Pet Identification: A Must for Pets Who Travel

We love to take our pets with us while RVing. They are part of the family and unless it’s absolutely impossible for them to go due to health or behavioral issues, they deserve to come, too. So, we need to make sure that if they get away from us or get lost and are found by someone other than us, we can be contacted for that much-needed reunion. We must use some sort of pet identification tool.

Pet Identification Tools

Pet identification can be done in many ways: collars with embroidered ID information, collars with ID plates attached, microchips, homemade ID tags and engraved or digital pet ID tags. Each one of these gives your pet a better chance of being returned to you.

Cats need IDs, too!

Most traditional collars come with rings where you can attach tags that hang down from it. These are the most common types of engraved tags seen on pets. I’ve even made one out of shrinkable plastic material then wrote my information on it with a permanent marker. My dogs used the engraved metal tags and my cats used the tags of plastic shrinkable material. At the time, they worked for us.

Non-traditional Pet Identification

I’ve seen collars with the pet name and owner phone number embroidered or engraved directly onto the collar. For people who want a no-tag, noise-free collar, this works. This is also great for people whose contact information will stay consistent. Unfortunately, there are limitations as to how many contact phone numbers can be put onto the collar.

Another type of identification for collars is a stainless steel or plastic, slide-on tag. It is engraved with your pet’s name and your contact information and simply slides onto your pet’s collar. There are two types: one for sliding onto a collar with a regular buckle and one for snap closure collars. Both look durable and are noise-free. Again, there are limitations to how much information can be engraved onto the tag.

Collars that have identification plates attached by grommets are also an option for easily identifying a pet. They are engraved with your pet’s name as well as information someone would need to contact you if they’ve found your pet. But, they are only as wide as your pet’s collar, so for my small, ten-pound dog, there wouldn’t be much room for all the information I want to put on it.

Improved Technology in Pet Identification

Microchips are an excellent way for you to keep contact information on your pet, without having a tag or if your pet’s tags fall off. Microchips are administered by a veterinarian with a needle under your dog’s or cat’s skin between the shoulder blades. The pain is similar to that of a regular vaccination. Each microchip has a unique identification number for your pet. There are different companies who provide the microchips and store your contact information in a pet recovery database. So if found, your pet needs to be taken to a veterinary clinic or animal shelter where they would use a scanner that reads these microchips to scan for your pet’s unique chip number. Most people who find lost pets take them to animal shelters or vet clinics anyway, so keeping your contact information current with the microchip company is key to having your pet returned to you.

Lastly, there are pet identification tags that have a chip embedded into the tag as well as a QR code on the back of the tag. This code can then be scanned or tapped by an NFC (near field communication) enabled smartphone. When a pet’s tag is scanned, an email is sent to the owner of the pet letting him or her know that the pet has been found. The person who finds a pet with this tag can be given access to the website or other contact information the owner of the pet has made available from their profile page on the website. If a phone number has been made public, they can then call the owner and arrange for reuniting the pet with its owner. Owners must keep their information current, of course, in order for people to easily contact them in the event of a missing pet. Please note: this tag is not a pet tracker device. Those will be covered in a separate article.

Another Idea For RVers

Write your RV Park/Campground Site Number on a Paper Key Tag

There are some innovative RV pet owners out there who have come up with an idea for all of those different “addresses” they have while traveling. In addition to your regular pet ID option, this idea is to put your space/site number for your current RV park on a disposable paper key tag and attach it to your pet’s collar. Most RV park visitors would gladly return a pet they found if they only had the site number. This solves that problem. (It doesn’t hurt to put the RV park name on the backside either, should your pet escape off the property.)

With so many pets found without identification, it’s no wonder that animal shelters are so full and so many pet owners are heartbroken. By using any or a combination of the above-mentioned pet ID tools, owners can be sure to have some peace-of-mind in case their pet goes missing.

GPS Tracking

Another device now available, that we’ll be covering in more detail in a future article, is the GPS tracking device. While this type of tag is less about people identifying your pet, and more about you being able to find your lost pet quickly, it is worthy of mention when talking about preventing lost pets. Watch for our upcoming article of GPS tracking devices, but in the meantime, you can see the most popular devices on Amazon right now.

Please share what you use for pet ID.

  • Have you lost your pet and had it found by its ID?
  • Share your story!

Let us know in the comments below, or submit a story we can share in our community story post!

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Jeannie Dees

Jeannie / Tires & Tails

Hi I'm Jeannie! I'm a full-time RVer with a life-long need for travel. I used to be an elementary school teacher and had a dog training business in Washington State. I have had numerous pets throughout my life, and love to travel with them. I currently have a dog and a cat who come with my husband and me on our traveling adventures.

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[…] with ID Tag, Extra Harness and Extra Leash:  You need to keep your pet’s identification up-to-date and where it can be easily read on your pet (id tag, embroidered on collar, etc.). […]

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