You are currently viewing How to Put Dog Tags on a Collar: A Step-By-Step Guide

How to Put Dog Tags on a Collar: A Step-By-Step Guide

When you adopt a dog, one of the first things you purchase is a collar for your new furry friend. Dog collars are useful for clipping your leash onto, as well as housing all your dog’s necessary tags, like rabies vaccination tags, any city and county licenses, and their identification information.

When you’ve gotten your dog’s ID tags, it can be difficult to attach tags to your pet’s collar properly, especially depending on the type of collar you’re using and the type of hardware you have for your dog’s tags. Read on to learn why your dog needs collar tags, as well as how to put a tag on a collar correctly.

A Labrador wearing a leather collar

Why Should You Put Tags on Your Dog’s Collar?

In many places, having proper identification for your dog, as well as their rabies vaccination information displayed on their tags, is required if you walk your dog on public streets or take them to the dog park.

However, beyond the legality of dog tags, having readily available identification information for your dog is an important safety precaution. If your dog escapes from your home or gets lost while you’re away, an ID tag is the easiest way for you to be reunited with your pup.

While microchipping your pet also serves as an excellent backup plan, microchips require someone to take the pet to a separate location where a vet or animal shelter employee can use a machine to find the information.

If your dog is wearing a pet tag, there is no additional step required – they can see your name, address, and phone number immediately to contact you.

Close-up of a dog tag

5 Steps to Put Dog Tags on a Collar

Wondering how to put a dog tag or multiple tags on a collar? Follow these five steps and you’ll be done in no time:

1) Examine the Collar

Before you can attach dog tags, you want to inspect the collar. This helps you ensure the collar is in good condition, as well as learn how and where you’ll need to place the tags on this particular style of collar.

Most collars come equipped with a D-ring, a metal, D-shaped attachment where many people clip leashes, which is a convenient place for your dog’s tags. Some collars will also come with an attached metal split ring for putting your tags on.

2) Ensure Your Dog’s Tags are Up to Date

Always make sure that your dog’s ID tag and other tags have the most up-to-date information on them before you put them on the collar.

The tag should have your dog’s name, your name, your current address, and a phone number where you can be reached. If you ever move or change your number, you’ll need to replace your dog’s tags.

Keeping this information up to date is the only way to ensure you and your dog can be reunited in the event that they’re lost. If your dog is also microchipped, this information should also be updated each time you move. In addition, when your dog gets their rabies vaccination renewed, those tags will need to be updated.

3) Attach the Dog Tags to the Hardware

There are two main hardware options you’ll have to attach your dog’s tags to the collar: a split ring and an S-hook. A split ring looks like a smaller version of a key ring you may have on your keychain, while an S-hook is shaped, as the name suggests, like the letter “S” with a hook on each end.

If you have a split ring, you’ll need to pry open one end of the corkscrew shape with your fingernail or a set of pliers if the ring is too tight. Once the split ring is open, you can pass it through the hole on the dog tag, and then work the collar tag around the split ring until it’s secure.

If you have an S-hook, attaching the dog tags will be a little easier. Simply slide one side of the S-hook through the hole of the dog tags, then pinch the hook closed tightly with your fingers or a set of pliers to ensure the tags are secure.

While S-hooks can be easier to use, they can also be less secure and more dangerous to your dog if not closed properly, so always be mindful when using an S-ring to close the hook as tightly as possible.

4) Attach the Hardware to Your Dog’s Collar

Once you have the dog tags attached to your split ring or S-hook, you’ll need to attach the hardware to your dog’s collar.

Using the same process that you used to slip the dog tags onto the hardware, you’ll want to slip the split ring or S-hook onto the D-ring of the dog collar and secure the hardware tightly.

Alternatively, you can attach the hardware to the buckle of your dog’s collar, if the style you’re using has one, instead of the D-ring. Doing this prevents you from attaching your dog’s leash to the tag ring, which is typically made from thin metal that can break if your dog pulls on the leash too hard.

5) Put the Collar Around Your Dog’s Neck

Once you’ve gotten the tags attached to your dog’s collar, double-check that everything is securely fastened and won’t fall off. If everything appears secure, you can reattach the collar to your dog’s neck.

While routinely wearing dog tags is important for your dog’s safety while they’re outside, consider limiting how often they wear their collar while they’re inside.

Collars, even those that fit properly, can be a safety risk to your dog if they’re not being supervised. The collar can get caught on their kennel, or their paw can get stuck underneath it. Instead, consider removing your dog’s collar at night while they’re sleeping, and any time that you can’t supervise them closely.

A Boxer dog lying on grass

Does Your Dog Wear Dog Tags?

As a dog parent, your pup’s safety and wellbeing are your top priority, and part of keeping them safe is having them wear up-to-date dog tags whenever they’re outside. If you have tags for your dog, now is the time to attach them securely to their collar, so your pet is protected in case of emergency.