Introduction: USB Dog Identification

Picture of USB Dog Identification

I sometimes worry about losing my dog. Even though he's microchipped and I keep a good eye on him, you never know, right? So I decided to add a little extra piece of ID just to give me piece of mind, if nothing else.

What you'll need:

-A computer with a word processing program
-An old USB drive (weatherproof is preferable)

I'm sure I'm not the first one to think of this idea, but I figured I might as well post a quick Instructable on it. Here's what I did:

Create a new Word file with the name of your pet and fill in all of their basic info. The info I included was his name, breed, colour, eye colour, age, microchip number, and the fact that he is vaccinated against rabies.

Then add your basic personal information:

I put my first and last name, contact number, email address and home address. If you're uncomfortable leaving your home telephone number and address, you could always use your work address and number instead.

Then just PDF it and throw it on your old USB drive and clip it onto your dog's collar. That's all there is to it!


imperio (author)2014-01-14


In Italy they call "carta di identità"!

ctx1985 (author)imperio2014-01-14

Thanks! I learned something new today :)

MrsKitty (author)2014-01-14

I love this idea! We have a fenced yard and he's mostly in the house anyway, but when he gets out, (he pushes around me at the gate) he runs the neighborhood! At least I'd know the info was attached to him!!! Thanks!

ctx1985 (author)MrsKitty2014-01-14

No problem! Yeah it's good just for some piece of mind :)

Marianneg (author)2014-01-14

Great idea ! Cute pup too.

ctx1985 (author)Marianneg2014-01-14

Thanks so much! :)

brynjimmy (author)2014-01-13

That's a great idea I will do it to my dog

ctx1985 (author)brynjimmy2014-01-13


emeres (author)2014-02-27

Why not add a picture of the dog to the pdf file and write the same info in plain txt file? In case of damage to the usb, it would be easier to recover. Max is adorable.

ctx1985 (author)emeres2014-02-27

That's a really good idea! Thanks :)

SkiGeek (author)2014-02-11

When I first saw this article I immediately thought of some website I used ages ago that you placed a executable on your USB called autorun, readme, or passwords (the software is meant to help you find stolen USB devices) and the executable would make a call out to a website and report its general location. Thought it would be perfect for something like this. Well unfortunately they stopped provided services for USB devices. The website was (convenient name) but if you could find something similar it would work great for you.

ctx1985 (author)SkiGeek 2014-02-11

Oh wow that would be great if they still provided that service! Too bad they don't do that anymore. It sounds like it would be perfect for tracking lost pups. Thanks for the comment :)

superstar75 (author)2014-02-03

Great idea =)

ctx1985 (author)superstar752014-02-11

Thanks :)

Gerald2009 (author)2014-01-24

Max is beautiful, he looks like a Swiss Shepherd - I used to breed with them years ago. Any how, a brilliant idea :)

ctx1985 (author)Gerald20092014-01-24

Thanks so much! I love him. He's such a good dog :). He very well could be a Swiss Shepherd mix. When I adopted him, I saw his mother; she was definitely a purebred German Shepherd, and the owner told me that the father was a Husky, but I never actually saw him.

shantinath1000 (author)2014-01-17

We just got a GSD pup and I will be doing this for sure! thanks for the great idea.

ctx1985 (author)shantinath10002014-01-17

No problem! Glad I could help :)

xvicente (author)2014-01-15

I'd be interested in, but can't think how right now, do this with a bird

ctx1985 (author)xvicente2014-01-15

Maybe something like this:

It's pretty small and looks really light as well, since it's made out of plastic.

qewt (author)xvicente2014-01-17

You could use a memory chip for a camera. Those are a lot smaller. No idea about how to attach it to your bird though. If you come up with something I'd be much interested!
I've two linnies, one of them was a fly-in. I couldn't trace the owner and ended up owning my first bird ever. He's such a joy, my Ludwig :)

qewt (author)2014-01-17

<3 love your dog, he's a handsome fella!

ctx1985 (author)qewt2014-01-17

Thanks! He knows it too ;)

EvilRSA (author)2014-01-16

I would highly recommend the use of some sort of Spring clasp like these..

