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QR-code Dog Tag With GPS, How To

Posted by: Chuck Eglinton on: March 7, 2012


A QR-code dog tag has laser etched QR-code on one side. When a smartphone scans the QR-code, it displays the pet owner’s contact information. If the smartphone is GPS-enabled, then the pet’s owner is alerted by text message the location at which the QR-code pet tag was scanned. This article describes how to make a QR-code pet tag, where to buy a QR-coded pet tag with hosting service, and how QR-code pet tags compare to a pet microchip.


What is a QR code Dog Tag?

Finally, Fido has his own mobile-friendly web page!

A QR-code enabled dog tag works this way: The dog tag includes a durable, laser engraved QR-code on one side. When the pet’s QR-code is scanned by a scanning application on an iPhone, Android phone, or any smartphone, a mobile friendly web page is displayed with the owner’s contact information. The site may also contain any special handing or medical information for the pet. If the smartphone used to scan the code is GPS enabled then the pet’s owner is immediately alerted by text message of the geographic location where the QR-code was scanned.

QR-code pet tags are a great idea, but remember that any pet tag should include the pet’s name, the owner’s name, and a contact telephone number in human readable text because not everyone knows how to scan a QR-code

Pet Microchips: As an alternative or enhancement to a QR-code pet tag, pet microchips are described at the end of this post. Listed below are the advantages of using a pet microchip implant instead of a QR-code pet tag

  • Pet shelters and animal control facilities routinely scan pets for a pet microchip but most don’t yet scan QR-codes.
  • QR-code pet tags can be lost or stolen, A pet microchip is under a pet’s skin, so it can’t be lost or stolen
  • QR-code pet tags usually have recurring annual fees but pet microchips are registered online once and have no recurring fees.

QR-code Dog Tags, How To Do It Yourself

You can use any QR-code Generator to create free QR-code artwork for a pet tag. When you generate a QR-code for a pet tag, you can choose between QR-code content that requires an Internet connection, QR-code content that doesn’t require an internet connection. Most consumer QR-codes displayed in magazines or on signs require an internet connection because they link to Internet websites. However, you can generate a text or vCard QR-code that contains contact information or text which doesn’t require an internet connection. The disadvantage of the text or vCard choice is that the pet owner has no way of knowing when a non-internet QR-code is scanned.

QR-code style: WebPage URL — Use this style to generate a pet tag QR-code that links to a simple web page you create on your host (or a URL that links to one of the pet registration services listed in the next section). Remember, if you make a simple pet web page, it doesn’t need much information beyond the owner’s contact information and special instructions. Any tag with a QR-code should also include a short text version of the target URL so that people who have access to the Internet but don’t know how to scan a QR-code can still access your pet’s web page. Tip: Use a URL redirector or shortener to make the text version of the URL easier to fit on a pet tag and so that the QR-code is less visually complex and more readable.

QR-code style: vCard or Text — Use either of these styles to generate a pet tag QR-code that doesn’t require an internet connection because the information is completely contained in the QR-code. When you select vCard or text as a QR-code style, the QR-code generator form will display appropriate fields for the text to be contained in the QR-code.

Once you’ve created your QR-code image, you can upload the image to the DogTagArt website where a durable pet tag will be manufactured and mailed to you. When you receive the pet tag, be sure to confirm it works properly with your smartphone scanner app before placing it on your pet.


Where to buy a QR-code Dog Tag and Online Pet Registration

QR-code Pet Tag retailers:

  • DogTagArt.com sells laser etched, stainless steel QR-code pet tags for about $12. You can create your own QR-code image and upload it to their site.
  • Red Dingo sells enamel and stainless steel QR-code pet tags in retail pet stores and at the PetHub website for about $16 . The QR-code on a RedDingo tag must link to a PetHub pet profile (it can’t link to your personal website).

QR-code Pet Tag Online Pet Registration: Both companies provides a unique website for the pet that is displayed when the pet’s QR-code tag is scanned.

  • Virtual Leash subscription prices range from free to $89 depending on the number of contacts to be notified and the type of notification methods desired.
  • PetHub subscription prices range from from free to $49 per year. The premium subscription includes GPS notification and multiple contact methods.

How Much to Microchip a Dog?

Pet microchips are not much larger than a grain of rice and can be gently inserted under the skin of dogs, cats, birds, reptiles and other pets. Each pet microchip has a unique number, and this number is matched to an online database that includes the name and contact information of a pet’s owner. Some cities, such as El Paso, Texas, have begun requiring owners to microchip dogs, cats and ferrets [source: City of El Paso, Texas]. In the U.S. about 130 million dogs and cats (about 5% of the U.S. pet population) are microchipped [source: Springen, USDA]. Pet microchips are much more popular in Europe where about a quarter of all pets have microchips.

Estimated Cost to Microchip a Dog [Source: Yahoo Answers]: Between $10 and $100 to insert the pet’s microchip and register the pet in an online database.

How to find a local Dog Microchip service: Use Google to search for “Pet Microchips” in your city. For example, search for “Pet Microchips Boulder CO” or “Pet Microchips Chicago IL” Most veterinarians will microchip your pet, but you may find lower prices for microchipping your pet at your local humane society or pet shelter.



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