Different Types of Pet Identification Systems

With new technology and endless tag designs, the pet identification category is both growing and changing.




A missing cat or dog can be a pet parent’s worst nightmare, which is why identification products are essential for both retailers and their customers. Retailers should invest in the pet ID category by keeping track of changing trends and building a product selection that offers customers a wide range of customizable options.


The pet identification category has developed beyond simple, metal tags. Many of these products use the latest technology to keep pets safe. For example, Worldwise, based in Novato, Calif., has partnered with Pawscout to offer a tech alternative to expensive GPS tags.


“Pawscout has designed its Bluetooth tracker for the everyday consumer who desires a great pet tag at an affordable price,” says Andrea Chavez, CEO of Pawscout.


The Pawscout Tag merges Bluetooth connectivity, a smartphone app and a cloud service to help keep pets safe. If a pet goes missing, its owner can use the free Pawscout App to alert other Pawscout users in the community. The app will even notify Pawscout users if the missing pet comes within 300 ft. of them.


The app has additional features, like the option to create a digital profile that contains a pet’s medical and behavioral information. It can be used to set up a “virtual leash” that will notify pet parents if a pet strays from a specific area. The app also provides information on nearby pet-friendly places, such as groomers and veterinarians.


When creating the tag itself, Pawscout ensured that it wouldn’t be too cumbersome for pets. Lightweight and durable, the Pawscout Tag is designed to handle the rough-and-tumble life of a pet.


“The tag has to tolerate roughhousing, extreme temperature fluctuations, and exposure to water and the elements,” says Chavez.


She adds that the tag’s nameplate comes in 24 designs. The available patterns include various colors and camouflage prints among other options.


Customization for Customers

For MyFamily, customizability is at the core of its mission. The company is based in Valenza, Italy, an area known for goldsmithing.


“MyFamily’s idea was to turn a useful object into an emotional, beautiful and stylish item,” says Alessandro Borgese, the company’s CEO.


MyFamily offers over 10 identification tag collections for customers to choose from. Its Friends Tags are designed to look like different breeds of cats and dogs, and there are almost 200 options. The company’s Chic Tag and Charm Tag collections feature Swarovski crystals. MyFamily also recently released a Hushtag collection, which features tags made from a fusion of metal and rubber that keeps them from jangling.


With so many options, MyFamily hopes to suit the individual personalities of both pets and owners. The manufacturer even plans to expand into the leash and collar categories. Though it places a heavy emphasis on design and style, MyFamily ensures that its tags are functional.


“Engraving the most important information about the pet on the ID tag, including the telephone number of the owner, is the most effective solution to allow those who find the pet to immediately contact the owner,” says Borgese.


Machine Management

With engraving being of such vital importance, retailers may want to consider investing in an engraving machine for their store.


“If they are not offering this service, they are not only losing the revenue, they are driving their customers to their competitors,” explains Gregg Newman, managing partner of VIP Engravers. “Pet parents are purchasing ID tags and products for their pets from somewhere, it should be from them.”


Located in Celina, Texas, the engraving machine company’s newest option for retailers is the VIP Dragon. The machine is designed to be a technologically advanced and cost-effective solution for retailers looking to engrave tags in-store.


“Our Dragon engraver was designed for ease of use and reliability,” says Newman. “The Dragon features our patented ‘Smart ID Technology,’ eliminating the need for tag holding fixtures, cassettes or bar code scanners. The Dragon automatically clamps, identifies and loads the engraving area of all ID Tags and engravable items available, virtually eliminating user error.”


Newman says pet tag sales are on the rise and retailers should take advantage of this new trend by offering engraving services to customers.


“We are seeing pet owners purchase several different style ID products/tags at once to attach to each of their different pet accessories, such as multiple collars, harnesses, carriers and crates as well as for personal jewelry,” he explains.


iMarc Engraving Systems also offers engraving machines to customers. Even with new pet identification technologies, such as GPS trackers and microchips, the Phoenix-based company still believes that pet tags are necessary.


“Having a pet identification tag can increase the chances of a lost pet being found,” says Zach Houser, an applications engineer at iMarc. “The microchip can also do this, but requires the person that found the animal to go somewhere and get the chip read.”


Houser adds that the company’s machines use a diamond drag method that ensures the tag’s engraving lasts a long time. He says the number of tag options in the pet identification category has increased over the years, going beyond simple bone, circle and heart shapes. iMarc offers over 2,000 tag varieties to customers.


Like iMarc, Quick-Tag, a division of The Hillman Group, has a wide range of tag designs. In addition to gold plated, aluminum and chrome tags, the Tempe, Ariz.-based company offers officially licensed designs from the NFL, NCAA and Disney. Its Diva tag line even includes Swarovski crystals.


“Our extensive variety of tags and accessories allow retailers to customize their product mix and make sure they have something to meet every customer’s taste and budget,” says Tom Glessner, a director at The Hillman Group.


Quick-Tag also offers engraving machines.


The Quick-Tag self-service engraving kiosk first came out in 1996, and since then the company has developed multiple engraving platforms for retailers to choose from. They are specifically designed for the pet specialty market, and there are options for stores of all sizes.


“Choosing the right engraving programming, displaying the product at the front/focal point of the store, allowing easy access to the engraving machine, continually freshening their line with new designs and making sure to educate pet parents on the need to have visible identification on their dog or cat are what makes a successful retail pet ID tag program,” says Glessner.


In addition to these strategies, Houser explains that retailers should actively advertise their engraving services to customers.


“Social media, pop displays and talking to the customer at the register are some great ways to sell,” he says.


Newman believes that retailers should emphasize the risk pet parents take if they do not equip their pet with some kind of identification.


“If a pet gets loose, the odds of being reunited drop dramatically if a pet does not have visible identification with the owner’s direct contact number,” says Newman.


In educating customers on the benefits of pet identification products and making them easily accessible through a wide product offering and engraving services, retailers can ensure strong sales in this growing category. PB


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