The last thing you want is for someone to find your lost pet, and remove their collar to access the USB drive, because it was easier than removing the drive from their collar while they where wearing it. If they get lost again while their collar is sitting on someones desk they stand a much less of a chance of being ID'ed. Granted Max is chipped, but how many people take a found animal to the vets to see if maybe they're chipped, rather then post some flyers and maybe a craigslist listing.

ctx1985 (author)EvilRSA2014-01-16

That's a great idea to use one of those clasps. You're absolutely right, I've actually known people that have found a lost pup and the first thing they do is take off the collar to check the tags. Great idea! Thanks for your input :)

wheeled_wonder (author)2014-01-15

Max is a beautiful dog. Great idea too!

ctx1985 (author)wheeled_wonder2014-01-16

Thanks so much! He's a great dog :)

chrisnotap (author)2014-01-15

Instead of age, put in the birth date then you won't have to update the stick yearly. Good ible.

ctx1985 (author)chrisnotap2014-01-16

That's a great idea! Haha totally didn't think of that. Thanks! :)

embeddedmicro (author)2014-01-15

I think you could take any of the raw pcb or pcb on metal sticks then encapsulate in potting compound or con-formal coat everything except the business end.

There are "Dog Tag" usb's.

ctx1985 (author)embeddedmicro2014-01-15

That's a great idea! Would be very durable as well. Great suggestion!

bigpig (author)2014-01-15

Max is a handsome lad!

ctx1985 (author)bigpig2014-01-15

Haha thanks! :)

jakwagenaar (author)2014-01-15

Awesome idea, but for one thing: Nimrod, my dog, is computer illiterate! He did chew up a cordless mouse once, but that crash course did not help him much.

ctx1985 (author)jakwagenaar2014-01-15

Haha awww poor little Nimrod. Sounds like an awesome dog :)

billhorvath (author)2014-01-14

This is a creative idea, and might help you get your dog back one day. However, I'd respectfully submit that if you find a USB drive of unknown origin (particularly if you use a Windows box), you should be very trepidatious about plugging it in. Even well-intentioned individuals like yourself can spread computer viruses and malware this way.

ctx1985 (author)billhorvath2014-01-14

Thanks! Yeah you're definitely right. I'm sure some people would be wary about plugging an unknown USB into their computer.

billhorvath (author)2014-01-14

Side note Chris: You might want to blur out the personal information in your screenshots, if you're concerned about that sort of thing.

ctx1985 (author)billhorvath2014-01-14

Thanks for your concern, but basically all of my personal info on there is old.

jphonrado (author)2014-01-14


ctx1985 (author)jphonrado2014-01-14


jhkerch (author)2014-01-14

toptag ID - had this on my dog for the last 6 yrs

ctx1985 (author)jhkerch2014-01-14

Oh cool so they do exist! Haha good to know. Thanks :)

pughugs (author)2014-01-14

Very good idea. If I found a stray dog (which I often do) I would know that the USB was on there for me to look at. Common sense. Just wondering thought- how strong is the average USB? Especially if your dog rolls around in dirt and lies in the sun a lot. I guess a more expensive, waterproof (do they exist?) USB would be the go here, as you suggest.

ctx1985 (author)pughugs2014-01-14

Thanks! I don't think the average USB is built to take too much abuse, but even one of the really old ones with the dust cap cover would probably be good. Then you could maybe just put a piece of tape around the dust cover so it doesn't come off unless your pup got lost and someone had to check it.

qcidiana (author)2014-01-14

A pet lover here likes your idea. Thanks

ctx1985 (author)qcidiana2014-01-14

Thanks! We love our pets...They're part of the family :)

CossieSpawn (author)2014-01-14

Awesome idea! Where did you manage to find the clip on USB drive, or did you make it yourself? It looks like a sturdy metal drive with a solid clip on it, but I've never seen one like that in stores.

ctx1985 (author)CossieSpawn2014-01-14

Thanks! I can't remember where I got that USB...I've had it fr a few years now. If you can't find one with a clip like that, I know there are a lot of USB drives that have a small hole to loop a piece of string through and then you could tie it to your pet's collar. Hope that helps.

About This Instructable




Bio: I'm a 29 year old guy who's passionate about building and fixing things, sometimes if they aren't even broken. I get a ... More »
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