Collars, ID tags, and microchips

Collars and ID tags

Nothing is more effective than a collar and ID tag to ensure that a lost pet is returned home safely.

An ID tag is a simple, affordable identification option that can be the easiest and fastest way for you to be contacted, especially if a missing pet is found by a private citizen.

It's recommended that dogs wear a collar and ID tag at all times, even if they never go outdoors. Having an ID tag on your pet is a crucial part of any emergency preparedness plan. If there's an emergency — tornado, fire, break-in, etc. — you may not be able to get your pet to safety. An ID tag will increase your chances of being reunited after the emergency.

Choosing a collar for your pet

Standard adjustable plastic clip or buckle collars are recommended. Some breakaway collars break apart too easily and cause frustration for pets and their people, making well-fitted traditional collars a better option. For Greyhounds, Whippets, and other dogs with narrow heads, we recommend a Martingale collar. We do not recommend choke collars or elastic collars.

To ensure your dog's collar fits appropriately, adjust the collar so that you're able to get two fingers under the collar.

Once a month (once a week for puppies) check your pet’s collar to ensure it still has the proper fit. If the collar looks like it is getting frayed and may fall apart, consider purchasing a new one.


Microchips can provide an additional level of identification and protection for pets that are lost or stolen — but they are not a substitute for a collar and ID tags.

Microchips can be detected with a handheld device that uses radio waves to read the chip. This device scans the microchip, and then displays a unique alphanumeric code that is registered with the microchip company in the owner’s name.

Shelters, animal control agencies, and most veterinary clinics are equipped with microchip scanners. Keeping the registration current is vital to ensure recovery should your pet go missing. 

We encourage you to make an informed decision about whether to microchip your pet in consultation with your veterinarian, based on an evaluation of your lifestyle and the needs of your pet.