Aside from their endearing iconography (the silhouette of a bell), 2023 rabies tags are this year’s must-have fashion accessory for dogs (and cats!) for one primary reason: they keep everyone—pets and people—safe. And it’s no wonder why: they are a conspicuous visual cue that an animal has been inoculated against the deadly rabies virus, among the most monstrous known to humanity.
The sight of such a tag pendant on the collar of a wandering dog that has perhaps strayed too far beyond its owner’s watchful gaze is a welcome one, as well as being the only mode of communication our furry companions possess through which to inform us that they’re up to date on their vaccines (at least until someone finally teaches Border Collies how to talk).
For those who are vaccinating their pets this year, our bell-shaped 2023 rabies tags come in plain aluminum, painted aluminum (green), stainless steel, and brass. But why are they different from last year’s tags, which were oval-shaped and, if painted, they were painted orange. What gives?
By unofficial convention, each year an official shape and color is established by the National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians (NASPHV) for rabies tags as an easy-to-distinguish marker as to when its bearer was vaccinated. As it stands, this internationally recognized standard utilizes in the most recent years the following pattern:
- 2022: Orange Oval
- 2023: Green Bell
- 2024: Red Heart
- 2025: Blue Rosette
This system serves a very practical purpose, which can be clearly understood if one merely imagines the circumstances under which rabies tags would be most necessary. Sure, perhaps vets may like to see one dangling around their patients’ neck. But in all likelihood they would already have paper or digital records and other documentation informing him of the animal’s vaccination status.
No, a much more significant purpose for these tags is often found in more serious situations, like emergencies, such as when an animal gets loose and runs away or otherwise encounters a stranger without the animal’s guardian present to convey information regarding its vaccination status. If such an untagged animal wanders into an unfamiliar neighborhood and starts behaving oddly (wouldn’t you behave oddly if you were frightened and found yourself in a strange neighborhood?!), it can lead to apprehension and increased caution on the part of animal control officers in their handling of suspect animal. Whereas, by sporting a prominent bell-shaped metal tag that screams “2023,” the officer will know with a glance that the animal is recently vaccinated and therefore can be safely interacted with.
Rabies is a vaccine-preventable disease, and as such it goes without saying that all pet owners should protect their animals by getting them inoculated. If 2023 is the year you’re renewing your pet’s immunization, then let your pet proudly announce to the world with this little green bell that it is no danger as far as the fatal virus is concerned. Ketchum Mfg. Co.’s high-quality and customizable rabies tags 2023 edition are made in America, manufactured by us in upstate New York. The ideal combination of form and function, with this year’s rabies tag your dog could literally be “saved by the bell.”