Thursday, 23 April 2015

18 of the Best Pet Tags For 2017

You are probably reading these lines cause you are thinking of getting a cool-looking tag for your dog or cat or maybe for a friend's pet. Perhaps you are looking for something funny, unique or premium. Maybe something cute or something totally out of the ordinary! Here is a list of tags I handpicked to help you in the quest to find the ultimate name id tag for your little friend! If you are too lazy to check the whole list you might want to go for number 16, it's my favorite:


cute, bone shaped dog tags in multiple colors.
1. Cute Aluminum Personalized Tags by ProvidenceEngraving
Looking for a high quality , fully customizable yet cheap tag for your pet? Look no more! For only a few dollars you can get this beautiful, aluminum, fully personalised pet tag.

You can choose from a variety of cute shapes (bone, round, heart etc), colors and sizes (from extra small to large). Needless to say, it comes engraved with the message of your preference.  Up to 4 lines of text on each side with a maximum of 18 characters per line.

With hundreds of 5/5 star reviews you can't go wrong with this seller. I have personally tried him and I highly recommend him.

affordable dog tag with qr code. suitable for cats too
2. QR & GPS Enabled Tags by Dynotags
A gift for the geeks!! These tags have a QR code on the back and if your pet ever gets lost, anyone with a smart phone can simply scan the tag and you will be immediately alerted by an email, with the GPS location of the person who found your little buddy. Furthermore, you can set up a free page with all the information you want to include. I actually own two of these tags. Here's a quick review I wrote about them.

Interestingly, this gadget is cheaper than you might think!

6 cool star wars dog tags
3. Star Wars Tags
The perfect option for die hard star wars fans. Here we have a plethora of geeky and funny options. Just click here to scroll through all the star-wars-themed tags.

Your mind will be blown with the available designs. Vader, yoda, stormtroopers, Chewbacca etc. I am sure you will find something you truly love!

cheap stainless steel dog tags, come in sizes and designs. can be used for cats too
4. Playful Custom Engraved Tags by GoTags
These playful & fun tags come in 7 different designs, made from thick stainless steel that is made to last. Each tag comes with up to 4 lines of personalised text on the backside.

The available designs are bird, crossbones, dog bone, flower, heart, squirrel and star. The laser engraving is clear, permanent, and on a polished, mirror finish surface. Click here to view them

slick, heart shaped, fully customized dog tag
5. Stainless Steel Pet Id Tags by GoTags
These stainless steel pet tags are guaranteed to last longer compared to cheaper aluminum-made pet tags. They come in all kinds of shapes (heart, bone etc) and are laser engraved on both sides.

The engraving is clear, permanent, and attractive on a mirror-finish surface. Engravable on both sides, and up to 8 lines of personalised text, there's plenty of room for all of your pet's important information - up to 4 lines on the front and 4 lines on the back.

fully personalized Swarovski Crystal Tag
6. Swarovski Crystal Tags by ProvidenceEngraving
For just a few bucks, you can get this premium tag with genuine swarovski crystals. It measures 1.5" long by 1" tall and has 26 crystals on the front side. Other customisation options include color (blue, red, pink and others)  and the engraved message of your liking.

And here's another very similar and a bit cheaper offer by another seller

cool idea, combines usb flash drive with a dog tag
7.PCPETID "Find My Home" by Flexi
Here's another hi-tech solution (like no.2), this time a usb flash drive smartly fitted into a dogtag. A great gift for geeky pet-owners, although slightly more expensive than regular dogtags,

You can use the flash drive to store all kind of information about your pet, including home address, phone number, vet info, vaccinations, health issues etc. This info is easily retrievable and edited by anyone with access to a PC. There have been some complains about the durability of the item in the comments, which is something you may want to keep in mind.

Click here to view prices and availability

barrel shaped, hollow tube id holder for pets
8. Anti-Lost Tag Barrel Tube by Awtang
Changing your address often or maybe do a lot of travelling? There is no need to spend money on a new hanging id every time you need to update your contact information!

Just get this slick barrel tag and place a piece of paper inside with your new contact info whenever you change address, phone number or whatever!

Click here for price and availability

due to their small size, barrel tags are perfect alternatives to regular dog tags for small animals like cats
A cat wearing a barrel tag

beautiful, personalized  Slide-On Pet Tags
9. Slide-On, Stainless Steel Pet Tags by Gotags
I really like these tags. They are simple, cheap, practical, beautiful and a perfect option for the dogs that like to rip off their tags. Just make sure your dog's collar is not the clip type because you will be unable to slide them on. 

