National Pet ID Week is April 15 – 21 this year. Dogs can’t read a map to find their way home. Did you know one in three pets will go missing at some point in their life? According to the American Humane Association say over ten million dogs and cats are lost and stolen in the US each year. What can you do to protect your best friend if they go missing?
National Pet ID Week – ID Tags, Chips, Licenses
ID tags are probably the most common way pet parents choose to safeguard their pets in the event they get lost. There are many different kinds of ID tags available, some are inexpensive, some are more pricey. An ID tag is a good place to start, but what if your dog loses her collar, or escapes out the door without her collar? Many ID tags also wear out in time, to the point where you can no longer read the information. If you are moving, order a new tag before you move so your dog has proper ID from day one at your new home!
Bailie escaped from daycare at BlogPaws in 2014. The dog walker attached her leash to the ID ring, not the collar. The ring broke the minute Bailie pulled. Tags went flying, and Bailie was loose. Thankfully, they caught her quickly, but her tags were all gone. She just wanted to find her mom again, but at a resort in Vegas, it would be a tough thing for a dog to do. We all wear our Silver Paw Pet Tags. Mine is four years old and still good as new. I highly recommend this type of tag, and if you move, they will simply amend your information for a small fee! ID tags are great, but they are not the only protection you need.
Microchips are the best way to assure your dog is returned to you if she gets lost. While the average person can easily read an ID tag, you do need a microchip reader to read the information on a chip. The good thing is, the chip is in your dog for life, and won’t fall off, or get lost. Every time we go to the vet, we have them check our chips to make sure everything is in order. Only about twenty percent of pets in shelters are returned to their homes, but if they are microchipped, that number increases to almost sixty percent. There are different types of chips and chip placements around the world. I have two chips, one from the UK, and a USA one.
Why are not 100% of microchipped dogs returned to their homes? Humans often forget to update the chip information when they move. If your dog is chipped, make sure to keep the information current, by filling out the online profile for your chip company. We all wear a tag as well, to let everyone know we have a chip. Sometimes these tags break or the information get scratched off with wear and tear. Bailie lost hers recently. Mom ordered this purple girl replacement tag with a glow in the dark rubber surround for her. Since we take our collars off every night before bed, Mom checks each of them to make sure the tags are still there, are legible, and the collars are in good order.
City Dog Licenses
Most cities and towns require dog licenses. This is probably the one thing many people do not do. Dog licenses are not only for the USA, we were also licensed in Germany. If your dog goes missing around your area, the license will help her get home quickly because the city knows where she lives, and who her parents are from the city records. The tag above was from Trine years ago in Germany. We didn’t want to post our own licenses with our information online.
Our current licenses are green and last for two years. You can see Bailie’s behind her chip tag. One super cool thing we recently found out about has to do with dogs in Minneapolis and St. Paul. To help get people to register their dogs with the cities, if a lost and licensed pet is found in Minneapolis or St. Paul, they will be given a free ride home using Uber! How cool is that! Imagine the look on a pet parent’s face when their lost dog rolls up in the backseat of an Uber? We don’t know if this happens in other cities as well, but you might want to ask, or make the suggestion!
A Combination Is Best
My mom never wants to lose us. We lost our cat bro Tom in 2008, and never found him. It still bothers Mom. To do the best we can to be returned to our home if we ever get lost, we are all chipped, we wear three tags, ID tags, city licenses, and a tag to let humans know we are chipped. Mom also checks our information online regularly to make sure it is all correct. Hopefully we are covered if we lose our collar, or one or more of our tags. It’s National Pet ID Week, what are you doing to make sure your pet gets home safely if she goes missing?