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Tips for Finding the Right Pet ID Tag

You’ve rescued your pet once—when you brought her home.

But if your dog is one an escape artist or just likes to wander, chances are you may have to go on a rescue mission again. Fortunately, with the right ID tag you can get your pet home safely.

Here’s a look at why your pet needs an identification tag and some tips for finding one that works for you.

My Pet Has a Microchip—Isn’t That Enough?

The short answer? No. Though it’s better than nothing, a microchip won’t prevent your pet from spending time on the street—or in the shelter.

“One challenge with relying on a microchip is the person who finds your pet has to be willing to take your pet to a vet,” says Chris Rotberg, Founder and CEO of PetHealthLocker. “If your pet’s rescuer does get them to a vet, the vet may have trouble reading the chip if they don’t have the right scanner, or the chip’s information isn’t accurate.” Many pet owners don’t realize they need to update their information on the registries when they adopt their pet, and some registries charge an annual fee to keep the chip active.

The best way to think of a microchip is as a backup in case your pet loses its collar when it gets lost.

Identifying the Right Pet Tag

With all the different options for pet ID tags these days, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Here’s a simple breakdown of what you’ll find out there:

Low-Tech Options

Looking for something simple? Your local pet store should have a machine where you can make a tag. The only issue with going this route is the tag may not last. Some lower quality tags can scratch easily, making your information unreadable. Plus, if you move you’ll need to buy a new one so the tag has correct information.

If you’re willing to invest in something more durable and high tech, there are ID tags that connect with the internet and your smartphone. With these “smart” tags, you can easily update your pet’s information online. These tags have a scannable QR code on them. If the tag is GPS-enabled, your pet’s rescuer can scan the QR code and text you a map of their location. This could help you get to your pet much faster—maybe even before she leaves the neighborhood.

High-Tech Options

Do you live in a rural area where your closest neighbor is an acre away? Then a GPS pet tracker might be your best bet. With this high tech gadget, your pet wears a collar with a chip that keeps track of her location 24/7. You can see where your pet’s at from an app on your smartphone. Some companies even send you an alert if your pet wanders beyond a certain distance.

The only issue with GPS trackers is if the collar somehow falls off, you’ll only find a collar when you’re out looking for your pet. Make sure you it’s snug and secure to prevent it from getting caught on a fence or tree branch.

Now that you know why a microchip isn’t enough to keep your pet from getting lost, and have an idea of low-tech and high-tech Id tag options, protecting your pet should be a cinch.