Should My Pet Be Carrying An ID Tag?

September 24, 2010

in Cats

If your pet is prone to venture far from home then you should consider putting an identity tag on it. The ID tag can be as simple as you like, but the most advanced technique is to use ‘radio frequency identification’ or an RFID tag.

If you have a very young cat of dog, there is probably no necessity to tag it yet, but as the animal gets older, ID tags can become critical. If your pet gets lost, anyone finding it can then return it. If you have a cat or a dog, then a straightforward collar might be sufficient.

Some collars have a metal tag affixed to them so that you can have your contact details or phone number etched on it, others have a ring, so that you can affix a small canister with your details inside it. Some just write their address on the inside of the collar with a felt tipped pen or a marker pen. This is more risky though because you may not notice if it rubs off.

It is necessary to think about water damage if you are ID tagging a dog. Cats try to stay out of water, rain and snow, but most dogs love playing in it. If your dog’s tag is not waterproof, it will soon become impossible to read. On the other hand, cats often lose their collars.

If your pet is a horse, then it is simpler to have it branded and the brand registered, so that anyone finding your lost horse can reference the brand and discover your contact details. If your pet is a tortoise, then you can write your phone number around the edge of its shell in a non-toxic fluid like nail varnish, but keep it small or you may poison the creature. Birds can have leg bands fitted. These leg rings have a unique number which can be looked up like a brand.

These are the traditional ways of ID tagging your pets, but the most modern way is to RFID tags them. These RFID tags can be attached in several different ways. The simplest way is to have a plastic passive RFID tag made up and hang it from your pet’s collar. This works well, until your pet loses its collar or unless someone removes it in order to steal your pet.

Another way of affixing an RFID tag, is to have your details imprinted on a chip and have the chip inserted under your pet’s skin by a vet. Some people are disgusted by this idea others do not mind. However, it does not hurt, is not uncomfortable and cannot be mislaid.

When the police or the pound officials are handed a stray, they scan it for a chip as part of their routine these days. Even people have them inserted so that they can move across international borders more rapidly.

The RFID tag is read by a scanner and can be read from distances of several feet to several hundred yards, which makes finding a lost pet a much simpler task if it has an RFID tag fitted.

Owen Jones, the author of this article writes on quite a few topics, but is currently concerned with researching What to do if your dog eats chocolate. If you would like to know more, please go to our website at

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