They come in three sizes and can have up to 4 lines of personalised laser engraved text. 

simple but cool custom made and fully personalized id dog collar
10. Custom Embroidered Dog Collar by Gotags
Not exactly a dog tag, but they serve the same purpose! These collars can be fully personalised to your dog, just choose collar size, thread color, text and you are good to go!

beautiful fully customizable dog tags11. Paw Print Round Stainless Steel Pet Tags by Gotags
Stylish and durable, these beautiful stainless steel identification tags are made from wearing-resistant polished stainless steel with a mirror finished look. Engraving includes up to 4 lines of text with 18 characters (including spaces) per line. If you ask me, I think they look really cool on small dogs or puppies.

They come in two sizes, regular and small, making them perfect both for dogs and cats!

fully customizable jewelry pet collar tag with velcro
12. Custom Engraved Jewelry Collar Tag By LuckyPet
This stylish and easy to attach  tag comes with a polished chrome appearance and has a lifetime and satisfaction guarantee.

Held in place by strong and durable Velcro that opens and closes to go securely around the collar. Available in three sizes (small, medium, large), many different colors and up to 5 lines of  engraved text.

This collar tag is a nice option both for dogs and cats. However there are some people complaining about the velcro in the reviews so have that in mind before ordering!

glitter tags
13. Glitter Paw Pet Tags by Io Tags
Stylish, cute, beautiful, durable and fully customisable. Personalisation includes 13 different colors and up to 3 lines of text, up to 13 characters per line.

These cute pawshaped  tags can be yours for a really unbeatable price.

14. Round Paw Enamel ID Tags Designers by CNATTAGS
Colorful and cute, the CNAttags come in multiple colors and sizes, ranging from tiny to large, making them perfect both for cats and dogs. Numerous fonts and all languages are supported for the engraved message which is a nice thing to have.

Most of the reviews come with 5 stars and there are some customers who have posted photos of their pets wearing them so I think this is a seller you can trust.

Click here to check them out

15. Crystal Round Heart by CNATTAGS
Another design by the same seller. Again, multiple colors, personalized message and a nice sexy crystal heart. It can be yours for just a handful of greenies.

The majority of reviews come with 5 stars so this seems like a cool purchsase for your pet. Click here to make this tag yours.

this is my favorite item from the whole list. Love the color pallete.
16. Cute Bone Shaped Dog ID Tag by Little Paw Store
I really love this one and I actually have two of them. Super cute, super good price and shipping was quite fast! Will definitely buy from them again!

Please note that the design and the name of your pet are sublimated on the front side only and not engraved. Still, I haven't had any fading problems. Click here to view this item.
photo of regular military dog tags. You can use one for your cat or dog!
17. Just get a military tag!
You can always go for something different and get an actual military.. dog tag for your pet. Simple and classy:)

This is the cheapest seller I could find, with 5 lines of the text of your choice. Probably you can find even better prices if you are willing to do some digging. Cheap, durable and plenty of space.. What else could you ask?

dog collar with gps tracker (tractive)
18. Tractive GPS Pet Tracker
Does your dog go missing all the time? Or maybe you want to make sure your dog sitter or walker really gives your puppy his daily exercise? If yes, you should definitely get your dog a GPS Pet Tracker. Tractive Tractive is one of the most popular and possibly the best tracker if we take price under consideration.

What I really love is the "virtual fence", an option to set boundaries (e.g. the perimeter of your garden) and you’ll receive an alert if your dog ever goes outside of it. You can always visit our best pet gps trackers guide if you want to buy something more expensive and advanced or something cheaper but simpler.

