By: Dr. Hilary SlavenWe have had more than one frantic call at the clinic from clients that have lost their beloved furry friend and are looking for any clues or leads as to where they have ended up. Sometimes the call is from a good samaritan that has found a dog with a collar and a rabies tag and is looking for an owner. Twice we have had dogs wander up to the clinic, hurt and unidentified and somehow the staff (our wonderful staff!) has figured out who the pet belonged to and reunited them with their owners.
What should you do to identify your pet? Thinking ahead will help you to be prepared in case of emergency.
1. Microchip your pet. This is a one-time procedure that gives a permanent numeric, individual, unique ID to your pet. Any veterinarian can perform this service as an outpatient procedure. There are several companies that produce these chips, which are inserted under the skin between the shoulderblades. Most veterinarians and shelters should carry a universal microchip reader, which they use to identify any strays. The individual number for your pet is linked to a nationwide database, which will allow for contact with you once your pet has been identified.
2. Keep your rabies tag on your pet’s collar. The rabies tag has a unique number that is linked to your pet alone. Also, it carries contact information for your veterinarian. In this way, a quick call to the veterinarian can easily make the link back to you if your pet should wander away from home.
3. Identify your pet with a collar/ID tag. There are many companies that make tags to your specifications for identification of your pet. Also, there are companies that make collars with identification embroidered on the collar itself! A quick Google search or trip to your pet store will give you some leads as to where to buy these products.
What should you do if your pet becomes lost? Act quickly; those early hours are typically the most successful in the hunt for a wayward pet.
Check out the link below for the top 10 things that you can do if you lose your pet:
Stories of how microchipping works!