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What to Put on a Dog Tag: Expert Recommendations for Ensuring Your Pet’s Safety

Photo of Tamsin De La Harpe

Written by Tamsin De La Harpe

what to put on a dog tag

Dog tags are an essential part of any pet’s identification. They are a quick and easy way to ensure that your furry friend can be returned to you if they ever get lost. However, with so many options available, deciding what to put on your dog’s tag can be challenging.

The most crucial information to include on your dog’s tag is your contact information. The tag should lay comfortably on your dog’s collar, preferably on the D-ring, where you can also attach your dog’s harness and leash while walking them. This should include your name, phone number, and address.

If you are wondering what to put on your dog’s tag, this might as well be your final destination. With the help of the American Humane Society guidelines, we have put together well-thought-out information that will help you create the perfect dog identification tag.

Remember, some dog ID tags can be fun. Just like this Tiktok who makes fun “bad dog tags:”

@badtags

Lemme make you a funny dog tag, custom engraving included! 🔥 #badtags #baddogshit #customdogtags #dogmomaf #dogtok

♬ original sound – BAD TAGS

Why Dog Tags Are Important

dog collar with dog tag

Dog tags provide a quick and easy way to identify lost or injured dogs and reunite them with their owner. This should include your name, phone number, and address. If your pet gets lost, this information will be the first thing that anyone who finds them sees, making it easier for them to contact you and return your pet to you.

 Here are some reasons why dog tags are important:

1. Helps Identify Lost or Injured Dogs

If a dog gets lost or injured, a dog tag can help identify them and provide their owner’s contact information. This information can help reunite the dog with their owner quickly and efficiently, preventing them from ending up in a shelter or worse.

2. Required by Law

In many states, it is required by law for dogs to wear identification tags. This ensures that dogs can be quickly and easily identified and their owners held responsible for any damages or injuries caused by their pets. The USDA requires that dog identification includes:

  • Animal’s age; 
  • Sex; 
  • Breed; 
  • Name; and
  • Collar number, tattoo, or electronic identification such as a microchip if available. 

They also suggest that dog identification includes color, markings, and size, as well.

3. Provides Peace of Mind

Knowing that their dog is wearing identification tags can provide peace of mind for pet owners. They can rest assured that they have taken the necessary steps to ensure a swift and safe return if their dog gets lost or injured.

4. Can Contain Important Medical Information

Dog tags can also contain important medical information, such as allergies or medical conditions. This information can be crucial in an emergency, where quick medical information access can save a dog’s life.

Essential Information to Include On A Dog ID Tag

a dog with a heart-shaped dog tag

When it comes to dog tags, including essential information is crucial. This section will outline the three most important pieces of information you should always include on a dog tag.

Owner’s Contact Information

The owner’s contact information is the first and most crucial information to include on a dog tag. This should include the owner’s full name, phone number, and address. It is vital to ensure that the information is up to date and accurate, as it will be used to contact the owner in case the dog is lost.

Dog’s Name

The second information to include on a dog tag is the dog’s name. It is best to include the dog’s name in a large, bold font on the front of the tag.

Medical Needs

The third information to include on a dog tag is any medical needs the dog may have. This can include allergies, medications, or any other medical conditions the dog may have. Including this information can be critical if the dog is lost and needs medical attention.

Additional Information to Consider For Dog Tags

a dog with a dog tag lying on the grass

When it comes to dog tags, there are a few additional pieces of information that can be helpful to include. These include the dog’s breed, microchip number, license number, and veterinary information.

Dog’s Breed

Including the dog’s breed on the tag can help others identify the dog in case it gets lost. This is especially important for breeds that may look similar to others, such as Pit Bulls and Staffordshire Terriers.

Microchip Number

A microchip is a small device implanted under the dog’s skin and contains a unique identification number. A veterinarian or animal shelter can scan this number to identify the dog and its owner. Including the microchip number on the tag can help reunite the dog with its owner more quickly and easily.

License Number

In many areas, dogs are required to have a license. Including the license number on the tag can help prove that the dog is licensed and may also provide information about the dog’s vaccinations and other important details.

Veterinary Information

Including the name and phone number of the dog’s veterinarian on the tag can be helpful in case of an emergency. This information can also be useful if the dog is found and needs medical attention.

What Should You Not Put On A Dog Tag?

a red metallic dog tag

When creating a dog tag, there are some essential things to remember. While it’s crucial to include important information such as the dog’s name, owner’s name, and contact information, certain things are optional on a dog tag. Here are some things to avoid:

1. Personal Information

It’s important to include contact information on a dog tag in case the dog gets lost. Still, it’s not necessary to have personal information such as the owner’s religious, political messages, or social security number. This information can be used for identity theft or other malicious purposes, so it’s best to keep it off the dog tag.

