Dogs sometimes escape. That’s just a fact of life. Your dog may escape from your yard when a meter reader leaves the gate unlocked, or from your home when the kids leave the door open for longer than the split second it takes to go through, or they may dig out or even jump a fence.

When your dog is eventually found by a neighbor or good samaritan, the first thing they are going to do is check the collar for ID tags. Unfortunately, a recent study showed that fewer than 33 percent of owners keep ID tags on their pets.

This is alarming when you think that besides microchipping, ID tags are the best way to ensure your pet is returned to you.

There are dozens of ways to tag your pet

Here’s a look at a few:

ID Tags: When selecting an ID tag, choose one that will last a good long time. These are usually stainless steel or a solid plastic.

QR Codes: QR coded dog tags can be useful if you live in an area where everyone knows what a QR code is and how to read it. Another option is to choose a tag like Blanket ID.  These tags have a registry number ID engraved, and the “finder” can use this number to access an owner’s information.

Medical Alert Tags: Pet Medical ID tags are designed to alert finders to important information about the dog. These are ideal for dogs or cats who have medical issues, like diabetes, arthritis, asthma, joint disorders, deafness, memory loss, and more.  

Slide On tags can be slipped on the outside of your dog’s collar so you never have to hear jingly tags. Be sure you choose a reputable brand. These are ideal if you have a breed that needs to wear a harness rather than a collar.  

What to Include on a Dog Tag

In most cases, people will not take the time to check for a microchip and may never know they have your pet.  

At the bare minimum, an ID tag should contain your dog’s name and your phone number. But it’s far more useful if you also include your address and any medical information.

Microchipping is the number one way to have your dog’s returned to you. But, in addition to microchipping, make sure your pets are wearing a collar or harness with proper ID at all times.