What are some types of pet IDs?

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These days you can get anything from designer and personalized identification tags for your pet. There are some pet IDs that come in matching earrings for their owners.

In the past, the biggest complaint about animal ID tags was the lack of sturdiness. They often broke or got so worn or blurred it was often difficult (or impossible) to read the contact information. And, according to the Humane Society of the United States, more than three million animals who enter shelters are euthanized each year.

It’s still somewhat controversial, but the microchip is now considered to be the most reliable way to ensure a pet’s safe return. A microchip is tiny – about the size of a grain of rice. It is implanted into your pet’s back (between the shoulders) through an injection. Once the pet is injected, he is assigned a permanent number which is then registered into a database. When an animal turns up at a shelter or veterinarian, he is scanned (almost all facilities have scanners) and if the pet is in the database—voila! The owner is called.

Inserting a microchip is safe for puppies of all ages—which is a good thing, since curious puppies have a tendency to roam and can be easily lost. Microchips are approved by both the Humane Society and the ASPCA, but they say to use them in combination with licenses and identification tags

Microchips are biocompatible and allergy-free. Although it is legal in most states for the owner to microchip the animal, it’s recommended that a veterinarian do the procedure.

Since it can hurt a little bit when it is being implanted, the veterinarian will either numb the injection site with a small amount of topical anesthetic or suggest it be done when a puppy is being neutered or spayed and is under anesthesia. They are packaged in sterile pouches to safeguard against any type of contamination so the risk of infection is very low.

There’s a one-time fee, usually under $75, to microchip. Some manufacturers also offer additional microchip services on a subscription basis.

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