In honor of National Pet ID Week, it’s a good time to discuss what information is on your dog’s ID tag. With Lemmy we practically had a book written on his first tag. This included his name, a phone number, our street address, and even the line “I need medicine please.” In order to fit all this information we used the smallest print possible, which probably would have made reading the tag on a squirming Golden Retriever difficult if not impossible to do. Ok, so we were overcautious parents. Over the years we have slowly removed information, and increased the font to simply have our dog’s name and our cell number on one side, and on the reverse side of the the tag the dog’s name and the cell number of a relative. This way if our little buddy wanders off hopefully one of us can be reached immediately.
What you include on your dog’s ID tag is a personal decision. Some people would rather have their street address instead of a phone number. Others have their phone number and the contact information of their veterinarian. I’ve even heard some people prefer not including the dog’s name at all. The reasoning here is if the dog is stolen, the dog will not respond to that person if they use an incorrect name, and thus perhaps alert an observant vet to the situation. However, Chuck Billy and Asa are Golden Retrievers, so as soon as they meet someone – wrong name or not – they are instantly friends.
Whatever information you decide to include be sure to check the tag regularly to make sure it is still legible and that it is securely attached to the collar. This is your first line of defense in finding your dog. It is also good to have a second means of identification. Today there are so many options from a microchip being inserted into your dog that can be scanned, to entering your dog into a national database through an ID tag, and I recently learned digital dog IDs are now available using a QR code on the dog’s collar. With advances in technologies, there are many options available. But whatever you use from traditional dog ID tag to more sophisticated technology, be sure to check regularly that the information is correct and readable.