IDENTIFYING YOUR PET - - - How and Why
A few simple precautions may help prevent the heartbreak and worry of a lost pet. ID tags and microchips are the two most common methods of pet identification. Tattoos are sometimes used for identification of pets, but this is less common since the development of microchips.
PET ID TAGS
There are many sources for a pet ID tag. One of our clients gave us this website for cute, colorful tags that include the pet's picture, address, name, chip number and contact numbers for owners. We think it's one of the most helpful tags we've seen in quite a while. To check it out, click here. Be sure your pet always wears their collar and that their current rabies tag and ID tag are attached to the collar.
Pet tags are wonderful, and may save many lives. But if your pet loses their collar, or is stolen and the collar is removed, the ID tag is gone, too. This is why we recommend both a microchip and an ID tag for all pets.
A microchip is a tiny, non-reactive device inserted under the pet's skin, usually between the shoulder blades. The chip has an identification number that is registered by the pet owner. The identification number can easily be read by a scanner that most veterinary clinics and shelters have on hand. If a microchipped pet is lost or stolen, then this identification number can be tracked back to the registered owner so that they can be quickly reunited with their lost pet. If you are interested in having your pet microchipped please tell us and we will be happy to discuss the procedure and costs.
Pets with microchips look just like pets without microchips. If the person who finds your pet does not have a scanner, they cannot find the number to help identify the pet unless the microchip number is on a tag on a collar that is on the dog. This is why we recommend both an ID tag and a microchip for all pets.
Some animal adoption groups and shelters will microchip pets prior to being adopted and register the pet in your naHERE.me with the microchip company at the time of adoption. They will provide you with the microchip number of your pet or may include it on your paperwork. If you are unsure if your pet is microchip, you should have him/her scanned by your local veterinarian.
If your pet's microchip is not registered and you would like to register it, please register at Petlink.
If you know your pet is microchipped and are not sure if your pet's microchip is registered, visit AAHA's Microchip Look-up. This will help to provide you with the company your microchip might be registered with.
The "Pro's" of microchips:
1. Short of surgical removal this is a permanent means of identifying a particular animal since no two microchips have exactly the same identifying characters in the same sequence.
2. The contact information associated with a microchip can be updated by contacting the company you registered the chip with.
3. Some companies offer additional services with chip registration, to help you find your pet if they become lost.
4. There is a national database that most chips are registered with, so locating the company the microchip is registered with is not too difficult.
The "Con's" of microchips:
1. If not properly implanted, the chip may migrate away from the usual location in your pet's body. This will not harm the pet's body, but if someone does not scan all over the pet's body, the chip may be missed.
2. Microchips made by different manufacturers may be read at different frequencies, and all chips do not carry the same frequency.
3. All scanners cannot read all frequencies of microchips
4. Pets traveling to other states or countries may need a special frequency chip for conclusive identification, or you may need to bring a "reader" or scanner for the officials to verify your pet's identification.
5. If the microchip has not been registered or updated to the pet owner's current contact information, it can be difficult to impossible to locate the owner when their lost pet has been found.