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Next to a collar and a leash, a dog ID tag is one of the first purchases you’ll want to make when you adopt a new puppy. Even if your new companion is microchipped, you’ll still want to attach a personalized dog tag to their collar. Why? Should your pup pull a disappearing act, a dog ID tag gives the person who finds them a quick and easy way to find you without a trip to the vet or animal shelter. Today’s dog ID tags range in shape and size, color and print, and even material.
Here, the best dog ID tags available for your pup.
Best Overall: GoTags Stainless Steel Pet ID Tag
These dog ID tags are made of polished stainless steel with a mirror-like finish that also offers the advantage of being stronger than aluminum. The dog ID tags, made in the USA, come in nine different shapes (including classic rectangles and circles and cute bones and flowers) and two different sizes.
Whichever you choose, the tag has room for up to four lines of text on each side for a total of eight lines. In addition to your pup’s name and your cell number, consider adding any medical conditions or allergies. The engraving is a little light, so it's not a lifelong investment. But, the affordable price makes that an okay payoff.
Best Budget: Providence Engraving Pet ID Tags
For a basic ID tag that doesn’t cost a lot, you can’t do better than these tags from Providence engraving. The aircraft-grade aluminum and anodized finish tags are lightweight, so they won’t weigh your pup’s collar down. The tags are available in eight shapes, nine colors, and two sizes, so you’ll find one that matches your dog’s personality.
These made-in-the-U.S.A. tags have room for four lines of CO2 laser-engraved text on each side and come with a stainless steel split ring so you can attach it to your dog’s collar. These tags can show a bit of wear and tear on them, so if you have a very active pup, these may not be the best tags for you.
Best Personalized: Murphy and Max Custom Pet ID Tag
Your pup has a unique personality that deserves a completely customizable dog ID tag to match. When you order a Murphy and Max dog tag, you can choose from eight different shapes or opt to have it created in the shape or your state or pay a little more to have it in a customized shape just for your pup.
The tags come in eight different metal types, including basic aluminum and stainless steel to nothing-too-good-for-your-pup 14K rose or yellow gold. Add on one of 75 images (think: camera, four-leaf clover, or smiley face) before finishing it off with a line of hand-stamped text on each side.
Best Metal: Red Dingo Bone Personalized Stainless Steel Dog Tag
With up to six lines (depending on the size tag) of durable, etched engraved text that won’t fade over time, you can rest assured that should your pup escape, it will be easy for their rescuer to contact you. The tag is made from sturdy, hand-polished and buffed stainless steel and the front features an enamel inlaid bone in one of 10 different color ways.
The tags are available in three different sizes. The small one measures 1 inch wide, with room for three lines of text; the medium is 1.3 inches in diameter with room for four lines of text; and the large measures 1.7-inches in diameter with room for six lines of text.
Best Durable: QALO Custom Silicone Dog ID Tags
Made of thick, multi-layered silicone, these dog ID tags from Qalo offer several advantages over traditional metal tags. For one, the material is super durable and won’t scratch. For another, it’s quiet, so there won’t be any clinking as your pet roams your house.
The tags are available in several colorful and cheery designs, including an ocean sunrise, a mountain in bloom, and a red, white, and blue shield. The brighter colors, while not reflective, will be easier to spot at night. The tags have room for up to six lines of engraved text.
Since the material is softer than metal, keep an eye on these tags to make sure it isn't in danger of ripping off of the metal ring.
Best Small: Quick Tag Small ID Tag
The smaller your pup, the smaller the dog tag you’ll want so that it doesn’t fly up and hit their snout or get in their way when they eat or drink. This small gold-tone bone-shaped dog tag from quick tag measures 1.375-inches by 0.75 inches and has room for up to four lines of text with 15 characters each.
Don’t like the bone-shape or gold hue? The brand also offers tags in everything from a classic chrome circle to a heart-shape with crystals. Note that the tags take a few weeks to deliver so order one stat.
Best ID Collar: L.L. Bean Personalized Pet Collar
Don’t want to risk a dog ID tag that has the potential to fall off? A personalized collar, like this one from L.L. Bean, gives you one less thing to worry about. Your pup’s name and your phone number is stitched right into the collar.
It’s available in sizes ranging from small to extra large. It also offers the additional advantages of being completely silent with nothing to jingle or jangle, and it has reflective stitching for walks at night.
Best with Bluetooth: Pawscout Smarter Pet Tag
Keep tabs on your four-legged friend with this Pawscout Smarter Pet Tag. Its Bluetooth technology has a range of 300-feet from you or anyone else who has the free companion app installed on their phone. The tag is waterproof, lightweight, and has a six-month battery life.
Note that this tag isn't GPS-based, so you won’t be able to pinpoint your pup’s location, rather you’ll be able to tell if they’re hanging out in the “cone of safety” or if they’ve left your immediate vicinity. Should that happen, you can send out a lost pet alert and digital flyer to all the Pawscout app users, who then may be able to help you locate your pup before they have a chance to wander too far away from home.
What to Look for in a Dog ID Tag
Dog ID tags are more than just a charm on your dog's collar. An ID tag should be personalized for your specific dog so that it can be returned to you if he or she were to get lost. Choose a dog ID tag that can have you and your dog's information printed or engraved on the tag. Engraving is more durable than printed information but is only available for metal tags.
Dog ID tags are usually either plastic or metal. Metal tags are more durable but only if they aren't going to rust or corrode. Plastic tags are more likely to break off than metal ones but metal tags are also sharper and can be noisier than plastic tags. Metal tags may also weigh more than plastic tags but cannot be engraved.
The size of your dog ID tag should be large enough to display the important information but not too large that it is able to be chewed on by your dog or uncomfortable for it to wear. Dog ID tags are available in various shapes and sizes so you'll want to choose a small one for small dogs and a larger one for big dogs. Although larger tags do allow for more information, keep in mind that larger ID tags are also more likely to get stuck on things.
What information should you include on a dog ID tag?
A dog tag's purpose is to not only identify who your dog is, but more importantly, to identify who your dog belongs to. If your dog were to get lost, its dog tag should tell people your dog's name and at the very least, your phone number. If there is room to add your street address and your name, those would be secondary to the necessary information.
What is the best way to attach an ID tag to your dog's collar?
A dog tag is best attached to your dog's collar with a key ring. Because key rings can be difficult to use, make sure the tag is attached to the key ring before attaching the key ring to the collar. Then remove your dog's collar from your dog's neck to put the dog tag on the metal loop that's attached to the collar. A staple remover can help you open the key ring enough to slide it onto the metal loop on the collar.
What is a service dog ID tag?
Service dogs will have different ID tags than non-service dogs. Not only do they identify who the dog is alongside the contact information for its owner, but they also note that the dog is a service dog. The tag will clearly say "Service Dog" and usually has the service dog logo or icon, too.
Why Trust The Spruce Pets?
This article was written by Anne Fritz, who has been writing pet content for The Spruce Pets since 2019, including our picks for the best dog clippers and the best hands-free leashes for walking your pup.
This article was updated by Adrienne Kruzer, Registered Veterinary Technician (RVT), Licensed Veterinary Technician (LVT). Adrienne has been writing for The Spruce Pets for several years and has more than 15 years of working with pets.