3 Ways To Ensure Your Pets Are Found If They Become Lost
As some of you may know, April 18 – 24 is National Pet ID Week. This week exists to bring awareness to the many ways pet owners can ID their pets so if lost, they can be returned. Some people may argue though: “well, my pet stays in doors, so there’s no way they would get lost.” Last time we checked, not many people lose things on purpose, so taking the necessary precautions will help in a crisis situation. After all, many of the pets that turn up in the shelter every year belonged to owners at one point.
Nearly 1 in 3 pets are get lost in their lifetime and 90 percent of those without any form of identification will not be returned. Here are several different types of identification that can be used and the pros and cons of each.
Dog may be in the name, but dog tags aren’t limited only to the canines. It’s perfectly fine for cats to wear them too. However, your cat may think of it more as a toy than a safety measure. Pet identification tags allow for all of your information to be printed nice and neat onto this handy little tag that attaches to the collar. It is important to remember though that the tags are just attached, so it is possible for them to fall off while your pet is either playing during a normal day with you, or trying to find their way back home. If you do decide dog tags are the identification for you, here are some pieces of information you should include on the tags:
- Pet’s name
- Your phone number (a cell phone number ensures you will be reached)
- City where you reside
- Address (This isn’t necessary, there may not be enough room. If you do have the room and feel comfortable having that information on the tag, by all means, put it!)
- If your pet is microchipped, attach a second tag microchip tag with the company’s name and phone number
Surprisingly enough, there are collars that, instead of attaching a tag to, you can have the information you would put on a tag embroidered directly onto the collar. It is also possible to buy a collar with a nameplate attached that also has all the information you would put on a tag. A number of online retailers such as GoTags.com or DogIDCollar.com offer these products.
Of course, there’s still the possibility that the collar could fall off, or in drastic circumstances, get caught on something that will inhibit your pet’s motion. If collars end up being your identification of choice, the same information that applies for a tag applies for a collar (there’s just less room).
A microchip is a permanent pet ID that is injected beneath the pet’s skin between the shoulder blade. The microchip stays in your pet’s body for their lifetime and is read by a microchip scanner that can be passed over your pet’s body to get the unique code that is stored with the owner information.
The numbers and statistics that surround pets who have a microchip speak for themselves, and it is without a doubt that registered microchips give pets the best chance of returning home. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, only about 22% of dogs that enter animal shelters are successfully reunited with their owners. However, the return-to-owner rate for microchipped dogs was over 52%! The return-to-owner rate for microchipped cats was also more than 2000 percent better (38% compared to 2%) when compared to cats who were not microchipped.
If your pet is microchipped, to increase the ease of the process, you can attach an ID tag to a collar with the name of the company and phone number that microchipped your pet, but most animal shelters and rescues will run the scanner over you pet’s body just in case if they are ever found.
There are still other types of pet identification that can be used and no identification is too much. If you decide to microchip, put the information on a collar and tags, your pet is that much more likely to return home when lost. Know that every measure you use increases your chances to once again get that slobbery kiss from man’s best friend. After deciding which one is your favorite, post on our Facebook wall and tell us why! If you have a success story from using one of these methods, post that too, we love your stories.
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