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ID Your Dog: Methods to Keeping Your Puppy Safe

Aug 17, 2007
According to the American Humane Society, just 15% of dogs in shelters ever find their way home again. Thankfully, these loved pooches had identification, enabling shelter personnel to contact and return them to their owners. With such discouraging statistics, it becomes clear how important it is to tag or identify your new puppy.

Even if your dog doesn't go outside much or is always in your company, you must identify him or her. Windows and doors can be left open, offering your pup a too-tempting escape to the outside world. What should you do to keep your pup safe at home?

There are several ways to ID your pet to prevent against loss or theft. Ideally, implement at least two methods to ensure a safe return should your dog go missing.

Tattoos and microchips provide permanent ways to identify your dog. Shelters, veterinarians, and research laboratories know to look for these keys when animals are brought to their facilities.

Tattoos: this permanent identification system involves tattooing a code onto the dog's skin, often inside the outer ear or on the inside of its leg. Veterinarians or trained specialists will ink the code for you. You will need to list your dog with one of the many tattoo registry programs around the country.

Microchips: these minuscule electronic chips are embedded under your dog's skin. Because special scanners are needed to read the information located on the chip, most veterinarians, shelters, and research laboratories have these on hand to scan all strays for identification. Several registries offer membership for dogs with microchips.

While tattoos and microchips offer excellent safety measurements at a reasonable cost, the fact is most people don't know to look for a tattoo or have the means available to scan for microchips. As a result, it's essential you provide your pup with an ID tag worn on its collar. ID tags are often the first thing searched for when a stray is found by someone.

At a minimum, the tag should list a current phone number. Because people move and phone numbers change often, a second phone number of a trusted friend or family member is also recommended. If space is available, additional information to include is: your puppy's name, your address, and any medical conditions.

Luckily, dog ID tags are not expensive to purchase, so it should be one of the first things you get your dog, once you've chosen a name. You can usually find just the right tag, too, that fits your lifestyle and your pet's personality. Tags come in different materials, such as aluminum, brass, stainless steel or plastic, and in a variety of shapes and colors. Today's glamour pooch can even have his or her own tag made of Swarovski crystals! When it comes to choosing a fun dog ID tag, the choices are limitless.

Whatever methods you use when protecting your pet against loss or theft, please remember to keep the contact information current. Just a few minutes of your time to update registry information or purchase a new dog tag can make all the difference in the world in your beloved dog's life.
About the Author
Jennifer McVey is owner of ID-a-pet.com, your guide to pet identification like GPS dog collars , pet ID tags , microchips, and more.
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