Pet tags are one of the best ways to ensure that you and your pet can be found if they ever go missing. The majority of pet tags are made of metal and some are even marketed as chew-proof. However, these can have unintended consequences if your dog accidentally chews their ID tag. Here are the reasons why chew-proof pet tags may actually harm your pet.
PHOTO CREDIT: Priscilla du Preez
Chew-proof pet tags are made of either aluminum or stainless steel as these are cheap, durable materials for mass-produced dog tags. Many pet owners choose these pet tags for their dog because they assume that the tag will be safe. Those advertised as chew-proof are very hard and it is true these metals are not easy to chew on.
However, the problem with chew-proof metals is that they are genuinely chew-proof and harder than the enamel on your dog’s teeth. When your dog chews down on them they can easily chip or break their teeth. Not only does this cause enormous pain for your pup but leads to expensive emergency care to both fix or pull the tooth and prevent bacteria from the oral cavity entering their bloodstream.
Moreover, these metal tags can become a choking hazard for your dog if it accidentally ingests a piece of the broken tag. Ingesting a hard metal pet tag can be extremely dangerous and even fatal. Although it’s not common, some dogs swallow pieces of their tags which can become lodged in the digestive tract. If a piece of this lodges in the intestines, it can cause a blockage, which can cause your dog to become very sick, and even die if untreated.
Why do manufacturers make pet tags that are not safe?
Many pet owners wonder why manufacturers make pet tags that are not safe if they are meant to be used on pets. If you’re looking for a safe way to identify your pet in the event they get lost, you should avoid pet tags that are advertised as chew-proof. If you’re trying to find a safe tag for your dog, you should look for tags that are made of soft materials like acrylic. Even resin and other coated wooden tags can be toxic and poisonous if ingested.
While acrylic is not chew-proof like metal tags, they are much safer if your dog accidentally ingests a piece of their tag and won't chip their teeth. It’s inconvenient to buy a new tag, but better that than risk a more serious health complication. Additionally, acrylic pet tags are BPA-free, lightweight, quiet and waterproof making them an ideal material for pet IDs. Read more about how to pick the best pet tag for your dog's needs and what to put on their pet tag.