Is Your Pet’s ID Up To Date?

Few people ever expect to lose their pet – especially if it’s an indoor cat or a dog with a fenced-in yard. However, millions of pets come in as strays without identification to animal shelters each year and only a few – about 15 percent of dogs and 2 percent of cats – are reunited with their families.

This week – April 14-20 – is National Pet ID Week. If you’ve not taken a few extra steps to make sure your pet has some type of identification, now is a good time to run through a checklist so that you’re prepared just in case your pet does get out.

  • Microchip – A microchip is a transponder that is smaller than a grain of rice. If you adopted your pet from a shelter or rescue, your pet is most likely has been microchipped. If your pet isn’t chipped, you may have your veterinarian insert a chip on your next visit.
  • Update your information – Dig out those papers that you got when you brought your pet home and call the microchip company. Make sure they have your updated information like a cell phone, home phone and alternate contact like your vet. Many people have gotten their pet back years later thanks to a microchip.
  • Identification tags – Make sure your dog has updated identification tags. They should include your phone, address and key information (like medical alerts if there is a health issue).
  • Registration tags – Make sure that local registration and rabies tags are also updated. A stray dog wandered into my neighbor’s yard last summer. He didn’t have an ID tag but did have the local registration tag and she was able to reunite the dog and owner thanks to the city.
  • Make sure all pets have proper ID – Just because you have a fenced in yard, doesn’t mean that your dog won’t get out accidently. (This is true for indoor only pets as well.)

Once you make sure your pet is covered for his or her ID, take a couple of good pictures that could be used for a lost pet sign just in case her or she gets out.

Kathy Mordini is a freelance writer that covers the Chicago animal rescue community and pet trends. She writes daily on she also blogs for ‘Tails Media Group‘ and ChicagoNow.’  Read her column online and follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

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