The Importance of Collars and ID Tags

The Importance of Collars and ID Tags

Technology has made many enhancements to our daily lives, even in how we care for our pets. Nowadays it’s common for dogs, cats, and other household animals to be "microchipped" for identification and safety, but high tech has nothing on the most basic, long-used, and highly reliable method: the collar and tag.

It works pretty simply: a collar around your dog’s neck tells the world that he or she belongs to somebody, who may be concerned of the dog’s whereabouts. An identification need only have the barest of information to be effective: the dog’s name and a phone number where the owner may be contacted.

If you’re convinced that your dog is too well-trained, behaved, and devoted to you to ever become lost, think again. According to non-profit rescue organization FoundAnimals.org, "one in three pets will become lost at some point in their lifetimes," and states that "ID tags are the primary way that rescue groups can get in touch with owners and return them." This is confirmed by the Humane Society of America, which reports that only 30% of dogs and less than 5% of cats are ever reclaimed by their owners in shelters, most likely due to missing identification.

Collars range in price and material, from simple nylon to durable leather, in virtually every color imaginable, to fit your own (or your dog’s) sense of style. Some are even designed to offer embroidering or an engravable plate for identification purposes, making it doubly effective. Whatever style you choose, be sure it’s strong enough to keep from slipping off. It should be comfortable, but also designed to stay put. Functionality should definitely outweigh fashion here.

Tip: If you crate your dog for any length of time, remove the collar for safety reasons, as it could become stuck and frighten and injure your pet.

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As mentioned above, a tag just needs a little information to serve its purpose. They’re relatively inexpensive, both to purchase and to engrave, so it’s a good idea to have duplicates in case one becomes lost (or the collar it’s attached to goes missing). In fact, the more tags the merrier: you’ll soon listen for the familiar jingle when minding your dog. Along with the ID, a rabies tag serves the dual purpose of proving that your dog has been vaccinated (as required by law) along with being uniquely numbered to help potential rescuers find you should you become separated. If your town requires dogs to be licensed and registered, add that tag to the collar as well.

Tip: While they don’t cost much, you shouldn’t skimp on price when it comes to an ID tag. Opt for a quality tag that can handle solid engraving that won’t dull or rub away over time. Remember: your dog is less likely to be returned if the tag is illegible

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