It is important to use at least one available method of identification on your pet to help you find them in the unfortunate event they become lost. There are a few different forms of ID that can be used including:
-Microchips: Tiny chips implanted under the skin over the shoulders with a needle. These need to be scanned at a vet clinic or shelter that is equipped with a special scanner to read the code on the chip. This code then traces back to you and your contact information though the microchip company and often the vet clinic that did the microchipping as well.
-Tattoos: These are codes tattooed onto the skin of your pet’s right ear while they are under anesthetic, usually at the time of spay/neuter. The code indicates the veterinary clinic which performed the tattoo, the year it was done and is linked to your contact info at the vet office.
-ID collar tags: You can order tags with your pet’s name and your contact info on them. These have the benefit that anyone can read them and contact you directly.
-Rabies tags: When a pet is vaccinated for rabies you will receive a tag which also has a number on it that should be linked to your contact info at the vet clinic. The new rabies tags at our clinic have the option for you to register them online at https://getmehome.ca/register-your-tag. You enter the code at the bottom of the tag plus your pet’s info and your contact info. Then if someone finds them they can go on the same site and enter the tag number to receive your info. As an alternative there is also a QR code on the tags that can be scanned with a smart phone to do the same thing. The tag still needs to be registered by you first online for this to work and the person who finds the pet needs to download the get me home app for this scanning function.
-Pet licensing tags: If your pet is licensed in your town/city/RM that tag also has a number on it that can be traced back through their records to your contact information.
Using multiple forms of identification increases the chances it will be helpful in getting your pet back home as all of these methods can have drawbacks. Tags can be lost or damaged. Tattoos can fade over time and be difficult to read. Microchips are not always considered by people so the pet may not be promptly brought somewhere to be scanned. If you move or change phone numbers it is very important to remember to update the info on your tags and especially at your veterinarian’s office, microchip provider and online rabies tag registry. It is very common that we see pets with tattoos and microchips but cannot locate the owners as the contact info is old and invalid. Please be aware that the tattoos are traced back to the veterinary clinic where the tattoo was done not necessarily your current vet so you must update the contact info there as well for the tattoo to be most effective. Losing a pet is very stressful but by using some of these identification tools and keeping your contact information up to date you can help get your pet back home as soon as possible.