National Pet ID Week
The third week in April has been designated as National Pet ID Week. You may be thinking that your pet has never run away before, has never had the opportunity to run away, or your cat is an inside cat and never goes outside. This may be true. However, it only takes a few seconds for your pet to slip out of the house when you’re not looking. Sadly, if your pet doesn’t have proper identification, he or she may never find their way home. The best way to increase the chances of your pet returning home is to make sure they have identification on them at all times. We recommend owners use one or more of the following identification methods:
A microchip is a tiny chip (about the size of a grain of rice) that is inserted under the pet’s skin between their shoulder blades. After inserting the chip, it needs to be registered. If your veterinary clinic does not perform this service for you, you will need to contact the microchip manufacturer to register your pet. Most vet clinics and humane societies have the capability of scanning for microchips. In the event that your pet gets lost and the chip never gets registered, the microchip manufacturer will not be able to contact you. Remember that if your contact information ever changes, please contact the chip manufacturer or change your information online
**Please note that a microchip and GPS collars function differently. If your pet gets lost, you will not be able to track and locate him on your phone or the internet using a basic microchip**
An individualized ID tag can be purchased online or in some retail stores. These tags can have a variety of information on them. When you make your pet’s tag, make sure that it at least has the pet’s name and your phone number. Some additional information to include would be your name, address, and your veterinary clinic. Pet’s that have illnesses that require daily medication, like diabetes, should have that information listed on the same tag or on a separate one. Check your pet’s tag for wear and tear. If the tag is worn, we recommend purchasing a new one or exchanging it with a rabies tag until it can be replaced.
Whenever your pet’s rabies vaccine is updated, you will be given a rabies tag and certificate stating that the tag is registered to your pet. The tag will have the clinic’s name, phone number, and a tag number. Each rabies tag is assigned to a single pet. If your pet slips out when you’re not looking, and someone finds him, the person could call your veterinary clinic. The clinic would then be able to look up your information based on the tag number and contact you. Rabies tags that are worn or lost should be replaced. If this were to happen, contact your veterinary clinic and ask for a replacement. It is important to give your clinic your most up-to-date contact information in the event your pet is lost.
Often, lost pets have slipped out of their collars or lost their identification tags during their runaway adventures. Here are different steps you can take to start your search.
- If your pet is micro chipped, contact the microchip company (Home Again, AVID, etc).
- Contact all veterinary clinics and humane societies within a 60 mile radius – leave a description of your pet, the geographic area he was lost, and your contact information.
- Put up “Lost Pet” posters around your neighborhood and in public places.
- Find a social media group dedicated to lost and found pets around your community. You can share a picture of your pet, when he was lost, and your contact information.
- Drive, or walk, through your neighborhood several times per day and check out your pet’s favorite walking spots, such as parks or creeks,
- Put food and water outside your house in case your pet returns home when they get hungry or thirsty.
- Tell your neighbors, coworkers, and acquaintances that your pet is missing. The more people you inform the better chances your pet will be found and returned home.