Imagine your pet… lost, frightened and alone. Perhaps trying to find it’s way home through busy, traffic filled streets. A passerby notices your pet and calls it over when it is safe to do so. Your pet runs to this person, who looks for some way of identifying your pet, but there is nothing there. Not knowing what else to do, this passerby takes your pet to the local animal shelter or pound, where it is days before you are located – if ever.
You may think this will never happen to your pet, but tell that to the more than 10 million pets that go missing every year in the United States alone! Dogs and cats can’t tell people where they live or who they belong to. That’s why proper pet identification is so important to the well-being of your pet. Without it, your missing pet may never find it’s way back home to your family.
Unfortunately, many lost pets without identification don’t come home. Whether they end up in an animal shelter, a private home or a veterinary clinic, your dog or cat can’t telephone you or give people directions to your home. As a responsible, loving pet owner, it is very important to give your dog a way to communicate this information – and a current, well-cared-for pet identification tag is a great way to do that.
According to animal shelter workers, seeing a pet id tag or tattoo is a very uplifting experience. It means they can unite pet and owner in a matter of minutes. And minutes can really count when your pet is injured and needs immediate veterinary attention. If you can’t be contacted to authorize vital emergency treatment, many animal hospitals have no option but to euthanize your beloved pet.
There are many options when it comes to pet identification. The simplest and most cost-effective method is to place a good quality pet identification tag on your pet’s collar. The tag should be clearly visible, with either your telephone number, or an emergency number that people can call in the event that your pet is lost or injured. Make sure the tag is securely placed on your pet’s collar, and check it often to ensure that the numbers and other information are clearly visible.
Active pets can wear down their tags, which may need to be replaced every year or so. An excellent choice is Pet Angel ID Tags, which feature a 24 hour emergency operator who will reunite pet and owner in just minutes. An excellent variety of collars and tags for dogs and cats can also be purchased on-line at the Bow Wow Boutique and Meow Marketplace on Pet Net.
It it also a good idea to have your pet tattooed or micro-chipped at your veterinarians office in addition to the ID tag. This form of identification will act as a back up plan in the event that your pet loses it’s collar, or you forget to put it back on after a bath or brushing. Tattoos are generally placed on the inside of the thigh or the ear and are a permanent form of identification. They identify your pet through a code number that is kept on file at a national registry.
Microchips are tiny electronic devices that are inserted just below your pet’s skin. Your pet can then be identified with a scanning device that reads your contact information. Micro-chipping is becoming more popular throughout North America and other countries. For more information on these two permanent identification options, contact your nearest veterinary clinic. Keep in mind that no form of identification will work if you do not keep your contact information current. Be sure to notify these organizations in the event that you move or change your telephone number.
Things to Remember:
Make sure that you keep your contact information up to date. Get a new ID tag or notify the organization storing this information in the event that you move or change your telephone number.
Make sure that your pet’s ID tag is both visible and readable. Check the collar often to ensure that it is not frayed or worn, which will make it more likely to fall off. Make sure that the information on the ID tag is legible. Dogs and cats are active creatures, and this information can fade or rub off over time.
Pet Identification tags are a must! Even if your dog has a tattoo or microchip, a neighbor down the street from you may not be able to access this information as easily as a veterinarian or animal shelter. A visible, well cared for tag and collar are the most inexpensive way to make sure that your pet will find it’s way back home quickly, with the least amount of worry.
If you spot a lost or stray pet, do your best to catch it and check for a collar and ID tag, provided that it is safe for you to do so. If more people took the time to help a pet in need, more lost pets would find their way home. Who knows – the next pet that goes missing may be your own!