Pet Identification Measures
Pets can unexpectedly escape through an open door or window, from a vehicle or even by pulling the leash from your hand. Something really interesting on the other side of the fence might just be enough to entice your dog to jump or dig his way out.
Traveling by car with your pet provides a whole new set of circumstances that Fluffy or Fido might not be used to. If your pet escapes while you’re on the road, there may be little chance he could be returned to you if he is not properly identified.
Consider these measures to keep your pet safe and to help him find his way home again:
- Most dogs are used to wearing a collar, so make sure he has an ID tag with your name, address and telephone number on it. If you are traveling, make a temporary tag listing the destination address and telephone number. Consider using a cell phone number that will remain constant or perhaps list a second number as an alternate. A few dollars for a new ID tag is a cheap investment in case of an emergency.
- A breakaway collar is a good idea for a cat when traveling. Though it would come off if caught on something, at least there’s a chance that someone would find your cat with the collar and ID intact.
- Leave the old license on your dog when moving, at least until you obtain the new one at your destination. Most townships and cities have a database to search the number so if lost, atleast someone could call your old number — and hopefully be redirected to your new one.
- Microchip your pet. This is the ultimate identification of an animal; many countries now require pets to be microchipped. Most shelters, humane societies and animal control agents have a scanner to read Avid and Home Again chips, the two most popular in the USA. The biggest problem is that people do not register the chip with complete information (name, address and current phone number). Many pets have been found with chips but without a contact in the database; little can be done to return them to their owners. Be sure to update your registration if you move.
- Tattooing is not as popular as it once was, but still serves as a method of identification. Most tattoos are done inside the thigh of the rear leg or under an ear flap. Unfortunately, there is not a registration system for tattoos nor is there one number for a person finding a pet to call (as with a microchip). You might want to keep a photo of the tattoo as well as of the pet as proof that he or she is yours.
- When traveling, it’s a good idea to keep photos of your pet with you, just in case you need to make up flyers on short notice.
This article is provided as a general overview of the topic. Always consult your veterinarian for specific information related to diseases or medical care for pets.
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