2. Offensive Language

Adding a funny or clever phrase to a dog’s tag can be tempting. However, it’s important to avoid offensive language. This includes any language that is discriminatory, vulgar, or derogatory. Not only is it inappropriate, but it may also offend others who come across the dog.

3. Excessive Medical Information

It’s important to include any medical conditions or allergies the dog may have. However, including your dog’s detailed medical information on the dog tag is unnecessary. This information can be kept private and only shared with veterinarians or other medical professionals.

4. Too Much Information

 Including too much information can make the tag difficult to read and may overwhelm someone who finds the dog. Stick to the basics and keep it clear and concise.

Choosing the Right Dog Tag

When choosing the right dog tag, there are a few critical factors to consider. Here are some key considerations to keep in mind:

Material

One of the most important decisions you’ll make when choosing a dog tag is what material it should be made from. Some common options include:

  • Stainless steel: This is a durable and long-lasting option resistant to rust and corrosion.
  • Aluminum: This lightweight option is easy to engrave but may not be as durable as other materials.
  • Brass: This is a classic option that is both durable and attractive but may require more maintenance than other materials.
  • Plastic: This is a lightweight and affordable option but may not be as durable as other materials.

Ultimately, the material you choose will depend on your individual needs and preferences.

Size and Shape

Another important consideration when choosing a dog tag is the size and shape of the tag itself. Some factors to keep in mind include:

  • Visibility: You want your dog’s tag to be easily visible, so choose a size and shape that will stand out.
  • Comfort: Make sure the tag isn’t too large or heavy for your dog to wear comfortably.
  • Style: There are a variety of shapes and styles available, so choose one that fits your dog’s personality.

Durability

Finally, you’ll want to choose a dog tag that is durable enough to withstand wear and tear. Some factors to consider include:

  • Engraving: Make sure the engraving is deep enough to be legible but not so deep that it compromises the integrity of the tag.
  • Coating: Some tags come with a protective coating that can help prevent scratches and other damage.
  • Attachment: Ensure the tag is securely attached to your dog’s collar to prevent loss.

By considering these factors, you can choose a dog tag that is both functional and stylish.

How Do You Make A Homemade Dog Tag?

Choose Your Materials

You can use different materials to make a homemade dog tag, such as metal, plastic, or even wood. If you choose metal, you can use a metal stamping kit to stamp your pet’s information onto the tag.

Design Your Tag

You can use design software or draw your design on paper. Make sure to include your pet’s name, your phone number, and any other important information.

Cut the Tag

Use a cutting tool to cut the tag to the desired size and shape.

Add the Information

Use a metal stamping kit to stamp your pet’s information onto the tag. If you are using plastic or wood, you can use a permanent marker or engraving tool to add the information.

Add a Hole

Use a hole puncher or drill to add a hole to the tag.

Add a Chain or Collar Attachment

You can attach the tag to your pet’s collar or use a chain to hang the tag around your pet’s neck.

Remember to keep the tag lightweight and comfortable for your pet to wear. Check the tag regularly to make sure it is still legible and readable.

How to Attach a Dog Tag

Attaching a dog tag is a simple process that can be done in a few easy steps. Here are some tips to help you attach your dog’s tag securely and safely:

  1. Choose the right tag attachment method: There are several ways to attach a dog tag, including using a split ring, an S-hook, or a tag silencer. Choose the attachment method that best suits your needs and your dog’s behavior.
  2. Position the tag correctly: The tag should be positioned on the collar so that it is easily visible and readable. Ensure it is not too close to the buckle or any other hardware that could interfere with its readability.
  3. Use a sturdy collar: A strong and durable collar is essential for keeping your dog’s tag attached securely. Make sure the collar fits properly and is not too loose or too tight.

Updating Dog Tag Information

It is essential to keep your dog’s tag information up to date to ensure that they can be returned to you if they get lost. Here are some tips on updating dog tag information:

  • Update contact information: If you move or change your phone number, update your dog’s tag information. This will ensure that whoever finds your dog can contact you easily. 
  • Add medical information: If your dog has any medical conditions or allergies, consider adding this information to their tag. This can be helpful in case of an emergency and will ensure that your dog receives the proper care.
  • Include a reward: Adding a reward to your dog’s tag can encourage people to help find your dog if they get lost. You can include a phone number or email address for people to contact you if they find your dog.
  • Check the tag regularly: It is essential to check your dog’s tag regularly to make sure that the information is still accurate. If you notice any errors or outdated information, update it immediately.

