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Keep Your Dog Safe With These 3 Must-Have ID Tag Attachments

December 08, 2023 10 min read

dog ID tag attachments


Dog ID tags are an essential item for any dog owner. They serve the important purpose of providing identification and contact information in case a dog gets lost.

Dog ID tags typically contain the dog's name, owner's name, address, and phone number. Some also include additional information like the dog's microchip number or important medical information. ID tags allow someone who finds a lost dog to quickly get in contact with the owner to reunite them.

The use of ID tags for dogs dates back to the late 1800s. As more households began keeping dogs as pets, it became apparent there was a need to identify them in case they went missing. Early dog tags were simple metal discs that included minimal information engraved or stamped into them.

Over time, ID tags evolved to contain more details and adopt more innovative designs. Vinyl-coated stainless steel tags became popular in the 1950s. Engraved metal plates inside plastic casings helped protect the information from wear. More recently, QR code and NFC-enabled "smart" ID tags have been introduced to provide digital access to a dog's information.

No matter what style of ID tag is used, they serve the vital purpose of getting lost dogs safely back home. Dog owners should ensure their pets are always wearing an ID tag anytime they are out in public. The tags help provide security and peace of mind that there is a backup way to identify dogs if they become separated from their owner.

Basic ID Tags

Most dog ID tags sold today are made of either stainless steel or aluminum. Stainless steel tags are more expensive but also more durable and less likely to corrode. Aluminum tags are lightweight and inexpensive but can corrode over time.

The shape of basic ID tags is typically either a bone or a rectangle. Bone shaped tags have a more natural look and often include an actual image of a dog bone on the tag. Rectangular tags allow for maximizing the engraving space on the tag.

Engraving on basic ID tags is done with a laser or diamond tipped stylus. Laser engraving can fit smaller text and more information, while stylus engraving has a more classic look. The engraving normally includes the dog's name, owner's name, address, and one or two phone numbers. Some tags may also include space for listing veterinarian information and health details like vaccinations. The text size and font can be customized.

Overall, basic ID tags provide the essential identification details for dogs at an affordable price point. Their simple design and engraving gets the job done for daily use. More customized and advanced ID tags are available for those wanting to add visual flair or smart technology.

Custom ID Tags

Beyond basic ID tags, there are many options to customize your dog's tag to match their personality. Custom tags allow you to add photos, custom text, and come in unique shapes and materials.

Adding Photos

One popular customization is adding a photo of your dog to the ID tag. This helps ensure your dog is easily identified if lost. You can add a professional photo of your pup, a cute snapshot, or even a caricature style drawing. Services exist to make custom ID tags with your dog's photo added.

Custom Text

Get creative with the text on your dog's ID tag. Instead of just the basics like name and phone number, you can add fun text that shows their personality. For example, "I'm Fido and I love treats!" or "If lost, please feed me pizza". Some tags allow you to add text on both sides, so get creative!

Unique Shapes and Materials

Standard ID tags tend to be round or bone-shaped in stainless steel. But companies offer custom tags made from unique materials like wood, acrylic, ceramic, even metal & embossed leather. Shapes go beyond boring circles to stars, fire hydrants, dog bones and more. Personalize with materials and shapes that fit your dog's style.

The options for custom ID tags today allow you to create a tag as unique as your pup. Add photos, fun text, and choose from creative shapes and materials to make it your dog's own. A custom tag allows you to express their personality while keeping them safe and identifiable.

Smart ID Tags

Smart ID tags take dog tags to the next level with technology like Bluetooth and GPS tracking. These high-tech tags allow owners to monitor their dog's location and activity through a linked smartphone app.

Some key features of smart ID tags include:

  • Bluetooth Connectivity: Smart tags use Bluetooth to connect with your smartphone, allowing you to track your dog's whereabouts and receive alerts when your dog goes missing or leaves a designated area. The effective Bluetooth range is typically 30-100 feet.

  • GPS Tracking: In addition to Bluetooth, some smart tags contain GPS chips. This enables real-time location tracking anywhere with cellular service, rather than just when in Bluetooth range. GPS tags allow you to see your dog's location, route history, and activity levels.

  • Activity Monitoring: Smart tags can track your dog's steps, rest patterns, and calories burned. This helps monitor your dog's health and energy levels.

