Caitlin UltimoPet Parenting / Pet Supplies

The Best Ways to ID Your Pet

It doesn’t matter if your pet is young or old, big or small. He can figure out a way to break off of your strong leash or get around your secure gate. Properly identifying your furry friend is a fairly simple process. And it’s one that can significantly increase the chances your pet will get returned if he decides he wants a taste of freedom for an afternoon or two.

The Mighty Microchip: Experts recommend visiting your veterinarian to have a microchip implanted in your dog or cat. For a small fee, your vet will place the tiny chip, which is loaded with an identification number, under your pet’s skin. You’ll then register the microchip, which includes your contact information, with a pet recovery database. (Most companies charge a moderate fee for this service.) If your pet gets lost and is taken to a vet clinic or an animal hospital, workers can scan the microchip and reference the database to find your information.

Microchips last a lifetime and remain securely in your pet, making them a necessary identification tool. Just remember to update your contact information in the pet recovery database if you move or change phone numbers. You may want to add another tag to your pet’s collar that lists your microchip company’s phone number.

The Traditional Collar Tag: While microchips are the most surefire way to make sure your pet always has a form of ID, they’re only useful if the person who finds your pet takes her to a vet or shelter. It’s smart to keep your pet collared and tagged for instant identification as well.

Platinum Pets Pawsitively Safe Pet Finder tags are innovative, water-resistant tags that help you register and find your pet online with a special code. When someone finds your pet, they will enter the website and code from the back of the tag, and you will be notified with a text, email and map showing where your pet was found. If you’re traveling with your pet, the Petmate Airline Travel Kit has everything you need for safe travel, including an ID tag.

If you choose a traditional metal tag, make sure it is imprinted with your pet’s name, plus your city and phone number. Pets are particularly adept at losing tags, so it’s wise to keep a few backups on hand. The Nite Ize S-Biner TagLock is a heavy-duty carabiner that helps keep tags securely attached to your pet’s collar. You’ll also want to check the tag each month to see if the information is still legible. Replace the tags when you can no longer easily read any portion of the text.

If you’re taking your dog out for his nightly walk or letting him out into the yard, use a dog collar light like the SportDOG Locator Beacon. You’ll be able to see exactly where he is, reducing the risk of him slipping away unnoticed.

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