by Steve Snell, MATHISTON, MS
I am always amazed at what some folks want on their dog's ID tags.
We get some really interesting ones with information that really has no place on a dog tag. We will put anything you want on your ID plates, but keep in mind that the main purpose of an ID plate is to get your dog home safely if he gets lost.
In our opinion, anything else has no place on a tag.
Most folks that find your dog are going to want to call you.
This means that including phone numbers is the most important thing you can do. I list every possible number that I have so that they will have multiple numbers to call in case I am not at my home phone.
On my dog tags, I have my cell phone
number, my house phone
number, and multiple office phone
numbers. That way no matter where I am or when my dog is found, there will be someone there to answer the call.
Cell phone numbers are the best. After that, put your home, work, and any additional numbers that might help. Some examples would be your family, close friends, or hunting partners (anyone that might be around if your dog gets lost when you are not available).
Put YOUR name on your dog, not your DOG'S name on his collar
The next most important information would be YOUR name, not your dog's. Having your name on the tag will make it easier for the person calling to get the right person on the phone, especially if you list a work number. Having your dog's name on the tag does more harm than good.
Many folks are not really aware of the number of dogs that get stolen every year. It's pretty high. Having your dog's name on the tag makes stealing your dog that much easier. It really doesn't do the dog any good, nor does it help anyone that finds your lost dog. If they get close enough to read the tag, then they can call the number on it. At that point you can tell them the dog's name if needed.
Add CITY and STATE
For folks like me that travel, I also want the City and State listed. This way if I lose a dog in North Dakota and my tags say "Starkville, MS," the person that finds my dog knows that this dog is lost and a long way from home.
After that, you can list your street address, but it is the least important line. Most folks are going to call. They may not have an easy way to get the dog back to you, and even if they do, they'll need to make sure you are home before they come over.
A few other tricks...
We also use a few other things on our tags to help get our dogs back. "Needs Daily Meds" is one of my favorites. It adds a certain amount of urgency to getting the dog back home. If folks know that your dog needs medicine and that it's daily, they will be in more of a rush to locate you. "Reward if Found" is another good one. Just keep in mind if you put it on there, be ready to pay up when someone locates your dog. We have done this for years and the few times I have lost a dog, I could never get the person to take the reward. I did buy dinner one night for a couple of hunters that found my lost brittany named Maggie.
It helps to have TWO tags
Now you may be asking, "How do I get all this information on a 4 line tag?" Well, I can't, so I double tag my collars.
My first tag includes:
NEEDS DAILY MEDS
and the second tag reads:
REWARD IF FOUND
Ask us to rivet your additional tag on your collar
If you are ordering additional plates that you would like mounted, please be sure to request that we mount the 2nd plate on the collar in the "Comments" blank at checkout.
Most collars will fit 2 tags comfortably. Some smaller center-ring collars will only fit 1 plate.