You start out with a pet but you end up with another member of the family. Pets have a way of sneaking into your heart, and to protect them, you would do most anything. Just like people pets can unwittingly put themselves in harmful situations. When people do that they can often call a friend, call a cop – there are many ways to escape the situation. When animals get into a pickle, though, they often don’t know what to do. They can wander alone for days on end, searching for home, but never finding it. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, you’re sick with worry. Luckily, someone, somewhere decided that the feeling of not knowing where your pet had gotten to was unbearable. That’s why there are now several different options for creating a pet identification for your dog or cat.
Even if your cat is an indoor cat, and you never let it outside, or your dog is on a chain and stays in a doghouse, he or she is not necessarily safe. Guests can accidentally let pets out of the door; collars and chains can break. If you want to make sure your pet is safe consider one of three forms of pet identification. Each choice offers you some negatives and some positives so be informed before making a final decision about creating an identification tracker for your pet.
A license tag is the cheapest and easiest form of identification for your dog or cat. In many cities they’re purchased at the courthouse but check with your vet to determine if this is true in the city where you live. Each tag, therefore, each pet, is assigned a number. The number is imprinted on the back of the tag and is entered into a computer database. There are generally several tag designs from which to choose and you simply attach the tag to your pet’s collar. If your pet gets lost this number can be tracked. Once the pet is found by a stranger an animal control officer from your city’s animal shelter can punch in the number on your pet’s tag and find your name, address and phone number so that the pet can be returned to you. Some negatives associated with this choice include the tag getting lost, the pet slipping out of his collar or the numbers becoming somehow marred.
A second choice for pet identification is to have your dog or cat tattooed. Many vets will do the tattooing at the same time the pet has another procedure, such as being spayed or neutered. The pet must be asleep for the tattoo so it’s a good choice, if you’re considering a pet tattoo, to get it done at the time the pet has surgery or other treatments which require sedation. The tattoo is usually placed in the ear, on the stomach or on the inside of one of the back legs. One negative aspect connected with the tattoo method of pet identification is that the tattoo can fade and become illegible. Also, pets can be ungroomed after coming up missing and fur can grow over the tattoo. If the finder of the dog or cat doesn’t see the tattoo he or she will not be able to locate the owner. In addition, the finder must contact a pet registry, like the National Dog Registry or The American Kennel Club to help locate the owner.
Many people now opt for a third choice in pet identification by way of a microchip. The chip is injected into the pet, just under the skin, and the dog or cat will never know it’s in there. That’s because the actual microchip is approximately the size of a grain of rice. Each microchip contains an identification number which is registered in a database, along with the owner’s name, phone number, address and other pertinent information. If your pet is found animal shelters across the nation can scan the pet to find out if he or she has a microchip. The ID can then be traced and the owner located.
One negative associated with this process is that some animals experience a little tenderness, itchiness or redness at the site of the injection, however, this is temporary and is usually better within a day or two. One other thing to consider is the price associated with this procedure. You’ll pay for the vet visit, the injection itself, and then another fee to have the ID number added to the database. However, this method is the most reliable of the three discussed here.
Millions of dogs and cats end up in animal shelters each year, and out of those, only a fraction are ever returned safely to their owners. Without taking steps to make sure your pet can be identified if ever lost he or she can end up in a bad situation from which there is no escape. Make sure that doesn’t happen to your beloved pet; choose an ID method and do it right away!