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Choosing a Pet Tag for Donna Dog

donna dog pet tagToday, let’s talk about us potentially replacing Donna’s anodised aluminium pet tags with stainless steel ones.

And also what information might be best to put on the new tag for a dog in Singapore.  ;)

Why buying cheaper anodised aluminium pet tags is not such a good idea

I guess most frugal dog humans in Singapore will make their pet tags at either the Beach Road army market or at Ah Hock’s gift shop. (Donna’s first tag was made at Ah Hock’s for S$10. )

At first glance, the most accessible group of pet stores here, Pet Lovers Centre, appear to only stock pet tags that range above S$20. Not true, it seems, since a quick search on their webpage yielded a simple pet tag costing S$2.16. I’m not sure if that includes engraving.

Donna’s first tag, a purple one, was really a mistake.

I wanted one with a silver finish and a purple glitter enamel paw in the center to match her purple collar. The store assistant bungled it up and I ended up with a fully purple anodised aluminuim paw tag. I was not pleased, but I took it.

In January this year, her purple pet tag was looking rather worn. The engraving wasn’t deep in the first place, so it has completely flattened out, due to regular wear. So I thought I would make her a new one. I went to the same shop and this time got exactly what I wanted. Hah!

But guess what, sometimes it seems what I wanted exactly may not be what is better. Hahaha!

Here’s a comparison of the two tags (photo below). The older purple one is 2-years -old and the engraving on it has flattened out. But you can see, the text and telephone numbers still show up really well because of the colour contrast.

The silver-coloured tag is only a few months old, so you can still feel the depth of the engraving when you run your thumb across it. But you can see the text is not as easy to read because it’s one same colour throughout. Both are anodised aluminuim tags.

donna dog pet tag

When she was wearing the purple tag, Donna was also wearing a bell on her collar so I knew exactly where she was at home and outside.

When we changed to the silver-coloured tag, I had purchased a bell that was louder than the previous. I decided not to use it for fear it might be too loud so near her ears. Instead, I have her tag clicking against a Minnie Mouse charm that had dropped off my keychain. And that was good enough.

Well, not really.

Because silly me hadn’t the foresight to think about the possible wear and tear of the two metal tags clanking against each other. The friction eroded the telephone number at the bottom, so I didn’t even need to mosaic it for privacy purposes in the photo above.

donna dog pet tag

Oh well, it was fun watching her walking around with nicer tags for a while. :P

The old purple tag will go back on her collar, while I shop for a stronger stainless steel tag.

Here are some on Amazon.com, all with stainless steel options. I do like that the text shows up as black on silver and more clearly than the current one we have. The reviews for them are pretty positive too. Click on the images below to view the product information on Amazon.


It’s either that or I could continue to get the coloured anodised aluminium tags. They are clearly the softer metal, so I just have to be sure to get them replaced every one to two years. I actually don’t mind that either, just for the variety. I just have to make sure I don’t hang other silly things with the tag so it fades even before the year is out. :P

But I do think that the stainless steel with clearer text option will be most ideal, since that will be one less thing to deal with annually.


Why we are changing what we put on the pet tag

As you can see from the photos above, we generally have Mr P and my initials, due to space concerns. We prefer to have two numbers, so that if one is unable to answer the phone, the other person can still be contacted immediately.

Address information is not so important to us as long as we can make phone contact.

In the case where the dog is lost, the rescuer can contact us. Or if Donna accidentally loses her collar or tag while alone, the rescuer can still find out our contact information by taking her to the vet to get her microchip scanned for our contact details.

Her next tag will probably include her AVA license number. I don’t necessarily think it will help shorten the time it takes to get her back to us. But it may serve as a deterrent should somebody who finds her decide that they wanted to keep her. Registration with the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore will serve as proof of us as the rightful owners.

Where it gets difficult is if your dog is not registered with the AVA, for example if it is not the right size to get HDB (Housing Development Board) approval or the owner just never bothered to register the dog. It is possible that anyone can take the dog and register him easily, especially if they are able to supply the dog’s microchip number for registration, this I learnt in a phone call with an AVA representative.

But if a dog is already registered, than AVA will of course, check with the owner on record before approval of the dog’s registration of ownership to somebody else. I concluded from the call, that it is probably not wise to have your dog’s microchip number on the pet tag in general.

So in conclusion, where space allows Donna’s tag will display the following information:

  • Our contact details
  • Donna’s name
  • Donna’s AVA number


Make sure your dog’s microchip number is registered with your owner information

Last but not least, this vetstreet article advises that it may be a good idea to get your vet to scan the dog’s microchip when you go for the dog’s health check, just to make sure the microchip is working fine. Microchip failure is rare but can happen.

And also, if you have a newly adopted dog, be sure to register your ownership with the AVA.

But if for some reason it is not possible for you to register with AVA, Pet-Call will probably be the next best alternative. This means that if anyone were to bring in your lost dog to any agency listed on their list of agents (which includes SPCA and AVA), they would be able to scan and retrieve the dog owner’s details from Sapa Industries, which owns the Pet-Call database.

News source – http://news.asiaone.com/News/Latest+News/Singapore/Story/A1Story20120225-330208.html
the case of the missing microchip – why the microchip may not be read
how microchips work


So, tell me about your dog’s pet tag. And what type of pet tags you found to be the most reliable!


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Tanjong Beach Dogs at Sunrise


  1. We don’t have an issue with the tag info wearing off, but we had to buy a sturdier ring to attach them to the collars because the cheap ones that come with most tags pull off when the dogs are working cover. The ones we use now are an “s” shape and heavy metal. Around here they do not suggest putting the dog’s name on the tag to deter theft. We still put the dog’s name on their tags along with phone numbers just like you do. We also have some collars with the tags riveted to a flat buckle collar. I really like those collars. Thanks so much for joining the hop!

    • I like those ones riveted on the collar. There are beautiful leather ones I saw, but they are quite costly and I worry about maintenance. :P I think I know what you mean by S shape. :)

  2. I’m a parrot and can just tell them.

  3. We reviewed Silver Paw Pet tags a year ago and absolutely love them. They still look brand new after a year which included hot and cold weather, rain and snow. You can see them here: http://mygbgvlife.com/2014/05/01/snazzy-tag/

  4. Catherine

    We bought a tag from Etsy which looked nice. UNTIL I sprayed the Richard’s Organix flea spray (oily) on the collar and the ink from the engraving inside came out (and basically made the tag ugly and useless)! So take note if you opt for black text on silver.

    • ​There are quite a number of nice looking dog tags on Etsy. I find myself surfing through them too, but I guess now I have to think twice about getting those with black text on them! Really appreciate your sharing!

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