A dog tag helps identify a dog. It is similar to identity (ID) cards used by humans, such as a social security or driver’s license card. A dog tag is not just for identification purposes, but it also specifies details such as the kind and level of medical care the animal has been receiving or has received till date. In other words, dog id tags help identify a dog when it’s misplaced or lost and also helps find out if it has been vaccinated.
In the United States, a dog license is insisted upon in almost all towns and cities. After paying the license fee, the owner of the dog is given a tag that can be attached to the loop of the dog’s collar. Custom dog tags could provide information such as name, owner phone number, address, or there could simply be a stamp with a coded number. The majority of dog owners buy id tags for dogs that offer more information than just the license version. Such tags usually bear the name of the dog, and the owner’s name, residential address, and phone number.
Rabies medallion is another common type of dog tag in America. This tag is also attached to the collar of the dog, and usually gives out information such as the dog’s vaccination date or the vaccination expiry date. In several cities, stray dogs without a rabies tag invariably get euthanized.
Compare this to England and you’ll find out dog tags aren’t the norm. English dogs aren’t supposed to be vaccinated for rabies, due to the nation’s rigid quarantine laws. More than a century has passed by and England has not yet recorded a canine rabies case. Moreover, most English cities do not need dog licensing. Dogs indigenous to France need not be vaccinated. However, foreign dogs entering the country should submit a complete vaccination report.
The aforementioned dog tags are visible variants. There’s an invisible dog tag as well. These invisible tags are microchips that have been fairly widespread in the States since the ’90s. These chips are inserted inside the skin of a dog by a veterinarian, serving as a radio transponder and an identification system. Each microchip has a code made of 10 letters and numbers. In case the dog is lost and is picked up by a humane society member or an officer for animal control, the individual can find out details of the dog by scanning the microchip.
A tattoo is another, less technical form of dog tag. This kind of identification has been in use since the 1960s. However, it’s not as popular now, thanks to the microchip, which has been largely preferred by the dog community. These tattoos usually go on the dog’s stomach, groin, or inner thigh.