Extras Part 1: Extensive Buyer's Guide, What To Look Out For Before Buying a Pet ID Tag
Now let's see some of the key-features you should focus on before buying the perfect tag for your dog (or any other) in order to make a worthwhile investment that will last the test of time:
  • Overall Quality: The quality of the tag determines how sturdy and long-lasting the tag is going to be once you place it on your dog's collar. Unless you are one of those guys who loves getting a new fancy tag every few months, it is wise to invest in a high-quality, durable tag, even if it means paying a few extra bucks. Otherwise, be prepared to be buying a lot of cheap, low-quality replacements every now and then.
  • Material: Quality is strongly connected to the material you choose. Generally, the options are stainless steel vs iron vs plastic vs aluminium vs some other type of material. If you want something durable go for stainless steel, metal, enamel or iron. Plastic and aluminium are cheap but unfortunately don't offer the same level of sturdiness and resistance to cracks and breakage as the aforementioned premium options. Down below you will find more info about the most commonly used materials used for identification tags, along with advantages & disadvantages each one has.
  • Size of tag: Remember, the main purpose of the tag is to provide identification for your dog. Make sure to get one that offers adequate space for the info (address, phone number, pet name etc) that you want to be included!
  • Engraving: Although sometimes printed information can be of good quality and long lasting, it usually just doesn't stand the test of time.. This is why it is always better to have the information engraved on the tag. Laser engraving is a nice bonus as it tends to be more durable than engravings made by hand or machine. 
  • Prominent color: Another important factor to have in mind. The prominent color should complement the colouring of the engraved letters and words, to make it easier for people to read.
  • Proper fit: Make sure the dog tag you are about to buy doesn't hang too low or it will touch the food and water every time your pooch eats or drinks. Furthermore, it shouldn't be too loosely hanging or it might bang on the dog's chest. This can be very annoying for the animal and will also create a lot of unnecessary noise when hitting solid objects.
  • Pricing: You can easily assess whether a dog tag is improperly priced by looking at the materials, the finish and the workmanship. Is it made of expensive materials that justify a hefty price or is the price based more on the popularity of the brand?
These are pretty much the basic characteristics you need to investigate before buying a tag.

Materials & Types
One of the most important factors to consider before your final purchase is the material & type you want the tag to be made of. Below are the most common choices, some info about them, prons & cons and my opinion:
  • Aluminium: Hanging aluminium ID tags are one of the most popular options and this is no coincidence. The inscription on an aluminium tag is very easy to read and they tend to come for a dirt-cheap price if you ever need a replacement.  Not as durable as stainless steel but considering the price... who cares?!?! I guess they are not best choice for very active or outdoorsy pets as they might get tarnished and the engraving can rub off. Great for indoor dogs and cats. Another benefit is that they come in the widest selection of shapes, sizes and colors! You will surely find one that you like
  • Stainless Steel: One of the most commonly used materials. Very good durability, although a bit sensitive to rust.. These tags have no problem when exposed to rain or doggy drool, and they tend to be much more resistant than the ones made off aluminium. They usually ‘jingle’, which depending on the circumstance can be a pro or a con. If you want to know what your pet is up to, the "jiggling" might help. But on the other hand, the sounds can become annoying for you (and your pet buddy) at certain times, like when you try to sleep. However, you can buy small neoprene pouches (tag silencers) which do a fantastic job at stopping the jingle if you need peace and silence.A great choice overall. Regrettably, they don't come in many shapes, sizes and colors so finding one that you really like might be bothersome.
  • Plastic: Depending on the type of plastic they may prove to be super durable or plainly put... crap! Advantages? They make way less noise than metal ones and are usually super cheap. Plastic tags can be etched or printed, come in myriad of colors, and may be highly reflective to enhance visibility at night or low light conditions. Some plastics are sensitive to ultraviolet light and as a result their color and even composition can fade over time. ABS plastic (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) is one the most durable plastics used for pet i.d. tags.
  • Nylon Webbing: Some pet owners prefer the contact info to be directly embedded onto the collar so they don’t have to use a tag. Regrettably, they get dirty easily and won’t last as long as metal tags. 
  • Brass: My opinion is just stay away! This is a soft metal that bends easily. Furthermore, the coating tends to wear off after some time. Yes, brass is beautiful BUT unfortunately it will not last nearly as long as stainless steel or plastic. ID's made of brass may also tarnish and get a greenish color.
  • Engraved: Engraved tags are very popular and usually very cheap. However, the letters are often engraved superficially and wear off after some time. This of course greatly depends on the manufacturer. 
  • Stamped: Stamped tags are better than engraved ones. There is no cutting or shaving of the metal and as a result quality is not jeopardised. Some times the letters are bigger and take up more space but this won't be an issue if you opt for a bigger tag.
  • Embossed: The worst option to choose. They wear off very fast, better stay away!
  • Embroidered collars: Instead of an ID tag, you can always get a collar with all the important information directly embroidered onto it. Product #10 is a good and cheap example. A great way to have all the important information if for whatever reason you don't want to use a tag. They can also act as a "back-up" in the case the tag comes off. Unfortunately, they are much more expensive than hangings tags to buy or replace.
  • Slide on Tags: These name tags (like #9 on the list) are curved plates of metal, usually made of aluminium or stainless steel. They slide directly on the pet's collar and since there is no drop down, they are less likely to fall off or have the text rubbed off. They are also more silent than hanging tags. Their main advantage is that they don't get caught on anything when your pet is running or playing like crazy so they are more difficult to get lost. Regrettably, they aren't suited for adjustable collars and can only fit single-thickness collars. They also won’t slide on clip collars, only those with buckles. A bit more expensive than hanging tags but still cheap, affordable and very durable. 
  • Tube Style: A tube style ID tag is just a small, often waterproof cylinder that you can use to place a note inside. You can write all the important things in that note, including name, address, phone number etc. This design is very useful for people who relocate or travel often or need the ID info updated constantly for whatever reason. You just write the new info in a new piece of paper and replace the old one!
  • Light-up: Being visible during the night is a nice feature to have for  additional safety. Some tags simply have a reflective surface, but some actually come with a light-up front surface!
  • Handmade: If you want something truly unique to stand out from other pet owners than you should definitely try a handmade tag. There are numerous small retailers who sell handmade dog tags made of all kinds of materials including leather, metal, polymer clay and even wood! Needless to say, prices go way up for these items.. Or you can scroll down to part 3 of this guide if you want to know how to make your very own handmade tag :)

