s special needs can also be helpful, such as, “suffers from epilepsy”, just so the good samaritan who found your dog can know how to better care for him in the meantime.
- Microchip – There’s no harm in letting the person know that your dog is microchipped so they can get your pooch to the nearest vet
- Extra message – If there’s room, you can add anything extra to incentivize your dog’s return or even offer a reward.
We mentioned putting your contact information such as your phone number and your address. Did you know that including your dog’s name can sometimes be a bad idea? You may not be able to help it if your dog’s name is required in your area, but if there are no such rules, it may be something you want to reconsider.
What’s wrong with including your dog’s name? In short, it could be used to lure your dog away. If you’re curious for more information, you can read about what to put on your dog tag here.
What Are the Best Dog Identification Tags?
We gave away that there are various types of dog tags on the market, and we’ve done some deep dives into each kind. But to save you some time, we’ve grabbed our top picks from each and created a TLDR list for you here!
Providence Engraving Pet ID Tags
This is not only a great option for simplicity, but also design. These pet tags come in various vibrant colors, cute shapes, and are crafted from anodized aircraft-grade aluminum – meaning they’re tough enough for the “ruff” stuff.
The text is laser-engraved for legibility and wear and tear. It doesn’t look like there is a lot of space, but you’d be surprised how much you can fit on these little tags!
Providence Engraving Slide-On Dog Tags
Providence Engraving’s appearance on our best list twice is no coincidence. They know their stuff! Slide-on dog tags are a pawrent’s best solution for loud jingly tags. Providence Engraving Slide-On Dog Tags are our recommendation because of their durability and customizability.
For starters, each metal plate is crafted from stainless steel that’s essentially indestructible during dog play. The plate is housed within a silicone holder that comes in many colors with a ring on each end to thread your dog’s collar through. Easy, simple, and durable, there are also various sizes to choose from.
Tracki GPS tracker
Maybe you’re not looking for a dog tag but something to keep tabs on your dog’s whereabouts. In this case, then you need a GPS tracker for dogs. Devices like the Tracki GPS tracker are excellent spy machines. First of all, you get unlimited distance tracking – this means you can find your dog anywhere!
The device is small, lightweight, durable, and comes with a lifetime warranty, something every consumer wants to hear for buyers’ protection. To top it all off, the devices have a long battery life that increases your chances of finding your pooch.
Pet Dwelling Premium QR Code Pet ID Tags
We’ve saved the best for last. This is what we were talking about when we mentioned the secret to including all of your dog’s necessary info in one place – QR code dog tags! All people need to do is scan the code to open your pet’s profile on their phone to see all the data.
As you can imagine, doing so gives you much more room to include even more vital facts about your dog such as added profiles, pictures, and there’s even room to write a small bio. Pet Dwelling Premium QR Code Pet ID Tags are your best option for dog tags that can give you the most with the smallest footprint.
How Much Is a Dog Tag?
Dog tags aren’t generally expensive, but if you’ve given our best lists a once-over, you’ll notice that the price can vary. Tags can be as affordable as $5 in some cases but can also be well above $50 depending on what it includes and what it can do.
Here are some of the main influencing factors on the price of a dog tag.
Of course, what the dog tag is made of plays a significant role in its price. The higher the quality of the material, the more the dog tag will cost. Look for something lightweight and durable such as stainless steel, anodized aluminum, and even food-grade silicone if your fur baby isn’t destructive.
Dog tags don’t all come in one size. Big dogs with big collars will need larger dog tags and the opposite goes for small canines. In general, the larger the tag is, the higher the price tag. This is because there is more material and engraving involved.
This is what can skyrocket the cost. Some dog tags offer easy customization such as cute shapes and fun colors. However, if you’re looking for the next level, such as ones with decorative elements and special engraving styles, then it’ll add to the cost.
We’ve even seen ones with embedded Swarovski crystals. So, what are you willing to pay to help your dog stand out?
Features and functions
What does the dog tag come with? Some may come with collars or dog collar attachments. Some may be glow-in-the-dark and have special functions such as GPS tracking. These are all elements that can increase the price.
How to Attach Dog Tags?
Speaking of dog tag attachments, split rings aren’t the only way. In fact, there are many ways to attach tags to a dog collar. We’ll do a quick breakdown.
There are different types of dog tags, each with a unique way of attachment. The main ones are:
If you have a standard dangling tag, you would use an S-hook, a split ring, or a clip/carabiner. We’d go with the clip /carabiner or split ring for more security.
Slide-on dog tags are easy because they literally slide onto your dog’s collar. Finding the right fit for this type of tag is crucial because one that’s too large will slide around and one that’s too small may not fit onto the collar.
Rivet-on dog tags
Rivet-on dog tags are not commonly seen, but we felt that they’re important to touch on anyway. These tags are used on thicker collars such as ones made with leather.
You would attach the tag by pushing the rivets through the pre-punched holes on the collar. All the components you need for these tags should come with the purchase.
Snap-on dog tags
Snap-on tags are exactly as they sound. There are little buttons that you simply snap onto the collar.
How to Avoid the Dog Tag Sound?
Standard dog tags probably make up 80% of the market, if not more, but the one thing about them that can be quite annoying is the jingling.
There are some brands that have traded in metal tags for ones created from silicone. This change has been a welcoming one since it immediately silences the tags. However, they are less durable than their more robust metal counterparts.
If simply opting for a softer material isn’t for you, then dog tag silencers are your best bet. These noise dampeners fit around the tag and are usually made of silicone rubber. Their primary purpose is to eliminate metal-on-metal rubbing that typically causes the jingling sound.
Dog tag silencers provide additional benefits as well such as reducing the wear and tear of the dog tag itself, and limiting the instances of the tag irritating your dog.
Can You Use an Apple AirTag?
Can you use an Apple AirTag for a dog tag? We’d say the Apple AirTag is an excellent supplement, but not a replacement for a dog tag. However, if you’re thinking of choosing between a GPS tracker and an Apple AirTag, then a case can be made for both sides.
While AirTags offer geographical locations, they aren’t in real-time. Dedicated pet GPS trackers often have a wider range as well. Another drawback for AirTags compared to GPS trackers is the functionality. AirTags don’t provide as many features as dog GPS trackers such as geofencing.
When are AirTags preferred? If you don’t need the extra features and are looking for a more cost-effective and user-friendly device, then try out the AirTag.
FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions
We are coming to the end of this post, but before that – let’s answer some of the most frequently asked questions related to dog id tags.
The attachment used to secure a dog tag onto the dog collar is crucial to its security. Split rings are a good and common choice, and we also recommend going for a clip or small carabiner.
Dog tags are usually there to identify your dog and display the contact information necessary to get in touch with you in case your dog gets lost. There are also options that have enough room for other vital facts such as medical info.
Some would suggest not putting your dog’s name on the dog tag because it could be used to lure your dog away. You should not include any information you are not comfortable putting out into the public sphere.
Conclusion – Never Lose Your Dog Again
Our pooches may not be able to verbally communicate with us just yet, so the dog tag has to do a lot of the talking for them.
Make sure your dog is armed with all the necessary lifesaving info possible in case the unthinkable happens. It’s not just about getting the most stylish option, it’s about peace of mind too. Who knew that a little tag could be so important in your dog’s life?