If your dog has ever run away, your heart begins to pound as you wonder if you can find him or he can find his way home. Hopefully he has a collar with your name, address and telephone number. However, 33% of pet owners admit that their dog does not have current identification. If you move, you have to remember to update your information!
The problem is tags can get worn out and become hard to read. In addition to tags, you might consider microchipping. This method is much safer and is more permanent. A microchip is a very small electronic device that is encoded with an identification number unique to your pet.
Having a microchip put in your dog is a lot like a vaccination. Some of the loose skin between the shoulder blades is gently pulled up, and the needle is quickly inserted, injecting the microchip into the tissues. Once the chip is inserted, the pet is scanned to ensure that the chip is reading properly. In fact, many pet owners microchip their dog at the same time they have him spayed or neutered. Once you have microchipped your pet, your vet will tell you the appropriate agency to have him registered. The procedure is virtually painless.
Most, if not all, humane societies and animal shelters now have microchip readers, and these organizations routinely scan all stray and injured animals. The ID number is then passed along to the appropriate agency, which arranges for your pet to be returned to you.
What To Do If
Your Pet Gets Lost
If the unspeakable happens and your pet gets lost, here are some tips to help you find him:
- Put up posters in your neighborhood with a picture of the dog, his breed, name and your name and contact info.
- Contact the microchip company who may be able to post your pet in a "lost pet recovery network."
- Call your local animal shelters and search their "lost and found" databases.
- Place an ad in your local neighborhood paper and provide a cell phone number to contact you. Think about offering a reward.
- Check the paper daily for pets that have been "found".
- Post notices on your social media to spread the word!
Save yourself the heartache and get your pet microchipped as soon as possible!