Your pet is a part of the family; they have a name that they answer to just like we do, making it important to identify them to everyone they meet (since they can’t exactly introduce themselves.) In the event your pet were to get lost, hearing their name could be the small piece of familiarity they need to approach someone trying to help them. This year, approximately 5-7 million dogs and cats will end up in the shelter, many of which are companions that got lost and never reunited with their families. April 17-23 is Pet ID Week, dedicated to reminding pet owners of the importance of tags and microchips.
The best way to ensure your pet comes back to you is to opt for both tags and a microchip, because sometimes collars and tags can fall off. A microchip is a small chip, about the size of a grain of rice, that is painlessly inserted into the thick of a dog or cat’s neck and houses all of the necessary information, which comes up when scanned. Nearly all veterinary offices and shelters have a scanner, making it easy for people helping a lost pet to access the information – IF the animal is chipped, that is. In a recent study of 7,700 stray dogs, of those that were un-chipped, only 22% were reunited with their owners; the same study found that those that were chipped had a 51.2% chance of being returned home – a near 30% difference. Talk with your vet about microchipping – it’s an affordable, reliable, and comforting way to make sure your pet is always claimed.
And, of course, let’s never discount the good ol’ collar and tags. Not only are collars a fun way to express your pet’s personality, but the information is easily accessed and doesn’t require the person helping to transport the animal anywhere, which can sometimes be a challenge. Whatever you choose, we hope you take the opportunity to make sure your pet’s ID is up-to-date and available so they can always come home where they belong.