And here are some final notes you might want to consider before making your final selection:
  • Tags made of metal usually have the information embossed, engraved, or stamped into the surface. The characters created by embossing or engraving are made by removing some of the surface and are usually not as deep as stamped characters, which are made by stamping the ID with a metal die. As a result, stamped tags tend to be more durable than engraved tags, although some drag-engraving and laser engraving techniques can produce characters that are as deep, or deeper, than the stamped versions. 
  • Some tags are produced with the help of Dye-sublimation. This techniques allows to print images and artwork that is very durable and resists fading and wear. 
  • Some sellers use 3D printing to create tags from a variety of materials. These are often quite fancy and eye-catching but typically come for a hefty price. 

TIP: Think about the size and shape of the tag in respect to your contact info before making your final selection. If your name or address is too long, then it might be impossible to fit it into a round or heart-shaped tag.

Always read the reviews!
You should always read reviews (if available) and check the ratings before buying a tag. This is the only way to actually learn more about the actual quality of the product and the customer service behind it and not just make assumptions on the manufacturer’s description.

Keep an eye for allergic reactions
Like humans, pets can have allergies too! If you spot any kind of skin irritation close to the area where the tag hangs after you attach it, know that it might be an allergic reaction. This is extremely rare, but you want to keep an eye on your pet when you use a new tag (or collar) just in case! If this happens, my first suggestion is to take your pet to your vet as it might be something totally unrelated. If an allergy is confirmed, just buy a tag made from a different material and follow any other instructions the vet might give you.

Puppy wearing a blue, boneshaped dog tag.
Puppy wearing a stainless steel dog tag (#1 in the list)

Extras Part 2: Frequently Asked Questions About Pet ID Tags
Here are some answers to some of the most common questions pet owners have before buying a tag for their beloved animal:

1) Should I put my pet’s name on the tag? I don't see the point!
In my opinion, yes! If your pet goes missing then a clearly visible name gives anyone who might find your pouch the option to call it by name. This often proves very beneficial as it might relax the pet and allow the "stranger" who found it to capture it. Furthermore, if a stray dog slips out of his collar, or is skittish, there is a greater chance of a stranger controlling him if the name is used.

However, this is also a double edged knife, especially if you have an expensive breed and you live in an area where dog thefts are a common occurrence. In the latter case, if you have a dog that responds by name, regardless of who is talking to them, then it might be a better idea to omit the name.Not having your dogs name on their tag will make the life of a potential thief more difficult. Your dog will feel less comfortable going to a person that doesn't know its name and any prospective buyers might be alarmed if the dog doesn’t react to the name he will make up.

So should you put the dog's name on a tag? There are solid arguments behind both "Yes" and "No" so it's up to you. I always go for the "yes".

A final thing you might want to consider is that some organizations recommend not to put a dog's name on an ID tag. In case of an ownership dispute over a stray dog,  the original owner (you!) can use the dog's name to demonstrate that the dog recognizes the name and therefore has an association with you.

2) What info should I include on the tag?
Remember, the main purpose of an ID plate or tag is to get your pet home safely if it ever gets lost. The very first thing people do when finding a lost pet is check the tag and give a call to the owner. This means that including a phone number is your no. 1 priority. Make sure to list a cell phone and if there is enough space a home number as well.

