Is Your Pet Identifiable if Lost?
What would happen if your cat slipped out the front door when you weren’t paying attention? What if you have a loose board on your fence and your dog finds it before you do? What happens if your dog slips out of his collar while you’re out on a walk and chases after a cat? Is there a way for a stranger to contact you and return your lost pet?
National Pet ID Week is the third week of April, and this is the perfect time to ensure that you have done everything you can to make sure your pet can make her way back home to you if anything like this ever happens-and it happens ALL THE TIME!
- Always put an ID tag on your pet’s collar! Even if you have an indoor cat or your dog only goes in the backyard. Accidents happen-kids leave gates open, pets bolt out front doors. You can get a free ID tag at Hollywood Feed with adoption paperwork after you get your new furry friend, and after that they only cost $9.99!
- Check your pet’s ID tag regularly to make sure it is still legible and to make sure it is updated with your current information. Always update your pet’s tag when you get a new phone number, and consider putting a second phone number of a friend or family member on the collar as well.
- Write in permanent marker or have your phone number embroidered on the collar itself! This will provide extra protection in case the tag comes off of your pet’s collar.
- Make sure your pet’s collar is neither too loose nor too tight. You don’t want it to slip off easily, but you don’t want to choke your pet, either! Also, check for tears in your pet’s collar regularly. (Cats should always wear break-away collars for safety.)
- A great way to keep up with your pet is by getting him microchipped. This is quick and painless and can be done at your vet’s office. If your pet becomes lost, someone can easily take him to a shelter or vet and the microchip can be scanned and your information pulled up.
- Make sure to keep your phone number and address up to date with your microchipping company, or else the microchip will be useless! Set a reminder on your phone to check the information once a year.
- You can now get your pet tattooed on her ear, stomach, or inner thigh. A number will be tattooed on her and then the number can be matched up with your information in a database.
- Again, make sure you update your information with any new phone numbers or addresses.
Other Ways to be Prepared
- Make sure to keep a good, up-to-date photo of your pet on your phone or computer. This will come in handy if you need to make lost signs for your neighborhood, post a photo on www.petfinder.com and other similar sites, and circulate your pet’s picture and last seen site on social media.
- Keep a list of local shelters and vet offices and their phone numbers. You can call around to see if your pet has been turned in, and to ask them to keep their eyes open for your pet.
I think all pets should have two forms of identification at the very least. An ID tag and a microchip are what I use for all of my pets, but the more forms of ID the better! Get out this week and make sure you and your pet are prepared!
- Jessie Isbell