Different Types of Pet ID’s

“I was so excited when my human opened the door. I raced out forgetting that I was suppose to have my leash on. I could hear her calling my name, but the smells were so enticing, I just had to find out where they were coming from. Now I’m lost and it’s getting dark and cold and I’m really hungry. Where’s my human?” — lost pet

The Importance of IDing Your Pets

IDing your pet is crucial. It’s a part of being a responsible pet owner. Some people will say, “But my pet is an indoor pet.” It’s important to recognize that accidents happen and the precaution of IDing your pet can eliminate some of the anxiety of what will happen if your pet ever ends up lost.

So what type of ID should you get for your pet? There are a handful of options out there. Let’s look at the pros and cons.


One of the most popular options is simply a collar and tags. There are three essential tags: personal information tag, rabies tag, and license tag. The ID tag should have your pet’s name, at least one phone number, and any pertinent facts about your pet (i.e. disabilities, medical problems). An address isn’t necessary but could be helpful. The rabies tag has an identification number, the date that your pet got the shot, and the name and address of the veterinary office that administered it. The license tag has a license number and location of pet registration.

A collar and tags are the easiest and least expensive option. However, the printings on the tag can wear out over time. Also, collars are easily removed by people who may want to steal your pet. If you choose this option, make sure to keep the information updated.


Microchips are becoming increasingly popular as a form of IDing your pet. A small injection is made between the shoulder blades to place a chip under your pet’s skin. It is recommended that a veterinarian does the procedure. The costs range anywhere from $20 to $60. Similar to tags, the registered information must be kept up to date. A scanner is used to read the information on the microchip.

Microchips are the most popular choice because your pet can’t lose it. However, after implantation, these chips can move around a bit so it can be difficult for the scanner to find it. Also, no one scanner can read all the types of microchips available. Therefore, the scanner and the chip must be compatible for it to be useful.


Tattoos are another way to ID your pet. You choose a unique number and register it with a tattoo registry with your contact information. The procedure costs around $10. If going this route, it is advised to tattoo your pet on their inner thigh or belly. Lips and ears are unadvised because someone with bad intentions can simply cut that part of their body off. Federal law prohibits laboratories from using tattooed dogs making this a deterrent for thieves looking to sell pets to labs.

Unfortunately, tattoos are easily altered. Also, they can become blurred over time (which is easily fixed by adding another layer of ink).

Besides these common forms of identification, you can also consider digital ID tags, USB ID tags, GPS tracking devices, and radio frequency identification devices. Consider your pet’s habits and personality to determine what form of IDing will be the best. As a whole, IDing your pet is usually best when a couple of methods are chosen.

Taking some preventative measures to lessen the chance of your pet getting lost is also a good idea. First and foremost, your dog should have some obedience training. Secondly, your house should have safeguards such as gates and fences if your pet has a tendency to runaway. Creating a positive environment is also very beneficial; make sure you’re giving your pet lots of attention, feeding your pet enough food, and providing a clean and loving atmosphere. Recognize the triggers that make your pet shoot out the door and try to make adjustments as necessary.

Has your pet ever been lost then found because of the ID you used? We would love to hear which type of pet IDs you have found to be most beneficial to share your recommendations with our community.

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