If you are a pet owner who has ever had a pet go missing, you know the sense of helplessness that comes from not being able to find your pet. Even if your pet is microchipped, you have probably realized that this is not enough to guarantee that your pet will be returned home in a timely fashion. You need to ensure that your pet has on custom ID tags as well. But what information should be included on your custom tags? You may be surprised to find out there is technology on the market now that can be added to the tag may make a trip home faster. Here are a few suggestions on the information that you may want to include and technology options you may want to choose from.
What Should You Put On Your Tag?
If you survey a group of pet owners, you will find that there are several different opinions on what should and should not be included on their customized tags. Some pet owners feel that you should list your pet's name, while others feel that this gives dog-nappers an advantage if your pet is ever stolen. Should you list your name, address, or phone numbers? Is this information that you would be comfortable with strangers having access to if they were to find your pet, groom your pet, or interact with your pet in the dog park?
Many times the information that you list on the tag is a matter of your personal preference and may even be dependent upon where you live. Some suggestions are as follows:
- Your Pet's Name
- Your Cell Phone Number
- Another Family Member's Cell Phone Number
- Your Pet's Microchip Number
- Reward If Found
- Medical Alerts and more
Even a customized tag is a small area of real estate and may not be able to hold everything you would like for it to hold, but there are some technologies on the market that will allow you to list all of the above information and more.
NFC or Near-Field Communication is technology that allows information to be conveyed data from one NFC-enabled device to another anytime that the devices are within a small window of space. This technology that has primarily been used in ways that allow your smart phone to quickly share certain information by being in close proximity to the receiver. Some of these applications include:
- Mobile Payments
- Loyalty Programs
- Electronic Ticketing
- Employee Badges
- Cellular Phones
This technology is now being integrated into custom dog ID tags. A NFC chip embedded into your dog tag or collar will allow anyone who finds your pet to quickly scan their collar and retrieve any information that you have established in their profile. Unfortunately, not every cellular phone may be able to read this technology in your pet's tag. NFC technology has been dominated and fully integrated into the Android market, but it is not as widely used in the Apple market.
Quick Response Codes
Have you ever used your smart phone to scan the small squares that look like optical illusions that can be found at the bottom of receipts, on products, or numerous other places? If so you have interacted with a quick response, or a QR code. Although these were designed to be used in the automotive industry in the 1990's, they quickly became popular due to their ability to quickly convey a lot of information with a single scan.
Unlike NFC chips, QR codes can be read by most major smartphones. By embedding a QR code in your pet's customized tag, you would not only be able to list all of the information that you deem appropriate, these can even be set up that would allow the person that finds your pet to send you an email or text directly from the QR site.
Don't allow your pet to be one of the approximately 1.5 million pets that are euthanized each year in the U.S. Even if you choose not to incorporate technology, please ensure that they are wearing a customized dog id tag that contains enough information for them to be returned safely home.