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What to Put on a Dog Tag (2024 Guide) – Dog Tag 101

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

dog with tag

It’s time for a new dog tag! You already have the collar and have found the perfect tag, but you’re wondering what you should have engraved on it. Even if your dog has been microchipped, nothing quite beats the old-fashioned  ID tags if your dog manages to escape.

A kindly passerby can’t access your dog’s microchip but will be able to contact you via the dog tags. You’ve likely heard mixed messages about what information should go on the tag, but we’ll review the options below to help you decide.

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Here Are 8 Ideas of What to Put On a Dog Tag

1. Your Dog’s Name

Your dog’s name might seem like an obvious choice for the ID tag, but there is controversy surrounding this option. The concern is that someone with nefarious intentions can use your dog’s name to earn his trust, call him over, and run off with him.

Having your dog’s name on his tag can help a stranger with good intentions gain his trust, so the choice is yours. Some believe it isn’t worth the risk, and others think that if someone wants to run off with a dog, they will find a way, even without the dog’s name.

2. Your Own Name

Again, this is up to how comfortable you feel about having your name on the tag. Most people are against it, and it probably isn’t necessary, but it’s another option nonetheless.

Bull Terrier
Image Credit: I_Love_Bull_Terriers, Pixabay

3. Your Address

This is one of the most popular and common additions to a pet tag. If your dog is wandering around your neighborhood, a person could easily walk him back to your home.

Some might worry about how safe it is to put your address for the world to see, so yet again, you’ll have to weigh your privacy with getting your dog back promptly. You could compromise by, at the very least, putting your city and state on the tag. Just in case your dog wanders a little too far away.

4. Your Phone Number

Your best bet is your cell phone number since you probably have it near you all the time. Otherwise, you’ll want to engrave the phone number that is most commonly used. If there’s room, adding a relative’s phone number (with their permission) will ensure that no one will miss this important call.

german shepherd wearing a dog tag
Image Credit: glacika56, Pixabay

5. Medical Information

If your dog has any medical conditions, adding that information or any other important information, such as deafness or blindness, is always helpful. The advantage is that it lets people know that bringing your dog back to you is urgent. It also makes your dog a little less desirable to those nefarious strangers!

6. A Reward

This might not be an option for everyone, but if you can afford it, a reward could encourage anyone who might have taken your dog to return him. Most people will bring your dog back to you without any incentive, but if someone has your dog and is thinking of keeping him, they may prefer a reward.

Golden Retriever
Image Credit: 905513, Pixabay

7. Microchip Information

Some people like to add the microchip number and company on their dog’s ID tag. Most companies allow you to look up a pet microchip number online, which will give the person who found your dog your contact information.

Of course, this can be accomplished by putting your contact information directly on the tag, but it would certainly save space on the tag without needing to add your name, phone number, or address. We can only hope that whoever has found your dog will know they can look this information up online.

8. A Personal Message

Clearly, this will take up a lot of room, but some people prefer this over the usual name, address, and phone number format that is pretty common. Some people prefer the personal touch.

Try “Call my human. He’s lost without me” or “I escaped. “I’m friendly” can give whoever has found your dog the information that not only is your dog lost but that he’s approachable.

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Advantages of Dog Tags

Some owners think that their dogs won’t run off or that the microchip is enough. However, we’ll briefly review the benefits of a dog ID tag below.

Pros
  • They are easy to find in a pet store or online
  • Inexpensive
  • Easy to customize—most online stores and pet stores will engrave them
  • You don’t need technology to reunite a dog with his owner
  • They are one of the fastest ways to get your dog back
Image Credit: Free-Photos, Pixabay

Disadvantages of Dog Tags

There are a few drawbacks with dog ID tags that we’ll go over. This gives you more information if a pet ID tag isn’t the best alternative for you and your dog.

Cons
  • Dog tags can be rather noisy. They might jangle, which your dog might not enjoy if they’re sensitive to noise. You can purchase plastic tags or a tag silencer.
  • Choking is also a possibility. The tags could become caught, so be sure you can fit two fingers between the collar and your dog’s neck.
  • Your dog might not like wearing the tags. You should start by getting your dog used to wearing a collar and then add the new tags. You can reward him with treats as you introduce the new tags until they no longer bother him. You could also consider using a personalized dog collar with your contact information embroidered.

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Conclusion: What to Put on a Dog Tag

We’ve provided several options for filling out dog tags, but you’ll have to pick and choose what you believe should be included on your dog’s tag. A dog ID tag should work well for most dogs and their owners, and we hope we’ve made the decision a little easier. Once a new dog tag is in place, you should feel more at ease knowing that your dog is safer.

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Featured Image Credit: Mia Anderson, Unsplash

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