According to a survey by Dr. Emily Weiss of ASPCA, 11 to 16 percent of dogs are lost at least once every five years. Based on their research, 9 to 23 percent of reported lost dogs are found mainly because they are wearing their ID tags or have microchipping information.
This research shows the importance of having dog identification. But what necessary information should a dog tag have? Should you put your dog’s name on its tag? Let’s find out.
Should a Dog Wear a Tag With Their Name On It?
Dog tags have proven their purpose in returning lost dogs to their owners. We know that it is not just because they are wearing it. It contains information that helps others to identify the dog’s owner. Unfortunately, your dog’s name on its tag does not help identification much.
You may put your dog’s name on its tag. However, if your dog knows how to respond to its name when you call it, there is a risk that dognappers will use it to lure your dog to go outside and come along. No owner wants that to happen.
Since there are not so many laws regarding pet ID tags, owners are confused about what to put on a dog tag. But in the UK, they mandate what information you can include in your dog’s collar to prevent dognapping and help find your furry friend when lost.
What Information Should I Put On My Dog's Tag?
UK dog tag law indicates that the owner’s information should be found on the ID tag to increase the chance of returning a lost dog. Here are the details you should put in a dog tag:
According to the research conducted by Minerva Schools at KGI last 2021, 70 percent of lost dogs are just a mile away from their home. Therefore, putting your updated house number, house name, or postal code can increase your chances of reuniting with your dog.
If your contact number is available on your dog’s tag, a good neighbor or anyone who would find your dog can easily get in touch with you. It will save both of you time and effort. Ensure that you include at least two working contact numbers, either a home phone number or a personal mobile number.
Instead of your dog’s name with little to no help finding them, put your initial and surname instead. You may also add your full name if you feel comfortable with it. However, you cannot put only your surname per the Dog Control Act of 1992 as it also cannot help so much in locating your dog. Imagine how many people can have the same surname as you.
Medical history or allergens are optional and can be indicated in their microchip. However, if the medical condition is critical and can put your dog in a worse situation, it is wise to add it to their identification tag.
In some states and countries, microchipping is not mandatory. But if your dog has microchipping information, it can help locate or return them to you. You may put the microchipping information of your dog on its tag to discourage dognappers, knowing that you can trace your dog.
Important Habits and Traits
Another optional information to put on a dog tag is its specific habits or traits. You may indicate if your dog is not good with children, can be aggressive while eating, loves to cuddle, or any other habits they should be aware of. A warning saves both you and the temporary caretaker of your dog.
Leaving a short personal message on your dog’s tag could drive the point that it is important, and you will be out looking for it in case it gets lost. It would encourage potential dog thieves to take pity on you and just return your dog home.
The message can be concise. If it doesn’t fit a dog tag with all the other information included.
Advantages & Disadvantages of Dog Tags
While it makes sense to let your fur baby have a dog tag, there are fur parents who disagree with the idea. Below summarizes the pros and cons of getting your dog one.
Here are some of the advantages of having a dog tag:
Affordability and Accessibility
Among all the ways to ID your dogs, getting them kennel club dog tags could be the least expensive. You don’t need to spend a lot just to make it happen. It is pretty accessible, too, since you can buy one online.
It doesn’t involve lengthy processes and doesn’t require the service of trained professionals or a vet. You just need to provide what to put on a dog tag.
Dog tags are customizable. It comes in an assortment of shapes, designs, sizes, and even colors. Fur parents could even choose to incorporate precious stones in them, which could function as a piece of jewelry for dogs and add to their appeal.
Straightforward and Easy Interpretation
Another perk of getting your fur baby a dog tag is that it doesn’t need an app to interpret the information embedded. It is already in plain sight, making it easier to guide your dog home.
Here are some of the disadvantages of wearing a dog tag:
Poses Potential Danger
Many fur parents opt to do without the Pet ID tags for their dogs because it could cause choking when not fitted correctly. Thus, when you get one, ensure that the dog collar with the name won’t be too tight or too loose that it could easily get caught at anything as your puppy goes through its regular activities.
Can Be a Source of Unpleasant Noise
Particularly when you get metal pet ID tags, and there are more than one, this could produce unpleasant noise with the continuous movement of your dog. Good thing there are plastic or rubber dampers for dog tags available to help minimize the sound.
Can Irritate Your Dogs
It is more likely to happen, especially when your dog is not used to wearing one. But the key here is to give it time. You could also ease your dog into wearing one with the help of positive reinforcement. You can also remove it once in a while to let your dog’s skin breathe.
Dog Microchipping and Tag Laws
In the UK, there are laws mandating microchips and tags among dogs.
The law decreeing the need to microchip dogs 8-weeks old and above started in the UK in 2016. These dogs should also be registered at a government-certified database available commercially.
The responsibility of microchipping dogs falls on the shoulders of the breeder. So does the responsibility of updating the information once the little pup is home.
Tiny it may be, but the microchip embedded in a dog will contain its identification in case it gets lost. It would decrease its likelihood of ending up in a shelter and discourage wrongdoers from stealing it. The microchip could also pave the way for the dog to find its owner.
They will give a fine of £500 and criminal prosecution for those who fail to microchip and register their dogs within 21 days upon issuance of the notice.
Dog Tag Laws
Another dog identification-related UK law would be the Dog Control Order of 1992. It states that dogs should have a dog collar in place whenever in public places. It should have a dog tag reflecting significant information about its owners, such as the name, address, and contact number.
Such would enable the easy return of pet dogs to their owners in case they wander away or during emergencies. A fine of £5000 will be inflicted on those pet owners who will not abide by these rules.
The presence of a microchip in your dog shouldn’t prevent you from getting a pet ID tag. The better identifiable your dog, the higher the possibility of always finding its way back to you.
Collar Tag Exemption in Dogs
Despite the dog tag law UK, some dogs are exempted from the rule of wearing one. However, let’s be clear that they still need to have microchipping information. Among the dogs excluded are the following:
- Dogs trained for rescue work
- Sporting dogs
- Pack of hound (hunting) dogs
- Trainee dogs for capturing/destroying vermin
- Herding/tending sheep or cattle
- Guide Dogs for the Blind Association
- Dogs doing official duties by a member of Her Majesty’s Armed Forces, HM Customs and Excise, or the police.
Microchipping your dog and getting a dog tag with all the important information makes it easier to secure your fur baby. It is one way to care for your pet dog and ensure that it will get back to you if it gets lost.