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Temporary dog ID tag

This is not my idea, but it’s brilliant. Petco and PetSmart both have machines that allow you to make, quickly and cheaply, an ID tag for your dog’s collar. Before you leave for a trip, make a tag showing the address where you will be, including a local telephone number, and clip it onto your dog’s collar with her regular ID tag. That way, if your Seattle-based dog is lost while you’re traveling in Southern California, the person who finds her in Long Beach will be able to reach you right away. Traveling to more than one address? Make more than one tag — they’re pretty cheap.

Even cheaper? Buy a pack of those round, metal-rimmed tags people use to identify keys. They’re small, but you can just fit the crucial information onto them. Be sure to use a permanent pen, like a fine-tipped Sharpie marker. [10/3/10 This idea only works for a short getaway, it turns out. I put a metal-rimmed tag of this kind on Chloe’s collar on a Thursday morning, and by Sunday night it was so worn that the text I’d written was nearly illegible, and the hole had been battered wide. I’d take this approach only for a weekend trip, or I’d carry a supply of the tags with me, so I could replace them as necessary.]


  • Katie

    Another option for a cheap temporary tag is eBay. You can search “dog ID tag” and find some that will be even cheaper than Petco/PetSmart. And since it’s a temporary tag, quality isn’t necessarily all that important.
    Just make sure to purchase well in advance of your trip!

  • Sarah

    Hello Mary-Alice,

    I use for inexpensive ID tags (less than $4). I set up an email address on gmail that I include on the tag, in addition to phone and address. When an email is sent, it automatically triggers a chain of communication with me and my husband to let us know our dog has been found. It also sends a message automatically to the person who wrote the email, with some basic information about our dog. This summer, we will set it up to send a reply back in Turkish. Peace of mind.

  • Kat

    Have you looked into QR Code Pet Tags from FurCode. It is similar to Sarah’s method but easier. It gives you an id tage with a web address and QR code that takes you to a profile just for your pet with info about your pet and how to reach you (the owner of the pet if he/she gets lost).

  • Michele Clayton

    We make the exact product you are searching for but have had very little positive response. We don’t know how to hit the right market with it. We’re a small company and can’t afford the insurance premiums required for the “box stores’ like PetSmart and PetCo. Check out our site and we could sell you one directly cause we are about to donate most of them to an animal rescue.

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