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What are the best pet tags?

A key part of pet safety is a dog tag or cat tag to help identify and reunite a lost pet as quickly as possible. Pet tags also help other people recognize your pet more easily as a unique tag can be a key identifier even from afar. This is why unique and funny pet tag designs are not only adorable but smart for the safety of your four-legged family.

Even microchipped pets need a pet tag as it will help reunite them with their family much quicker. What are the chances that the person who finds your pet will look for a microchip or have chip scanner in hand to do so immediately. When a pet is lost, the first thing one will look for is an identification tag. And when you’re worried sick for your lost family member, every hour counts.

A well made pet tag helps people see information about your pet more clearly, which is why it’s important they are legible, durable and high quality. Here are some of the most important things you should keep in mind when buying their tag.

Cute black dog wearing cute Kissamo pet tag

PHOTO CREDIT: @mochi.theschipperke. Custom mushroom dog tag available at Kissamo

How to Choose a Good Pet Tag

The first step is to decide what to put on the pet tag, but there are other aspects of the tag to consider, too. You’ll want to consider the size and shape of the tag as well as making sure that it’s big enough for people to see it. You’ll also want to think about the material the tag is made of. While metal tags are less expensive, they don’t last as long as they tarnish and rust over time, obscuring the important pet ID information.

What material is best for a pet tag?

Pet tags come in many different materials from metal, plastic and even wood. Each have pros and cons.

Metal pet tags are strong but can be heavy and noisy, especially for senior and small pets. Some are marketed as waterproof however these only have a thin protective coating that quickly wears off. Metal tags are also often promoted for being chew-proof but one should be wary of chew-proof tags as they can actually chip teeth which is painful and expensive for the pets and their family.

Acrylic and silicon pet tags are both derived from plastic. They have several key advantages over metal ID tags in that they are waterproof which safeguard the ID information from tarnishing and rusting away. They are also quiet and lightweight making them an ideal material for pet tags. The constant jingling of traditional metal tags intrudes on dogs and cats experiencing their surroundings. The fact that acrylic or silicon tags are quiet is a major benefit for the general well-being of your pet. After all, who would want the constant jingle of tags right next to your ear and we don't have the same superior hearing.

The major difference between silicon and acrylic is the strength of the plastic itself with silicon being a rubber pet tag and acrylic being a rigid, and therefore stronger, pet tag material. The most fragile part of the silicon tag is where they attach to the collar and acrylic can withstand more force than simple silicon. Silicon tags also come in standard shapes and designs whereas acrylic pet tags can be customized into unique and distinctive shapes which helps identify lost pets.

Wood pet tags are a relatively niche part of the market. They are lightweight but not completely waterproof. If a varnish has been applied they only make the tags resistant to rain, not actually waterproof. It is also important to note that these varnishes (as too resin pet tags) can be poisonous and toxic if your pet ever chews on the tag.


The pet tag hardware is often not considered but it is recommended to buy a pet tag which has quality, heavier gauge split rings or clips to ensure they stand up to daily play and activity. Cheaper pet tags often have flimsy rings which can bend and break during play. The stronger the split ring, the more likely the tag can withstand rambunctious activity.


You’ll also want to consider the tags design. Some designs like ID collars or slide-on pet tags are actually part of the collar itself. While these blend with their other pet gear, they are not as visible especially for longer-hair pets. When someone finds a dog or cat and are unsure if they’re lost, an actual tag is easier to spot. Moreover, a unique pet tag can help identify a fearful dog or cat from afar.

Engraving Method

There are many different ways pet tags are engraved. Most pet tags found in big-box stores are printed on, which make them economical but easily wear off. The other most common method is engraved with either a fibre or CO2 laser, although the depth of the engraving directly impacts their longevity and wear over time.

Where to buy pet tags?

You can purchase pet tags online from most big-box pet retailers, however the quality and selection is limited compared to specialist brands. Typically major retailers carry metal tags in common shapes with the engraving either superficially etched or printed on.

Finding a custom pet tag from a smaller, specialty brand can cost slightly more but they offer far more choice in material and design; as well as a higher quality pet tag engraving to ensure your pet’s safety long-term.


A good pet tag will last a long time and be easy to read, so it’s important to do your research before buying one. It can also be fun to pick out your pet's new collar bling as finding a good pet tag can be a the most important accessory they ever have.


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