Did you know that nearly one out of every three pets will get lost at some point during their lifetime? Without proper identification, 90% of lost pets never return home.
No one really expects their pet to get lost–even when you take the best of precautions. Accidents can happen–gardeners leave gates open, natural disasters separate pets from their owners, and some resourceful pets will often find a way out of even the most secure yard.
All pet owners are encouraged to ensure that their pets have proper identification at all times. Providing your pet with proper identification is the most important precaution you can take to dramatically maximize your chances of being reunited with a lost pet. Recommended forms of identification are: an ID tag a license from your local animal control or municipality a microchip.
We all know that an ID tag is a small metallic or plastic tag affixed to your pet’s collar that can be personalized with your contact information. A basic pet ID tag should contain a pet’s name and contact phone number. It’s also equally important that the information on the ID tag remains up-to-date. After all, how can you expect to be reunited with your pet if you haven’t kept your information on the tag current? Pet ID tags are available at most pet supply stores and can also be purchased through a number of online vendors.
One should also consider the durability and readability of the pet ID tag. A readable tag is critical for a lost pet. Consider getting an engraved tag as it is often easier to read and will last longer than ink-printed tags. Also, a pet may be able to chew through a plastic tag and render it unreadable.
A pet license is proof that your pet has been vaccinated against rabies and is registered with the jurisdiction where you reside. Pet licenses are similar to ID tags; they are generally small metallic or plastic tags that should be affixed to your pet’s collar at all times. Licensing a pet is another safeguard against having a lost pet stay lost. There are many times that only the license tag remains on a collar; and, if the license is current, the owner’s name and phone number can be obtained.
Lastly, a microchip is a device implanted beneath an animal’s skin which contains a unique series of numbers and letters that would be used to identify the lost animal. These same numbers and letters are also printed on a microchip tag that should also go on your pet’s collar. The microchip tag alerts someone that your pet is microchipped and contact information may be available. Even if a pet isn’t wearing a mircochip, a lost pet may be brought to a vet’s office or an animal shelter and that animal will be “scanned” to see if it has a microchip. If an owner’s current contact information is registered with the microchip company, the owner can be contacted regarding the lost dog. If an owner doesn’t keep the information current, there the possibility that no contact could be made and the dog remains lost.
It is important that all pets have both permanent and visible forms of ID. Lost pets often lose their collar and ID tag/license and can only be identified by their microchip. Conversely, since microchips are embedded under the skin, ID tags and licenses serve as physical proof of ownership that alerts someone who has found your pet that he or she has an owner. Multiple forms of ID drastically increases the likelihood that you will be reunited with your lost pet.
It is vital that each pet owner takes the time to put some form of ID on their pet and checks often to make sure the ID remains on the collar. It takes such a short time to ID your pet–can you think of any excuse for you not taking the time to do so? So many animals are put to sleep each year because the pet owner didn’t take the time to place an ID tag on them. Imagine the pain and suffering that can be avoided by doing this one small task that makes the difference between losing your pet forever or you and your pet remaining together for life!
Remember: Proper and current identification is your lost pet’s path home to you!