Legal Requirements

In many countries, it is a legal requirement for dogs to wear identification tags at all times. These tags should include the owner’s name, contact information, the dog’s name, and any relevant medical information.

The legal requirements for dog tags vary depending on the country and even the state or province. For example, in the United States, the requirements for dog tags are set by individual states. Some states require that tags include the dog’s rabies vaccination information, while others do not.

In the United Kingdom, the Control of Dogs Order 1992 requires that all dogs in public places wear a collar with the owner’s name and address engraved or written on the tag. Failure to comply with this law can result in a fine of up to £5,000.

It is important for dog owners to research the legal requirements for dog tags in their specific area to ensure that they comply with the law. This can help prevent any legal issues and ensure the dog can be quickly and easily returned to its owner if lost.

What Are Some Funny or Creative Things to Put on a Dog Tag?

Dog tags are a great way to ensure that your furry friend can be identified if they get lost. But they don’t have to be boring or plain. Here are some funny and creative things to put on your dog’s tag to make it stand out:

Quotes or Sayings

Adding a humorous or inspirational quote or saying to your dog’s tag can add some personality. Here are some examples:

  • “I’m not lost, I’m exploring.”
  • “I’m not fat; I’m just big-boned.”
  • “I’m kind of a big deal.”
  • “I’m not arguing; I’m just explaining why I’m right.”

Pop Culture References

If you’re a fan of a TV show, movie, or band, why not incorporate that into your dog’s tag? Here are some examples:

  • “Winter is coming” (Game of Thrones)
  • “May the force be with you” (Star Wars)
  • “I’m a lover, not a fighter” (The Beatles)
  • “I solemnly swear that I’m up to no good” (Harry Potter)

Fun Facts

Adding a fun fact about your dog can be a conversation starter and make their tag more interesting. Here are some examples:

  • “I love belly rubs.”
  • “I’m a rescue dog.”
  • “I’m afraid of thunderstorms.”
  • “I can catch a frisbee like a pro.”

Remember, when choosing what to put on your dog’s tag, make sure it’s still readable and includes important information like your dog’s name and your contact information.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I put my dog’s microchip number on their tag?

Yes, you can put your dog’s microchip number on their tag. However, it is vital to remember that a microchip is not visible to the naked eye and requires a specialized scanner to read. Therefore, it is recommended also to include visible identification on your dog’s tag.

What information should be on a military-style dog tag?

A military-style dog tag typically includes the dog’s name, owner’s name, and phone number. Some people also choose to include their address or other contact information. It is important to remember that the more information you have, the more crowded the tag may become.

How can I personalize my dog’s tag?

There are many ways to personalize your dog’s tag, such as including a favorite quote or nickname. You can also choose from various shapes, colors, and materials to make the tag unique to your dog’s personality.

What is the best type of dog tag that won’t wear off?

A stainless steel or brass tag is the most durable option that won’t wear off easily. However, it is vital to regularly check the tag for any signs of wear and tear and replace it as needed.

Is it safe to put my address or a reward offer on my dog’s tag?

Including your address on your dog’s tag can be helpful in case your dog becomes lost. However, it is vital to remember that this information may also be visible to strangers. It is crucial to consider the potential risks and benefits before doing so.

Including a reward offer on your dog’s tag is a personal choice. However, it can motivate people to get the found dog home quickly.

Final Thoughts

When creating a dog tag, it is recommended to include the dog’s name, owner’s name, and phone number. You can also add other information, such as the dog’s medical needs or microchip number. However, it is crucial to remember that the tag should not contain any personal information, such as the owner’s address.

It is also essential to regularly check the tag to ensure that it is still legible and has not become damaged or worn out. A damaged or unreadable tag defeats the purpose of having one in the first place.

Meet Your Experts

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Tamsin De La Harpe

Author

Tamsin de la Harpe has nearly two decades of experience with dogs in rescue, training, and behavior modification with fearful and aggressive dogs. She has worked closely with veterinarians and various kennels, building up extensive medical knowledge and an understanding of canine health and physiology. She also spent two years in the animal sciences as a canine nutrition researcher, focusing on longevity and holistic healthcare for our four-legged companions. Tamsin currently keeps a busy homestead with an assortment of rescue dogs and three Bullmastiffs.

Tamsin de la Harpe has nearly two decades of experience with dogs in rescue, training, and behavior modification with fearful and aggressive dogs. She has worked closely with veterinarians and various kennels, building up extensive medical knowledge and an understanding of canine health and physiology. She also spent two years in the animal sciences as a canine nutrition researcher, focusing on longevity and holistic healthcare for our four-legged companions. Tamsin currently keeps a busy homestead with an assortment of rescue dogs and three Bullmastiffs.