Identifying Your Pet if He or She Goes Missing

Your pet is a member of your family. If it ever got lost, you would be beside yourself. The good news is that there are several options when it comes to identifying your pet. If your pet should become lost, any of these methods, used alone or in combination, can help ensure that your family member makes it home safely.

Identification Tags

ID tags are the oldest and most commonly used method of identifying cats and dogs. These tags come in a variety of shapes, colors and materials. You can even find cute and fun hand-stamped ID tags on sites like Etsy.

QR Tags

QR tags are relatively new on the market, but even more useful than ID tags. You purchase the tag and enter your pet’s information on the manufacturer’s website. If your pet gets lost, someone only needs scan the tag with a smartphone to help your pet get back home. In some cases, you are sent a text alert or email telling you that someone has just scanned your pet’s tag!


A microchip is a permanent type of identification. A small chip is implanted between your pet’s shoulder blades. You input the information that you wish, along with your pet’s current photograph, onto the manufacturer’s website. Should your pet be found, it can be taken to almost any vet or shelter to be scanned.


Tattoo’s are a less common form of identification for pets. These markings are typically used for racing and working dogs. Tattooing is a permanent way to identify a pet.


If you don’t want to hear the jingle of tags, having your pet’s name and your phone number embroidered on a collar is a great solution! Keep in mind that if you change your phone number, you will need to purchase a new collar.

While no one method of identification is foolproof, multiple forms of identification can be used together. For example, you can have your pet microchipped and wear an identification tag. No matter how you choose to identify your pet, remember that it is the first step in making sure your loved companion is returned to you should it become lost.

About the Author

Dr. Holly Gill is an experienced veterinarian in Alexandria, Virginia. Connect with Dr. Gill on Google+.

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