Pet identification tags are worn on many pets' collars. As I look at the 4 tags that are on my American Eskimo Gusto's collar, I wonder if he should be wearing so many pet identification tags that serve basically the same purpose…identification.
Types of Pet Identification Tags
- Rabies tag with ID number and with the veterinarian's phone number
- County license with ID number and a phone number to call
- Microchip number
- AKC Reunite Tag with Registration number, a microchip number on file and a phone number to call
How Many Pet Identification Tags Are Necessary?
I asked a few of my dog-loving friends how many pet identification tags were on their dog's collar. Their answers ranged from 0 to 6. If I had every tag on one of Gusto's collars, there would be 5 tags.
By law, a dog is required to be vaccinated for rabies so many owners put the Rabies tag on their dog's collar. It is an easy way to prove a dog is vaccinated if an incident occurs at a dog park or elsewhere in public. However, an owner does have 24 hours in most cases to prove that a rabies vaccination is valid and current so wearing a rabies tag on the pet's collar is not necessary.
In Pennsylvania, you can buy a Lifetime Dog License if your dog has permanent identification in the form of a microchip or tattoo. So theoretically, if your dog is lost and is scanned or the tattoo is visible, he is also licensed.
Most county offices have limited hours so wearing a dog license does little good if the dog is injured and ends up in a vet's office wearing only a license. The vet may delay treatment until the owner can be reached and in many cases, payment is agreed upon for the necessary services.
Benefits of Pet Identification Tags
- Peace of mind for the pet parent
- Quicker return of the wandering pet
Dangers Associated With Pet Identification Tags
- Pets swallow tags
- Tags with or without O rings get stuck in fences/bars of kennels
- Tags fall off and get lost when dogs run free
- Multiple Tags make noise as they dangle, alerting predatory animals that your pet is approaching. This can be prevented by encasing the tags in a quiet spot tag bag.
- Multiple tags attached to collars with heavy carabiners can cause cervical subluxations resulting in neck pain and a visit to the chiropractor.
- People who find your pet may grab at the your pet's collar to read the tag hiding in thick fur. Your pet may fear that person and either continue to stay on the run or bite in response to being fearful.
Pet Identification Microchip May Be Best Option
Gusto is the first dog that I have had microchipped. In the past, my holistic veterinarian was concerned about migrating microchips and sensitivity to a foreign object causing lameness in my American Eskimos.
However, since I travel to dog events with Gusto, we muscle tested him for sensitivity and agreed that
microchipping him would be the best option for permanent identification.
I chose to use Home Again that has a one-time activation fee of $10 and a yearly fee of $14.99 for the additional benefits of being able to make a single phone call if Gusto ever got lost and having the following actions take place:
- 24/7 Recovery Specialists issue an immediate lost pet alert to local vets, shelters and Pet Rescuers in the area where Gusto is lost
- I can create a Lost Pet Poster on the website and start posting them immediately
- When Gusto is found, the shelter or clinic is provided with up-to-date owner and medical information to ensure proper treatment
- I will be contacted immediately when Gusto is found
- I have a Pet ID Card to use in case of emergency or pet validation at kennels which has Gusto's photo, name, breed, color, weight, age and gender as well as vaccination information on it.
Like you, I want to take advantage of all of the options for pet identification. Since I remove Gusto's collar and thus his pet identification tags while he is in the house, at least I can rest easy knowing that he can still be identified through his microchip in case he slips out of the house and runs down the rabbit trail on a dark, stormy night.
Come back for more Miracle Living With Gusto!
P. S. What forms of pet identification do you use for your pets?