It’s National Pet ID Week, are you prepared, or is your dog prepared if she suddenly goes missing? Did you know one in three pets will become lost at some point in their lives? That is a scary statistic. We lost one cat, and it still haunts my mom. Today I want to howl a bit about how to help your pup safely be returned home.
Microchip Your Dog
The simplest way to permanently provide your dog with a form of identification is a microchip. Most good breeders either microchip puppies before they go to their forever homes, or require new owners to have them microchipped within a certain amount of time. Getting a microchip is practically painless. The chip is about the size of a piece of rice which is encoded with a unique and unalterable identification number. A microchip is implanted just under the skin, in the scruff of the neck. One needs a scanner to read the chip.
A few important points on microchips:
- Have them tested at every vet visit to ensure they work properly.
- Keep your information updated as it is no good to have a chip if you moved and didn’t change your address or phone number.
- Not every country has the same type of microchips, or locations where they are placed. If you move out of the country, check with your veterinarian to make sure you don’t need a second chip.
Once your dog has a microchip, it is helpful to hand the tag on the collar so anyone finding your dog knows they are chipped. Most chips come with a tag, but there are some fun options you can purchase online as well. Bailie likes her chip tag, “have your people call my people”.
Tags On Your Dog’s Collar
It’s National Pet ID Week, so of course we want to make sure our friends are all easily found if they get lost. We are chipped, and we also wear three tags on our collars.
The Basic ID Tag
The basic ID tag is a real no brainer. Mom has found several dogs over the years, and none of them had tags. Rather than being able to simply call the owner, she had to call animal control. Most people who find a lost dog will call the number on an ID tag, but whether they go to the trouble of calling a vet or animal control if there is not tag, is questionable.
Our favorite ID tags are the Silver Paw Pet Tags. Bailie has had hers for almost five years and it is good as new. They are not cheap, but they last a lifetime and the writing on the back side does not wear off like on cheaper tags. Regularly check your dog’s ID tag to make sure the information is correct, and still legible.
The Dog License
Our second tag is our dog license from our city. Technically, you are required to license your dog in most cities, but most people don’t bother because it is an expense. We are licensed because if we end up with the cops, they will see our license and know exactly who we are. It is another way for us to get back home quickly. We keep the license sandwiched between our ID tag and our chip tag.
A Microchip Tag
As previously mentioned, we wear a tag with our chip information on it. If we are found, the human will know we have a chip. Mom says she prefers to be quadruple safe when it comes to finding us, and overkill is just fine!
Don’t Like Jingling, No Problem
There are people out there who dislike the jingle of collar tags. My mom happens to love the jingle. Normally, she tunes it out, but when she is wondering what we are up to, she always uses the jingles to know where we are at at the moment. If you don’t want jingles, you can purchase collars with a plate that holds your information.
We don’t like jingling when we do our nose work, and the tags can get caught on things we are sniffing too. For this reason, we each have a collar with our information on the metal plate.
Accidents happen to even the most careful and responsible dog owners at any time. Is your dog well prepared to be found should she go missing?