Why The Pet License Tag Matters

Why The Pet License Tag Matters

Most pet owners use pet tags to help their furry little friends be easily identified if lost. However, these days it’s also common to think of the pet tag as an accessory - a visible piece of “pet jewelry” - that mirrors the pet or pet owners emotional exuberance. So, if the pet tag has such a significant role in a pet’s life, why are the majority of pet licensing organizations still issuing plain metal stamped tags?

The History

Pet tags were originally designed solely for functionality. With the practice of licensing pets gaining traction in the 1950s, it was initially used as a method to identify ownership and prove that rabies vaccinations were up to date. Although these functional components of pet licensing still exist today, pet owners are taking more ownership and control over the accessories and products they purchase for their pets. Through most of the 20th-century, a pet owner’s main purchase concerns were food and the occasional veterinary visit. More recently, the pet market has seen an explosion in the range of products offered including; insurance, clothing, toys and accessories.

Did You Know: According to Statista there is a growing market opportunity in pet accessories with the industry expecting to touch USD 22 billion by the end of 2023. 

Consumer Trends  

Although there is clearly a large shift in consumer preference happening in the industry, pet licensing organizations have remained relatively stagnant in their market offering. Why you may ask? Because the functional aspects of the tag have also remained relatively stagnant. For most pet licensing organizations, licenses today still exist solely to help identify pets and prove that rabies vaccinations are up to date.

However, a concern we frequently hear from pet licensing organizations and shelter staff is that despite the fact a pet may actually be registered in their system, the owners do not always put the physical tag on their pet’s collar. Although it seems irrational - albeit irresponsible - to leave off your pet’s one ticket home if they ever become lost, many pet owners are skipping the license tag to favor more personalized and trendy accessories.

According to TechNavio’s 2018 study, the Global Pet Accessories Market is expected to grow at a comprehensive annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.72% during the period 2019-2023. The report cites the availability of a wide range of fashionable and multi-functional pet accessories as one of the main drivers.

The Stakes

No matter the operating functionality of plain metal tags, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) US shelters are still seeing 6.5 million dogs and cats every year. That’s 3.3 million dogs and 3.2 million cats. Every new animal that enters local shelters puts a strain on limited resources. To help combat this issue, pet license tags need to adjust to market trends if pet owners are going to adorn their pets with them daily.


DocuPet believes strongly in providing tags worth wearing for its pet community. All DocuPet tags are attractive and durable and offered in two sizes to meet the needs of all pets. Our high-quality tags are branded with the logo of the pet owner's City or County on the front, and each is etched with an animal control phone number and unique alphanumeric code on the back. The unique code on each tag is associated with the online record for the pet. These records can be accessed by city administrators and approved information is made public when a pet is missing.

When a lost pet is found wearing their license they are much more likely to bypass the shelter system. A pet licence, especially one linked to a Lost Pet Service like HomeSafe is insurance that pets will be returned home easily and quickly – without becoming a burden to those animals who are still waiting to find a loving home of their own.  

So, let’s make sure the tags we offer pet owners are going to end up becoming their new favourite accessory.

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