  • Temperature Alerts: Some tags have sensors to detect abnormal body temperature. You'll receive mobile alerts if your dog is too hot or cold, which is useful for breeds prone to temperature extremes.

  • Waterproof Design: Smart tags are designed to be rugged and waterproof, so they can withstand normal dog activities like swimming or playing in the rain. However, they are not fully submergible for extended periods.

  • Collar Attachment: Most smart tags attach to your dog's collar like a standard ID tag. Some use sturdy silicone collars specifically designed for that smart tag model.

  • Long Battery Life: Smart dog tag batteries can last several months to a year before needing recharged. Some use replaceable coin cell batteries. Batteries are designed to be pet-safe.

  • App Integration: Smart tags sync data to iOS and Android apps. App features include location tracking, custom geofences, activity monitoring, temperature alerts, and even social media sharing of your dog's adventures.

Smart ID tags provide safety, security, and health insights for beloved pets. The latest models are packed with cutting-edge tracking capabilities and sensors to give dog owners extra peace of mind. They go far beyond traditional engraving to add hi-tech functionality.


A standard dog ID tag often comes with a simple metal ring to attach it to your dog's collar. While this may work for some dogs, many pet owners prefer to use additional attachments to keep the tag secure. Popular attachments include:


Collars are the most common attachment for ID tags. Make sure to use a properly fitted collar that is snug but not too tight on your dog's neck. Nylon or leather collars generally work best for holding a tag. Avoid chain slip collars as these can allow the tag to slide off. Choose a wide collar with room to accommodate the tag without irritating your dog's skin.


For dogs that pull hard on leashes or escape from collars, attaching the ID tag to a no-slip harness keeps it securely in place. Harnesses disperse pressure over the chest instead of the neck, reducing strain. Look for a harness with a metal ring specifically designed to hold ID tags. Make sure the harness fits properly so the tag cannot slide off.


Several accessories allow you to attach ID tags in creative ways:

  • Silicone tag holders slip onto collars to keep tags from jingling and getting scratched.

  • Key ring clips allow you to securely attach tags to a collar D-ring.

  • Retractable tag leashes attach tags to the collar but let them hang down the side of the neck for comfort.

  • Lanyards go around the neck and hold the ID tag in clear view without irritating the skin.

Get creative with collars, harnesses, and accessories to find the most secure and comfortable ID tag attachment for your dog. Proper placement keeps the tag visible and readable while allowing your dog to move freely.


One of the best ways to personalize your dog's ID tag is by engraving it with custom information. This allows you to include your dog's name, your contact information, and even special messages.

Engraving Names

Engraving your dog's name onto their ID tag is crucial. This ensures that your dog can be easily identified and returned to you if they ever get lost. Most standard ID tags come with space to engrave the dog's name, often on both sides of the tag. This allows the name to be visible at all times, even if the tag flips over. When getting your dog's tag engraved, make sure to include their full name.

Engraving Contact Information

In addition to your dog's name, their ID tag should include your contact information. This typically includes your phone number and address. Some tags also have space for an email address. Engraving this vital contact information makes it extremely easy for someone who finds your lost dog to get in touch with you. Be sure to include the phone number and address where you are most likely to be reached.

Engraving Special Messages

Beyond just names and contact info, many ID tags also allow you to engrave custom text or special messages. For example, you may want to include "Reward if found" to incentivize return. Other popular engraving options are "Please call owner" or "I'm friendly". Some tags have enough space for a short sentence or two of custom text. Get creative with your message to make your dog's tag unique. Just be sure not to make the text too lengthy. The most important info like the name and phone should stand out.

Engraving your dog's ID tag adds a personal touch while also providing vital information. Take advantage of this customization so your pup's tag does exactly what it needs to - get them home safe and sound if they ever get lost.


Having a dog ID tag that is highly visible can greatly increase the chances of it being spotted and your dog being identified and returned if lost. There are several features and design elements that can maximize visibility.

Reflective Materials

Using reflective materials on a dog tag enhances visibility tremendously. Reflective tags will shine brightly when a light source like a flashlight hits them. Some tags have a reflective border while others may have a reflective background. This allows the tag to be spotted even at night or in low-light conditions. Go with the most reflective tag possible for the best visibility.

