Every pet owner dreads the thought of losing their pooch. Perhaps there was a distraction out on the road that got your dog’s attention – like a squirrel running about, and he went to explore – but didn’t come back.

Its equally possible that your pet may simply become lost after having escaped your yard. A commotion in the streets surrounding your home, such as the annual parades, can result in your pet becoming confused. Equally, a newly adopted pet can locate a previously unknown breach in your perimeter. This allows them to escape into unfamiliar terrain and become a lost dog.

Lost pets while out on hiking trails are equally as common. Its especially concerning when curious dogs depart from the group. This can be the result of spotting a wild animal and pursuing. Equally encounters with larger and scarier dogs can result in your dog being chased.

Anytime your pet is out of sight, particular if they are lost, you’ll feel concerned and worried. It can be unnerving wondering if you’ll see them again. However, the chances of locating them increase dramatically if they have a dog tag and a glow in the dark collar.

Selecting An ID Tag For Your Pooch

Customized dog tags are important tools that will help in getting your pet delivered home to you safely. There are some key factors that you need to consider when choosing custom pet tags. .

First, there is the level of customization you desire – since you want the tag to suit your pet’s particular needs, and provide the desired information. The dog tags come in different colours, shapes and sizes, including the slide-on tags where setting them up on your pooch is a breeze. You can even get stainless steel dog tags.

The functionality of the tags is key. One of the popular types are the hanging tags, which simply dangle from the pet’s collar.

You can have multiple dog ID tags, each conveying a set piece of messages from contact information to vaccination records. It’s even possible to utilize handy quips to have your pooch speaking to the world around them.

Customized Options

You can also choose to have riveted dog tags, which are fixed onto the current dog collar or leash. Usually, you can add multiple lines of information – like up to three lines, with even 15 characters on each line. They are typically made of materials like brass or stainless steel plates, into shapes like paw prints, or dog bones. They are curved in order to fit onto the collar of the dog.

You may choose not to have the rivet-on plate being curved, in case you want to use the dog tag on items other than the pet’s collar. With this type of ID tags, you can install them yourself.

To start, punch the rivet holes into the leash or collar, or other item that you’re installing the tag on, then position the tag appropriately. All that’s needed now is knocking the rivets into place with a mallet or hammer, and there are plenty of video guides for the installation.

Next is how the information is engraved onto the pet ID tag. Some use stickers, though these can come off or get worn out faster. In essence they will need to be replaced much more frequently, but they come with lower price tags.

On the other hand, there are dog tags whose design processes utilize high powered lasers that engrave the required information deep into the dog tag surface. This guarantees that the information that has been written down will not end up fading or wearing out. Effectively enabling the tag to potentially last through the dog’s life.

What Should You Include In A Dog Tag?

Despite your best care, there’s still a good chance that your dog will run off at least once in his life. Sure, there are different technologies developed to prevent this – like the invisible dog fences to keep the pets in place, and microchips that will increase the odds of your reunion.

But the personalised dog tag remains to be the cheapest and easiest way of preventing your pooch from getting permanently lost. It will be a fast and convenient way for the people finding the dog to contact you.

With options like the microchip the dog will need to be taken to a vet clinic or an animal shelter, and many people would simply not want to bother themselves with the hassle involved.

However, with the dog ID tags, they simply read the information on it and get in touch with you immediately – which is why you need to ensure that you have the relevant information stipulated. This includes:

Phone number

Most people who come across your dog will want to call you, which makes including your phone number one of the most important items. Y

ou can list a couple of numbers through which you can be reached, since you may not always be at your residence to answer your home phone. You should include your cell phone number – since you’re likely to have it on your person for most of the time, and even a couple of those at your office.

That way when your pooch is found there will be a call that will be picked up. For those in serious relationships , you should definitely include the number of your significant other.

Alternatively, numbers of friends or siblings can do, or even hunting partners – or someone who can be around to pick up your pooch if you’re not available. This is especially relevant if you have a service dog.

Your name

When your dog is found and the call is made, who will the caller be looking for? Having your name on the dog tag will ensure that the caller will ask for the right person. This is especially true if you have included a work number.

Your city and state

Do you travel with your pet often?

Then it’s recommended that you include your city and state on the tag. That way those who find Fluffy can know if he is lost and a long way from home.

