Help Fido and Fluffy
Find Their Way
Courtesy of PetFriendly.ca
Most devoted pet owners never intend
to lose their beloved pets. Unfortunately, accidents happen and all pets need
identification to help reunite them with their families. That includes indoor
cats! Scared or excited pets can slip out the door before you can stop
Check with your city for any
licensing or identification requirements for your pet. Here are your three main
choices. Many pet owners opt to use a combination of them, just in case one form
of ID fails.
Usually purchased from the city,
your pet is assigned a number which is tracked in a computer database. Tags are
attached to your pet's collar. If your pet is found, the animal control officer
can check the tag number, pull up your address, and call you to let you know
they have your pet.
Many pet stores also offer an option
to print up a simple address tag -- your pet's name, address, and phone number
are the most commonly displayed information.
The disadvantages of using a tag
are: the tag can fall off and get lost; it might not be readable; your pet may
not always be wearing its collar; your pet may slip out of or lose its collar.
Tattoos are commonly etched into one
of your pet's ears during spay/neuter surgery (pets must be under anesthetic for
this procedure). Tattoos are a visible and somewhat permanent method of
Unlike tags, tattoos are not reliant
on your pet wearing its collar. However tattoos usually fade over time, making
them illegible. They can be retraced ... but since pets must be under anesthetic
and there is always a risk with anesthetic, retracing a tattoo should be done at
the same time your pet is undergoing another procedure anyway.
A microchip is a small, electronic
chip (approximately the size of a grain of rice) that is implanted just under
your pet's skin. It is administered by a simple injection.
Microchips each have an
identification number associated with them; along with this ID number, your
name, address, and phone number are entered into a computer database. If your
pet gets lost, animal shelters or city pounds equipped with scanners will be
able to scan your pet's body to quickly locate the ID number of the microchip
along with the corresponding owner information. Many shelters and pounds these
days are equipped to handle microchips.
Regardless of what form of ID you
choose, please be sure to keep your contact information up-to-date. It will help
ensure that your pet finds his way home -- where he belongs.
(c) Copyright 2002, PetFriendly.ca