The Definitive Guide to Dog I.D. Tags

As a pet owner, one of the most important things you can do for your dog is ensure that they are ALWAYS wearing an identification tag with appropriate contact information (even if your pet is microchipped!). In the event that you lose your pup, an I.D. tag offers the the fastest route to his or her safe return to you.

The selection for I.D. tags is quite wide! You have choices when it comes to the type of material, how to attach it to your pet’s collar, and what information to include. Here’s a great summary of your options:

Material type options:

Stainless steel: Stainless steel is one of the most durable options for your pet’s identification tag. It can brave the elements and remain rust-free for years, even for those ocean-swimming pups! Pet information may be engraved, embossed, or stamped into the tag’s surface. Although stamping tags (using a metal die to stamp lettering into the tag) is often believed to be best for longevity, newer methods of engraving may be as deep or deeper than stamping. Whatever method is chosen, be sure to check your dog’s tags every few months to make sure the information remains legible.

Example steel ID tag:

Stainless-Steel-Pet-Tags for Dogs

Anodized aluminum: Anodized aluminum is sturdier than bare aluminum, however it remains much less strong and more likely to break than stainless steel. As with stainless steel tags, identifying information can be engraved, embossed, or stamped.

Example aluminum ID tag:

Plastic: Although plastic might seem like your least durable option, many plastic tags are made from acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) plastics. ABS plastic is one of the strongest types of plastics and is commonly used for a variety of protective devices, ranging from car bumpers to motorcycle helmets. I.D tags that are made of ABS plastic may be preferred because they are lightweight and reflective according to ABS Plastic.

Example of an ABS plastic ID tag:

Plastic ABS Dog Tags

Attachment options:

Hanging: Hanging tags are probably the most traditional option and typically affix to your canine’s collar with a split ring. For a particularly active or rambunctious pup, however, these tags can quickly become a jangling, noisy nuisance. Tag silencers stretch around your dog’s hanging tag to reduce the sound of the tag as your dog moves around.

Dog Tag Silencers:

Dog Tag Silencers


Example hanging option:

Hanging Dog Tag ID for pets and animals

Slide on: As the name implies, slide on tags...slide right onto your dog’s collar. Many are curved to your pup’s neck, offering maximum comfort. As compared to traditional hanging tags, slide on tags offer the advantage of being more quiet (and less likely to be chewed!).

Example slide on tag:

slide on dog tag for pets


Rivet on: Some identification tags may be riveted directly onto your pup’s collar. Similar to the slide on tags, these types of tags are quieter than the hanging tags. Rivet on tags may be ideal when your dog’s collar has a buckle, as many slide on tags can’t fit over these types of fasteners.

Example rivet on option:

rivet pet dog id tag

Contact information options:

Ideally, your dog’s tag should include your name, your phone number, and the city where you reside. While some pet owners opt to include their pet’s name on the identification tag, others omit it. There are pros and cons to both options. Including your pet’s name may help a rescuer calm and control a lost pup, however some think that excluding the name makes it easier to prove ownership in the event you are separated from your pup. If you dog is microchipped, you might also consider a second tag that provides the name and phone number of the microchip company. ‚Äč