Flashing Lights

Some high-tech dog tags include flashing LED lights. These battery-powered tags have a light that flashes periodically to make the tag super visible. The flashing light grabs attention even in the darkest conditions. This feature does require replacing batteries periodically.

Bright Colors

Opt for dog tags that use bright, vibrant colors that stand out. Bright orange, neon yellow, fluorescent green, and other bold colors will get noticed more easily compared to plain silver, black, or blue tags. Combining bright colors with reflective materials creates the most visible ID tag.

Contrasting Text

Make sure the text and background colors contrast sharply so the name, address, and phone number can be read clearly. Dark text over a light background works best. Avoid similar shades that blend together. Prioritize readability.

The more visible a dog's ID tag is, the better the chances of it serving its purpose if your dog ever gets lost. Focus on reflective materials, flashing lights, bold colors, and high-contrast text to maximize visibility and identification. The tag needs to grab attention so your dog can be returned safely and quickly.


When choosing a dog ID tag, you'll want one that is durable and can withstand your dog's active lifestyle. Look for tags made of strong, chew-proof materials that won't easily bend, break or scratch.

Waterproof Tags

Waterproof dog tags are a must, especially if your dog loves swimming or playing in water. Water can cause metal tags to rust and fabric tags to deteriorate. Opt for waterproof plastic, silicone or hard enamel tags. Some have waterproof casings to protect paper inserts.


For dogs that love to chew, look for sturdy, chew-proof dog tag designs. Hard plastic, silicone and steel tags hold up best. Avoid tags with parts that can easily break off. Also consider chew deterrent tags made of bitter-tasting materials.


Metal identification tags can become scratched over time, making them harder to read. Look for engraving materials like black enamel that resist scratches and retain legibility. Laser engraving can also improve durability.

Choosing a dog tag that can withstand water, chewing and scratches will ensure the ID lasts over years of wear and provide you peace of mind. Prioritize durability so your dog's tag is readable and reliable when you need it most.

Safety Tips

It's important that your dog's ID tag stays securely attached at all times. Here are some tips for keeping your dog's tag safe:

  • Secure fitting: Make sure the tag fits snugly on your dog's collar. It shouldn't be loose enough to slide back and forth or wiggle around. Measure your dog's collar size and select the right tag size for a proper fit.

  • Regular checks: Check your dog's collar and tag each time you take them out. Give a gentle tug on the tag to confirm it's firmly attached. Also check that the collar is snug but not too tight.

  • Emergency info: Engrave your phone number and address on the back of the tag. Include a secondary phone number too, like your veterinarian's office or a family member. Having complete contact details helps get your lost dog home fast.

  • Avoid dangling tags: Some dangling tag attachments can get caught and pull off. Opt for closer-fitting slide-on plastic or stainless steel attachments. Or choose an engraved ID directly on your dog's collar.

  • No choke hazards: Make sure the tag hangs below your dog's collar so it doesn't pose a choking hazard if caught on something. Place it low on the collar near the buckle.

Regularly checking your dog's collar and ID tag will help avoid losing it. And including detailed emergency contact information could be a lifesaver if your dog ever gets lost. Keeping tags secure gives you peace of mind when your pup is out and about.

Top Brands

When choosing an ID tag for your dog, it's best to go with a popular, reputable brand that you can trust. Some top brands for dog ID tags include:

  • GoTags: GoTags offers a huge variety of custom engraving options for dog tags, including photos. Their stainless steel tags come in a range of shapes and colors.

  • Boomerang Tags: Boomerang makes slide-on collapsible ID tags, which can help prevent tags from getting caught. Their tags fold up when not in use.

  • American Kennel Club: The AKC offers high-quality engraved ID tags in classic bone and heart shapes. Their stainless steel tags come in a range of colors.

  • Tagg: Tagg sells smart, connected dog tags that let you track your dog's location and monitor their vitals. Their app integrates with the tag.

  • PetHub: PetHub's smart tags and QR codes allow shelter staff to quickly access your dog's online profile if they get lost. The tags sync with their app.

  • Road ID: Road ID is known for their running and athletic ID tags, and they make durable tags for dogs too. Their pet ID tags are engraved with key contact info.

When selecting a dog ID tag, consider factors like durability, visibility, personalization options, smart features, and the reputation of the brand. With tags from reputable brands like these, you can feel confident your dog's ID will hold up.

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