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Pet ID tags

Until Your Pet Gets a Drivers’ License, Use Pet ID Tags

For most pet owners, their pooch, kitty or other pet is a member of the family. That being said, it’s obvious that losing your pet can be one of the most upsetting times of your life.

A pet owner survey performed by the Animal Hospital Association in 2003 showed that approximately 30% of all pet owners have lost their pet at one time or another. Beyond taking measures not to lose your pet in the first place, the next best step is to make sure that your pet is wearing proper identification, so that if s/he does go missing, it’ll be much easier to return him or her back home to you.

One of the easiest, most important, and most overlooked ways to protect your pet in case he or she goes missing is proper identification; most simply with ID tags.

At most animal shelters, due to sheer volume, animals can be held for as few as 36 hours before euthanasia. Knowing this, you can understand how important it is to make your pet easily identifiable should s/he be picked up and sent to one of these shelters. Time is of the essence when your pet gets lost; however with a good ID tag, s/he can be easily identified and returned to you.

As well as a current rabies/vaccination tag, your pet should wear a tag with your name, address, and telephone number. Find out at your local animal control agency about any other specific rules you should be following with regards to licensing.

If you will be traveling with your pet, attach a temporary tag to his or her collar with the address of the place in which you’ll be staying, in case you are separated from him or her.

Whenever you change address, make sure that you take a moment for getting new ID tags for your pet, as well as keeping your vet’s files up to date.

To attach your pet’s tag, it’s preferable to use the use the “O” shaped clasp instead of the “S” type. The O clasps are less likely to come off your pet’s collar. On that note, make sure to check every so often to make sure that your pet’s ID tag is, indeed, still there.

Of course, your tag is only worth while if it’s attached to a collar that will stay on. The collar your pet wears should be sturdy (leather or nylon are very reliable) and should be snug, but not too tight. To test the fit of your pet’s collar by making it tight enough that you can comfortably fit two fingers through.

The tags themselves should be large enough that they can hold all of the information, and that they are legible, but not so large that they are awkward for the pet. Make sure that they’re 100% waterproof, as many pet tags don’t make it through even one rainy day. Test them out before you rely on them.

For the last 14 years, technology has brought us microchip pet ID tags. These are very safe and effective. Their only down-side is that they can only be read by veterinarians and agencies that have scanners (which most of them do) but not by the average person who may locate your run-away animal.

For a “better safe than sorry” attitude, you may wish to both microchip your pet, and have him or her wear an ID tag. Their true value will show themselves the day you get the phone call saying that your beloved pet has been found and is safe and sound.

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