April 16th through 22nd is National Pet ID Week! Why is this so important? 1 in 3 pets will become lost at some point in this lifetime. And without identification, the chances of the lost pets making it back to their families decreases. We don’t want your pet to become that statistic! So what are things you can do to help if your pet is lost?
** Make certain your pet has ID on at all times and multiple types of ID are recommended.
**Your pet should wear a collar with your contact information on it. If your dog looses tags (like mine do all of the time!), then have your contact info embroidered on their collar. But realize if they get loose, they may loose their tags/collars!
**Have your pet microchipped. Microchipping involves placing a small chip under the skin of your pet. A number is coded into the chip, registered with a database, and has the owner’s contact info. Often the microchip is placed when your pet is spayed or neutered. However, it can be done with your pet awake-a little food distraction and most pets never noticed the microchip being placed.
**Make sure you keep your microchip info up to date. If you move, change numbers, etc, update your pets microchip info. Otherwise if your pet is found, outdated contact info will not help.
**Ask your vet to scan your microchip yearly to check that the chip is still active and in a easily found position. Sometimes the chips will migrate. One of my dog’s chips moved down her frontlimb. Since it is now in a place that may not be checked if someone found her, I opted to place a new chip.
**If required in your area, have your pet licensed too. And your pet should wear a rabies tag too. Keep in mind there is not a national database of rabies tags, but often it will have your veterinary hospital’s name. This can ad in someone tracking you down if they find your pet.
**Have pictures of your pet and know any unusual markings/characteristics that could help ID your pet. These can be useful to make flyers too!
**If your pet goes missing, start spreading the word quickly-facebook, friends, animal control/shelters, etc should be notified right away.
Boo Donoho, DVM
Southern Animal Hospital
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