by CMa

Are Your Worried about a Lost Dog? What You Need to do for His Safety

You just brought in a load of groceries and left the door ajar or opened the car door without fully fastening the leash and off he goes. Your dog bolts in pursuit of a squirrel and there is no way to catch him. Most of the time we can use the promise of treats or the power of our most persuasive voice to get him to come back, but sometimes he just gets away. The resulting fear and dread we feel is overwhelming. What if he gets hit by a car or looses his collar and no one calls? We immediately spring into action recruiting friends to flyer the neighborhood, calling local shelters to see if he has been picked up and crossing our fingers hoping for the best. Unfortunately some dogs become statistics, but most of the time proper identification will help to bring him home. While the standard ID tag is a popular method of identification there are several others to consider that increase the probability of Fluffy’s safe return.

The standard method of placing metal tags on your dog’s collar work well, but there are a few things you can do to increase their effectiveness. First, make sure that you get new ones from time to time as the words can wear down and become difficult to read. Next, you should always use a real key ring like you use for your keys to attach the tags. You can purchase these in various sizes at your local home improvement superstore. These are sturdier than the flimsy rings that come with most dog tags. Next you should always engrave “needs meds” on the tag. This will increase the urgency to return your dog in the person who finds him and will decrease the chances of someone keeping him for themselves.

Similar identification methods include embroidered collars and identification tubes. Embroidered collars are standard web collars with the name of your dog and your telephone number embroidered on them in bright white thread. These collars are wonderful options for dogs who frequently lose their tags or manage to pull them off themselves. In larger dogs the embroidery can be seen from a few feet away. This can be helpful to catch timid dogs. If people can read their names then they can use their names to call them and hopefully catch them and call you. There are also metal tubes on the market designed to hold a list of information rolled up inside on a mini-scroll. This is helpful because you have the ability to convey more information than simply your name and number. Information such as your Veterinarian’s name, any health problems or medications your dog needs and back up phone numbers in case you do not pick up.

If those methods are not enough to give you peace of mind then you could try other more permanent methods such as tattooing or microchipping. Tattooing is just what it sounds like, an identification tattoo for your dog. This practice involves a tattoo artist tattooing a specific number on the inside of your dog’s groin and then registering that number with a national registry. Animal control, Veterinarians and other animal care service workers have access to these registries and can get the owner’s information from the registry.

If tattoos aren’t your thing then you might consider microchipping as a means of permanent identification. The microchip is a computer chip wrapped in a tube of glass and is about the size of a grain of uncooked rice. Your Veterinarian places the chip into a special needle and injects it under your dog’s skin between his shoulder blades. Shelters are equipped with handheld scanners, similar to those used to take inventory by store clerks, to scan animals when they are found by animal control workers. The scanner will inform the worker if the pet is chipped and will allow him to access your contact information. The key to tattooing and microchipping is remembering to update your information. If you move or change your telephone number then the methods are useless because your contact information is outdated.

Millions of dogs are lost every year so regardless of the method you use, always use at least one. If your dog ends up in a shelter with no identification then there are no guarantees that you will find him. On one hand he might be adopted out to a new family and on the other he could run out of time and be euthanized. Don’t let your dog become a statistic; always make sure he is protected with proper identification.

Collin Walker writes for Pet Super Store – find underground dog fences, dog kennels and pet doors

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