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Pet Identification: A Must for Pets Who Travel

Pet identification is crucial for pets who travel.

We love to take our pets with us while RVing. They are part of the family.

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 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 pin image

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!

ID Tags

Most traditional collars come with rings where you attach tags that hang down from it. These engraved tags are the most common types of pet identification.

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

Embroidered and Engraved Collars

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.

Slide-On Tags

Another type of pet 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.

Identification Plates

Collars with 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.

Pet identification

Improved Technology in Pet Identification


Microchips are an excellent way for you to keep contact information on your pet in the event your pet’s collar or tags fall off. Microchips are administered by a veterinarian with a needle, under your pet’s skin between the shoulder blades. The pain is similar to that of regular vaccinations.

Each microchip has a unique identification number. There are different companies who provide the microchips and store your contact information in a pet recovery database. People who find lost pets usually take them to a vet clinic or animal shelter where the pets will be scanned for their microchip.

Keeping your contact information current with the microchip company is key to having your pet returned to you.

High-Tech Pet Identification Tags

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.

A person simply scans or taps the code 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 stating the pet has been found.

The person who finds a pet with this tag is given access to the information the owner has made available on their profile page of the website. If a phone number has been made public, they can 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.

Another Idea For RVers

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

Some innovative RV pet owners out there have come up with an idea for all of those different “addresses” they have while traveling. In addition to your regular pet ID option, 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.)

GPS Tracking

Another device 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 on GPS tracking devices, but in the meantime, you can see the most popular devices on Amazon right now.

Pet Identification Really Is Important

With so many pets found without identification, it’s no wonder animal shelters are full and so many pet owners are heartbroken.

By using any of the above-mentioned pet identification tools, owners can be sure to have some peace-of-mind in case their pet goes missing.

Pet identification

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 / Lead Writer, Tires & Tails

Hi, I'm Jeannie! I'm a full-time RVer with a lifelong 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 started my full time RV adventure with one dog and two cats. I currently have a dog who comes with my husband and me on our traveling adventures.

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