QR-Code Pet Tags

QR-code tags for pets (particularly dogs).

QR code dog tags DO NOT COMPLY WITH UK LAW, if they do not provide the dog owner's name and address printed or engraved on the tag itself. While the code - when scanned - may take you to a website that reveals the owner's name and address, the law states quite clearly that this must be on the tag. (Dog Control Order 1992).

Is a QR Code Dog Tag useful?

QR Codes are "two-dimensional" barcodes, and like any barcode, once they are scanned by a device that can scan them, they reveal information. Most (though not all) modern smart-phones can "scan and read" a QR Code - if the "app" to scan the code is present in the phone. And when scanned, the smartphone will usually call up some web page, because the QR Code just scanned, will be little more than a "coded" web address.

The argument put forward by promoters of QR code pet tags is that much more data can be stored on a web page than shown on a tag. Additionally, they suggest that it is easier to change website data, than to change a conventional pet tag.

But a pet tag is not about the pet... it is about the OWNER. The principal function of a pet tag is to enable the finder of a lost pet to make quick and easy contact with the owner.

The faster and easier someone can do this, the better. In most cases where a tag has a mobile phone number, the finder can be talking to the owner within a few seconds of finding the pet. At that point, simple common sense prevails. The finder and the owner will talk, and if there are important things to say about the pet - such as a dietary or medical condition, this will come up in the conversation.

QR Code Pet Tags have no advantage over a conventional tag, and in some situations may significantly delay the finder making contact with the owner.

Show me a QR Code...

Here's a QR Code that will take you to our website:

TagMakers QR Code

Does TagMakers sell QR Code Dog Tags?

Before we tell you why we think QR tags are a waste of time and money, it's important to note that we have the technology to generate QR codes (the one above was created using a QR Code Generator), and we have a "dormant" website with a bespoke database that can capture the requisite information relating to a pet tag that carries a QR Code - so it's not "sour grapes" on our part.

We could sell QR Code tags tomorrow if we wanted to - and do this much cheaper than our competitors.

QR Code tags, the on-going cost and other issues...

In most cases, the QR Code tag is only PART of the cost. There is invariably an annual fee to keep the web-page of your pet's details. And you have to remember login details etc... It's starts to get costly, and much more of a hassle than its worth.

Some providers offer "basic" services for "free", and then have a menu of "premium services" that you can subscribe to. One that is being offered is to be told the geo-location of the device that was used to scan the QR-code. We think that this may present some serious data privacy issues. How do you know that the person who's just found your dog wants his exact position on the planet known to you?

TagMakers will not be offering QR Code tags- even though we have the capability to do so.

What our customers said...

When it looked like QR tags would become "all the rage", we decided to ask people who matter - pet owners - what they felt about them Here are some of their comments.

When we said that QR codes enabled a pet owner to alter data on a web page, most came back with these responses:

1. "When last did you change your mobile number? How often do you move house?"

2. "Oh no... not another web login password to remember!"

3. "Conventional pet tags are so cheap and quick to obtain, if your data does change, it's possible to get a new tag in under 48 hours for less than a fiver. Why go to the enormous hassle of managing a web page?"

4. "So you scan a code to get to a site that gives you a phone number... Er... Why not just engrave the phone number on the tag? Sounds idiotic to me - blinded by science... Just because technology can do something does not mean it makes sense to use it."

5. "It's like firing up the Space Shuttle for a trip to the supermarket... a Ford Focus will do the job just as well, a lot more quickly, and for much less money!"

6. "What happens if the person finding the dog can't scan the code?"

7. "TOO MUCH information about your pet is actually NOT a good idea. A considerable number of pets are stolen, or "dog-napped" for possible rewards offered. If you have your pet's detailed life history, fads and fancies, name, medical history and all the rest, unscrupulous people can use this information for their advantage."

 - and, finally, a very observant comment from professional dog trainer, Matt Carlow:-

8. "A pet tag is about the OWNER - NOT THE DOG. The sole function of a pet tag is to provide a quick, simple and effective way for the finder of a lost pet to contact its owner."

LESS is far better where pet tags are concerned. And if there is a very compelling reason to provide more information (such as "This dog is deaf"), then just write it somewhere on the tag.

In the last year (since we've started the research on info that goes onto pet tags), we have found that our customers (on average) provide THREE telephone numbers to be engraved on their tags. These are usually the two mobile numbers of a husband and wife, and their home or landline number. Only 6.2% of the tags we have engraved since October 2012 have just one phone number. The vast majority of tags have at least two numbers, and many have more than two numbers.

In short, QR tags are a "geeky" idea that have no real value or purpose when it comes to pet ID's.

In the UK, if they don't show the dog owner's name and address, they are not legal.

They are essentially a waste of money.

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