You’ve latched the gate, fastened the collar, and put your feet up—but your furry friend will always have a nose for trouble. Should the unthinkable happen and your pet goes missing, a microchip could help your reunion happen sooner.
It happens every day. Dogs escape from the yard, slip their leash, or in some way go missing. There are steps you can take to find your lost dog, but part of being a responsible dog owner is ensuring your dog can be identified and returned to you if you ever get separated. In fact, it’s important the person who finds your lost dog can get in touch with you as easily as possible. The harder it is for people to identify you and your dog, the less likely your dog will make it home. A dog ID tag is essential, but it’s not enough on its own. Read on for more information about the various ways of identifying your dog, how they work, and what they cost.
Collars and ID Tags
They might be low tech, but a collar and ID tag are your first line of defense against losing your dog. They are the universal symbol that your dog has a home and family. The person who finds your dog might not even be aware of the other forms of ID like microchips for dogs or tattoos. Therefore, your dog should always be wearing a collar with ID whenever it’s safe to do so.
Space on an ID tag is usually limited to 2-4 lines of text, so choose your information carefully. For example, if your dog has a serious health condition, that might be more important to include than your dog’s name. Some key items to consider including are:
- Your dog’s name.
- Your phone number(s) with area code.
- Your address.
- Medical and/or behavioral issues.
- Alternative phone number such as your veterinarian or pet sitter.
ID tags are relatively inexpensive. Including engraving, you can get a dog tag for under $10. Of course, there are fancier versions available. Another option is a personalized collar that has your phone number or other information embroidered into the fabric.
High Tech ID Tags
The benefit of a dog tag is that it can be read without needing special equipment. But technology hasn’t ignored the dog market. For a few bucks more than a regular ID tag, you can purchase a USB dog tag. There are also tags with QR codes. When somebody reads the code with their phone, they are taken to a website with a profile containing your dog’s information. Such a service will likely require a monthly subscription fee.
Collars can fall off and tags can break, leaving your dog without ID. That’s why your dog should have permanent backup identification as well. A microchip is a fantastic option. Although they sound like something from a science fiction movie, microchips are safe and reliable. They are quite small, about the size of a grain of rice, and are implanted between your dog’s shoulder blades. The procedure is much like a vaccine injection – quick and almost painless. Once the chip is in place, your dog has a lifelong and internationally recognized method of identification.
However, the microchip doesn’t contain any information about you or your dog. It simply has a unique ID number that you have to link to your information. That means you need to register the number with a pet registration service (see more below) and provide them with all your contact details.
You can’t track your dog using the microchip. It isn’t a GPS device. But whenever your pet is scanned with a handheld microchip scanner, such as at the vet or animal shelter, the ID number will come up. Then the person scanning your dog can look up the number in the associated pet registration service. The scanner doesn’t hurt your dog. It simply reads the microchip and your dog won’t even notice.
Full Lifetime Registration
Register an unlimited amount of information to your record, such as addresses (home, cottage, etc.) and phone numbers at no additional cost! The more information registered, the more efficient the recovery.
24/7 Recovery Service
Our pet recovery team is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with services available in English and French. Your call will always be answered, with minimal hold times.
Your information is securely stored on our database that is not connected to the Internet in any way. This ensures that the database is never down due to Internet loss and guarantees that your information remains private.