You can include your street address, but it’s not really necessary if the phone numbers are included, since most people choose to call.

Including the street address would only be beneficial if those who find Fluffy want to bring him over themselves – but this is rare since they may not have an easy way to do it.

Besides, even if they can bring your dog over, they will need to get in touch first to ensure that you’re home when they arrive.

Nifty tricks

These are to increase the chances of getting your dog back. For instance, you having “Needs Daily Meds” on the bone shaped dog tag will increase the urgency of those who find cute Bella roaming around to get her home.

Telling them that she needs her daily dosage of medicine will make them more anxious to get in touch with you. It also discourages dognappers, since they don’t usually want to have to incur extra costs to maintain a sickly dog. Their aim is to acquire the ransom or to find a willing buyer for the pet.

These small tricks can work in your favor allowing you to be reunited with your furry friend faster.

Certainly, there are those cases where you will need to include medical information especially if your pet has an underlying condition. This will save your pooch’s life, giving the people who have found her adequate information to act on.

Vaccination pet ID tags are also key, letting people know that your pup is up to date on her shots. Physical conditions like blindness or deafness are valuable bits of information that should be included.

Brown dog in window car. Part of the "Guide To Picking Dog Tags – And What Should Put On Them" article.
Photo by Niki Sanders on Unsplash


“Reward if Found” is also an incentive for those who locate the dog – just be ready to cough up the money when this happens.

Rewards are a tough balancing act. On the plus side, it encourages people to reunite you with your pet. Of course, it’s fair to offer compensation for genuine expenses, such as food or bills at the vet.

In which case it is only proper for you to reimburse them. You may wish to add an extra tip for their troubles. On the other side, rewards encourage dognapping. After all,  people noting the tags on your dog may be encouraged to take it.

They can then take her away to some location, before calling you saying that they have “found her”, and want the reward.

Note that if someone locates your pet, then refuses to return her without getting a reward, you can file a police report. This is actually extortion, which is a criminal offence.

If you choose to include the “Reward if Found” on the dog tag, don’t state the amount. This should be negotiated based on the circumstances involved.

Fortunately, many folks usually don’t want a reward, and are simply satisfied with seeing the pet back with their rightful owner.

Gratitude Is Appreciated

You can still show your gratitude in a different way, such as buying them a coupon at a nice hotel.

Note that you should never travel alone to meet up with someone claiming to have found your pet, and it is recommended that you avoid nondescript places.

Meet up somewhere public and easily accessible,. Do not hand over any money until your pet is actually in your hands. Watch out for calls telling you to send over money in order to have your pet shipped over to you. This is a commonly reported scam.

A personal touch

This is a message directed to the person who finds the dog. A simple message (especially from the dog’s point of view), may motivate them to contact you.

For instance, you can have a tag saying “Yay! Thanks for finding me! My parents are really worried. I lost my phone too. Would you please call them for me?”

A touching message, quip, or the like on the personalized dog ID tag can be a good idea. It can provide the nudge the finder needs to contact you.

Sure, including lots of important information on the dog tag may crowd it out. This may result in the characters to be too small.

If real-estate on the tag is an issue, you can always add more pet ID tags on your dog. Just get multiple light dog tags. They may jingle a little, but will not bother you or your pooch.

The Dog’s Name: To Include It Or Not?

This usually elicits a debate, with proponents and those opposed to the idea. Why is it divisive?

Having your pooch’s name on the custom metal tag may seem like a good idea. It will help those who find her to calm her down if they’re using her name, right?

The thought is that it will make your pet more responsive to the well-intentioned stranger.

But this is a double-edged sword. The finder could be a kind stranger who simply wants to reunite the lost pooch with her owner. There are those who want to steal the dog.

Its possible they can get close enough to read the dog’s name on the tag. This can be used to call and reassure the pet. It effectively encourages your pooch to leave the area with them. This will drastically cut down the chances of you being reunited with your furry friend.

When the right details are included on the personalized pet tag – your name and phone number. Those who find your dog can call you. At that point you can choose whether or not to tell them the pooch’s name based on your assessment of the situation.

Now you are up to date with what you will need for your ID tag, find a 101 guide on picking the best collar in this article. 


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