The second most important info you want to list is your Name. Yours, not the pet's'! This will make it easier for the person calling you to get the right person on the phone, especially if you listed a work-phone.

These two bits of info are more than enough to get your dog (or other pet) back if it gets lost and happens to fall in good hands. However, if there is more space available you may also want to include the dog's name and your full address.

It's wise to put any important medical information. If your pet has a certain medical condition that needs special assistance make sure to note it!

Some people also add a reward to motivate people to contact you if your dog (or other pet) runs away or gets lost. Personally I am against this, especially if you have an expensive breed. I think it's just gives an extra reason for someone to steal your animal. Still, it's a nice gesture if you reward any person who returns your missing buddy! A small gift card or a home prepared meal is more than enough to express your sincere appreciation.

Lastly, if there's any space left it would be cool to include a pithy phrase, a pun or something funny. Something playful, like "if you can read this, I’m gonna to lick you." will do ;)

Now, if your pet is micro-chipped, I think it's a good idea to attach a second tag to the collar that lists the microchip company’s name and phone number. In certain states, like the Massachusetts, you are obligated by law to have your pet wear its proof for rabies vaccination. The number on the rabies tag can also be used to identify your pet.

3) How often should I change my tags?
Well, as long as the information on the tag is clearly visible there is no actual need to change the tag. Make sure to get a new one if you move to a new adress or change phone number(s). You want to check your pet’s name tags every now and then for readability and replace them if they become worn or scratched. It's also a good idea to have a few spares just in case, and will probably score a better price if you buy in bulk. From my experience, pets lose their tags more often than you would guess! This is why I am also against buying expensive tags. First your dog doesn't care about the price and second, you will need a replacement before you know it! :)

4) I am baffled by all these options. Can you just suggest me one?
Well as I said in the introduction, number 16# is my favorite. It's really cheap, cute and of relatively good quality. I have actually purchased a few extras for my 2 dogs to have them ready if they ever need a replacement.  I have also tried number 1# and I was satisfied with both the design and durability.. But when the time came for a replacement number 16# stole my heart :)

Now if you want to know the whereabouts of your dog in a 24/7 basis just go for the more expensive gps tracker (no. 18). You will always know what your pup is up to!

Finally, a tube (like  no. 8#) will save you a lot of money if your contact info changes constantly due to travelling, relocation or whatever!

There is no best id tag, it all depends on your personal taste and needs!

Extras - Part 3: How to make your own cool pet tags!
Still haven't found what you were looking for? Maybe it's time to make an id tag yourself! Don't worry, it's easy as a pie and won't take more than 5 minutes. The best part? The materials required are super cheap! Here's what you are going to need:
  • Printing paper 
  • Printer 
  • Shears 
  • Jump rings 
  • Sticker roll

The first thing you want to do is find a cool picture, logo or whatever you want to be featured on your tag. Then open that picture on any photo editing software (windows MS Paint will do just fine), add some details about your pet (e.g. name, address etc), and hit print! It might take you a few tries until you get the proper size, just experiment a bit with various size. If you are skilled, you can try using various fancy fonts to make the id look even cooler. If not, just ask a friend with better skills than you :)

Then cut the paper to the shape you want (circle is the easiest) and dress it with the sticker roll. The sticker roll will make the id water proof and more durable to time. Finally, put a jump ring around the paper. Congrats, your DYI pet tag is ready for use!

Some Closing Thoughts
Please remember, buying a pet ID tag is a lot like buying insurance. Pet tags are not just for decoration. They serve an important purpose of identifying your dog or cat if it somehow happens to wander off from your home.

The potential cost of not having a pet ID tag is way more expensive than the “actual cost” of buying the id itself. Not to mention that most of them are super cheap and you can get one for just a few bucks. There is no excuse for not buying one! Thousands of pets get lost every year, sadly many of them never reunite with their family because they didn't have a tag and weren't chipped!

Treat your pets like a part of your family. Each human member has a social security number, birth certificate and an ID card. Regardless of your budget, I am sure you can find an elegant id tag that will suit your needs.

infographic about lost pets and how many of them are found
Did you know that one pet gets lost every 7 second?
A dog with a microchip and an ID tag is 2.4 times
more likely to make it back home!

Do you know of any other cool  id suggestions we missed? That's what the comments are for!! Don't hesitate to share with us your recommendations.

Related Links
  • Cool Pet Gift Ideas: Wanna buy a gift for your pet or for a friend who loves his animals more than himself? Visit the link to check out some great pet gits.

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