QR Code Dog Tags: Are They Worth It?
The world of pet identification has evolved considerably over the years. From engraved tags to microchips, the choices available to pet owners have grown. One such innovation is the QR code dog tag. But with any new product, it's vital to assess the advantages and disadvantages, especially when it comes to something as essential as your pet's safety.
Cons of QR Code Dog Tags
Dependent on Technology: For someone to access the details stored on a QR code dog tag, they'll need a smartphone with a QR code scanner. While many people own smartphones these days, there's no guarantee that the person who finds a lost dog will have the necessary technology or knowledge to scan the code.
Not Compliant with the law: The Control of Dogs Order 1992 specifies that "every dog while in a highway or in a place of public resort shall wear a collar with the name and address of the owner inscribed on the collar or on a plate or badge attached to it." This means a QR code dog tag alone, without a traditional tag with the owner's name and address, would not be in compliance with the law. This could result in a fine of up to £5000. In order to remain compliant, you would need to invest in a traditional tag, which defeats the purpose of a QR code tag.
Privacy Concerns: While QR code tags have security measures to protect owners' private information, some people might still be wary about storing personal details online.
Additionally, some people are wary of scanning QR codes. Kaspersky highlights this point, stating that there is the possibility of people creating malicious QR codes to capture personal details, such as login credentials and geolocation.
If someone were to have these concerns, they may not scan the QR code, which could result in a delay in your dog being returned to you.
Subscription Costs: Many companies offering QR code dog tags operate on a subscription model. While this could mean access to additional features, it also translates to recurring costs. Over time, these costs could add up, making it significantly more expensive than a one-time purchase of a traditional tag.
Additionally, if a person does not make this monthly payment, then the tag, basically, becomes obsolete.
Pros of QR Code Dog Tags
Digital Information Storage: Unlike traditional tags, a QR code dog tag can store vast amounts of digital data. By scanning the code with a smartphone, a finder can access essential details about the dog, such as its medical history, dietary requirements and emergency contact numbers.
Immediate Notifications: Some QR code dog tags come equipped with features that notify the pet owner immediately when the tag is scanned. This immediate alert can give owners peace of mind, knowing that if someone finds their lost pet, they will know right away.
Easy Updates: Traditional tags would need to be replaced if any details changed, be it a new address or phone number. With a QR code dog tag, the owner can easily update the online profile linked to the code, ensuring the information is always up-to-date without replacing the tag.
The QR code dog tag brings a modern twist to the traditional concept of pet identification. Its digital nature and capacity for lots of information offer benefits that conventional tags may not be able to provide. However, with aspects like technology dependence, potential non-compliance with legal standards, and the possible recurring costs, there are considerations to be mindful of. By law, your dog must be wearing a tag with the owner’s name and address on, so be mindful that you will have to have two tags, should you opt for a QR code tag.