microchip pets

In the U.S. you have the choice whether or not you want to microchip your pet but in all of the European Union (EU) Member Countries it is a requirement.

Keep Your Pet Healthy Starts with Keeping them Safe

It’s great to see a country taking a proactive step in keeping pets safe. I can’t help but think back to when I was kid and our family dog got loose and went missing. She was gone for a few week before we found her. A kind person several living a few miles from our home had brought her in and provide temporary shelter. Whether you’re a child or an adult, it’s an agonizing experience when your pet is lost or missing or possibly stolen.

Many lost pets end up in county animal shelters. What’s most alarming is that most shelters across the United States are at or over capacity with strays. Most shelters only keep strays for a short period of time, some for only a few days, before they are scheduled to be euthanized. If your pet is missing and winds up in a county shelter without some type of identification, he could easily fall victim to the same fate.

Unfortunately, many family pets are also stolen every year for numerous unethical reasons. Here are some ID options to protect your pet from being lost or stolen. Or at the very least help increase your odds of recovering your pet quickly if they were to go missing.

Whichever method you select, the contact information must be kept updated. Many pets escape and go missing when the family moves – so it’s important to remember and update your pet’s tag and to contact the chip and tattoo registries with updated contact information.

Pet Identification options

Tags

Even if you choose one of the below options, it’s a smart idea to include a simple collar and tag with your contact information. Also, attach the vaccine tag from the yearly veterinarian exam. The vaccine tag also acts as identification since it will include your vet’s phone number and the tag number links back to your pet. A pet found with a tag and collar is considered cared for. However, a pet without a collar and tag could be perceived as “dumped” or abandoned.

Tattoos

A tattoo is a permanent form of identification. The tattoo is usually a 10 digit code placed on the belly or the thigh of the pet. The tattoo should not be placed on the inside of the ear, for fear the ear could be clipped to eliminate the ID. Tattoo the pet after they are full-grown to avoid the tattoo from stretching or distorting the tattoo. Also take into account the length of your pet’s fur. Long hair could possibly grow over and cover up the tattoo. However, it’s a painless procedure that can be done quickly by a vet. You will also need to register your pet’s tattoo with Tatoo-A-Pet and National Dog Registry.

Microchip

Many species of animals can be microchiped, from lizards to dogs to cats to parrots. It’s a tiny chip the size of a grain of rice that is inserted around the top of the pet’s neck. After the chip has been implanted, you’ll need to register your pet with the chip manufacturer. Avid and Home Again are the two main chip manufacturers. Although the microchip is a very popular choice, not all animal shelters and veterinarians have scanners to read the chips. Unlike the tattoo which is visible, the chip is not, so a person who finds your dog may not think to have the dog scanned.

While advances are quite sophisticated to identify lost dogs, the best method is prevention. Never leave your pets in your yard while you are not at home (even if it’s fenced). If you take your pets somewhere off leash, make sure to they have their collar & tag. Be aware of your surroundings; if you are having a party or workers over, put your pets in an enclosed area.