Tags or No Tags for Dogs?

Up until last Friday, I didn’t think that our yorkie, Mercy, had been affected by my pregnancy.

I had a doctor appointment scheduled for 9:40 am and I was buzzing around the house, trying to get ready. Mercy was in our bedroom and I haven’t liked her to be in there unattended lately as she has had a few piddling incidents in there. So, I called her to come out.

No response.

“Mercy, come!”


“Who wants treats?”


“Chicken treats?

A little wimper. Silence. Another wimper.

I waddled my way into the room and didn’t see her. I dropped to the floor and see her under the bed, lying down.

“C’mon out! What are you doing under there?” I asked. I was on the left side of the bed and tried to reach her with my right arm. The preggo belly got in the way and I couldn’t reach. I dropped my face to the ground and saw in the darkness that the split ring on her collar, the one that holds the id and rabies tags, was stuck on a loop of the berber carpet.

I tried again to reach her but was unable to free her, as I couldn’t get under the bed. I switched to lying on my left side, and reaching with my left arm, which gave me another two inches. I still couldn’t free the split ring from the carpet. I tried to take the collar off, but Mercy was pulling up on her collar so much that I was not able to get it off.

I didn’t know what to do! I couldn’t move the bed, it’s not a movable type of bed. I couldn’t get UNDER the bed, it’s only like 6 inches clearance. I couldn’t lie on my stomach and use both hands to free her because of my enormous 39 and a half weeks pregnant belly. I was starting to panic. I couldn’t get her out because I was pregnant!

Who was I going to call? My husband was at work, 30 minutes away. The fire department? The police? My mother?

I could just see the story on the news….

I tried one more time, sternly telling Mercy to lie down and relax. As she reluctantly followed my instruction, I was miraculously able to wriggle the ring just the right way and free her.

Horray! Treats for everyone!

I was really torn about having her collar on while she’s in the house. What if it gets stuck on something else? But if I didn’t have it on her, and she got out, nobody would know who she was. And when this puppy gets out, she takes off for the closest squirrel hang out.

I got my answer on Sunday- I found a dog early that morning in our front yard, clearly lost, wet and cold with a tagless collar on. Poor little guy. I did a quick temperment check and he did great, so I brought him inside and quarantined him in our laundry room (much to the disbelief of my half-asleep husband). But he had no identification for me to call his owners! I had him brought to the local animal shelter and he is waiting to be found.

So my little Mercy will be wearing her collar at all times. I’m just getting a different split ring.


17 responses to “Tags or No Tags for Dogs?

  1. I was wondering the same thing, if we should put a collar on Layla, or if it might get caught on something in the house. We decided to go with the collar. The thought of her getting out and no one knowing where she belonged was just too sad to think about.

    I still worry, though.

  2. …oh, yes, and I’m SO glad Mercy’s free and okay! I was feeling to desperate as I was reading this post!

    I do have to say… everytime you come up on my bloglines I’m hoping it’s baby news :o) You are in my daily prayers!

  3. I totally agree about the collars. Our dogs are outside pined in the back yard (just over an acre lot) and they are so rough with each other that they sometimes loose their tags. We always find or replace them and put them back on the dog.
    Last weekend one of our neighbors found a Boston Terrier running loose – with no tags or ID. The poor dog was obviously an inside dog, and the neighbor was trying to see if any of us were his owners. He did the same thing, took him to the local shelter to await his owners. Good call.

    I am also with Lynda! I am waiting, as I know your are to hear some wonderful baby news!! You’re in my prayers too! Good Luck!

  4. Poor doggie. My previous solution was to get a plain breakaway collar and write my phone number across it with permanent marker. With my last two dogs I was going to microchip them, but my vet talked me out of it. No scanners in my county. Instead he tatood the clinics phone number w/ my initials on their belly during spay/nueter.

  5. That must have been unnerving. You and your poor pup. I’m so glad it worked out, but I agree with your wisdom. Better with a collar

  6. Oh, poor Mercy! Split rings are a pain. Collar is probably safer …but I hate the way they mess up the neck fur!!

  7. I’d definitely go with a collar. In our new neighborhood, a dog got loose and I knew he was probably someone’s pet. Thankfully he had his address on his tag and I knew right where he belonged.

    You could try the website or catalog for Dr. Smith & Foster. They have lots of stuff for pets and can probably identify a safer collar that won’t get caught.

    I’m not sure what to do when we get a new kitty. I don’t believe in microchips (some studies are showing that cancer can develop at the site) but I think they need i.d. just in case they do get out.

    Hope you make that hospital trip soon!

  8. Poor Mercy and poor you! I have seen “jingless” collars where there’s a velco packet on the collar and inside you keep the tags with your information. I forget where I saw it, but if I remember, I will let you know. I’ve never had my dogs get stuck like that, but I didn’t get the collar packets because I like hearing where they are by listening to their collars jingle!

  9. You could get her a collar that is embroidered with your phone # and her name -they have them at alot of the online places.
    I am big on collars & tags – our Lola ran out the door once without her collar and she was across the (busy) road and down a side street before Matt could even get off the porch. Had she not been running out to catch up with a dog that was walking on a leash, she would’ve been long gone. Granted, she’s microchipped, but still…

  10. Mercy is the cutest li’l pup and what a wonderful name! Your story reminded me of the song lyrics…
    “When I could not find mercy
    Mercy found me!”
    Hope I got the words right. I think its Phillips, Craig, and Dean.

    What an experience of leading, though! Awesome story!


  11. You know, you can get a collar with her name and your phone number embroidered on it. Oh, I see somebody already said that! I think it’s a good choice for a small dog. We have the tags, on an S hook, but for some reason the whole thing sometimes comes off one of the dogs. The id collar would certainly be quieter than the little jingling.

  12. I was so anxious for you as I read your story. I hope you and Mercy are feeling better now. We have our golden micro chipped and I still make him wear his collar except at bed time. First thing though on it goes. Take care of yourself and I have my fingers crossed for a baby blog soon. Blessings for you and baby to be.

  13. Get a collar that has a plate on it. Then get your phone number engraved on the plate. Voila! No split ring to catch on anything. That was what we did with our one kitty that kept trying to get out. Thankfully we never lost her and had to wait till someone called us, but it IS a solution.

  14. O Dana! you had me crying with your Mercy Me story, I am glad your were able to rescue her without professional help! I keep Nui’s collar on at all times, the tinkling tags help me heep track of her, she keeps getting lost in the house!

  15. My dog always wears her collar when someone is home with her. When she is home alone we take the collar off. A friend of mine had a dog that choked to death when his collar got caught on something while she was gone. Too scary!

  16. There are some good ideas here, with embroidering and engraving. We have a collar and tags on Zeus at all times, but he doesn’t go outside much except for on a leash. I’m glad you and Mercy made it through the incident.

  17. I just wanted to say, my dog just passed away because of a split ring. It got caught on the pad in the kennel, and she tried freeing herself and broke her neck. She was a chihuaua, and straightend that split ring straight. Thats how hard she fought. Unfortunely we didnt get to her in time. My sister found her dead. Its really sad to think something I bought for her killed her.

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