Why You Should Put An ID Tag On Your Puppy
It's always a good idea to put an ID tag on your puppy. An ID tag gives your puppy the best chance of being identified and returned should they get lost. Disasters, accidents and escapes can happen when you least expect it, and regardless of how well-trained your pup might be, they may still get lost.
According American Humane, 10 million pets are lost each year in the US. Sadly, only 15 percent of dogs without ID tags or microchips make it back home.
When your puppy has an ID tag on, it also lets others know that the dog belongs to someone, and is not a stray who lives on the street. Just like we carry ID cards on us at all times, our pets need ID tags for their own safety and wellbeing.
In recognition of National Pet ID Week (April 17-23), let's take a look at why you should put an ID tag on your puppy.
ID Tags are Quick and Easy to Read So Your Pup Can Be Identified
While microchipping your pup is an important part of locating your puppy and keeping them safe, they must be taken to a shelter or a veterinarian to have it scanned. Meanwhile, all identifying info on your puppy is easy to locate and read right on their ID tag. This makes it easy for anyone who finds your lost puppy to contact you and arrange for the return of your dog.
Your Puppy Has A Greater Chance of Returning Home
From strong storms to holes in the fence (or holes created by the "escapee" themself), your dog can become separated from you for any number of reasons. When there's an ID tag on your puppy, whoever finds them will have your contact information and be able to contact you quickly. One thing you may do to improve chances of return of the dog even further is to mention "reward" on your puppy's ID tag. Make sure, of course, to follow through with the reward!
ID Tags Make a Lost Dog More Approachable When Found In The Streets, and Will Ensure Better Treatment
Having an ID tag on your puppy will show others they're not a stray. Many people refuse to go near strays, understandably, as strays can be dangerous or may be in unsanitary conditions. Without an ID tag, this can greatly jeopardize your puppy's chances of making it home. With the ID tag, others can identify the pet --- a member of one's family --- which can lead them to stop and call you about your puppy soon as possible.
What to Put On Your Dog's ID Tag
Tags don't have much space, so you need to choose what's important enough to go there. You want to try and fit as much of the following as possible, but especially make sure your contact info and the dog's name is clear (your name as well).
Things to include on your dog's ID tag:
- Your pet's name
- Your phone number & name
- Your city
- Medical needs --- adding the phrase "Needs Meds" can add a sense of urgency
- Mention dog is microchipped
- A reward --- offering a reward could encourage someone to return your puppy
Take what's applicable to your situation and customize your dog's tag to state what is most important.
Microchip Your Puppy to Improve Their Chances of Getting Home Even Further!
According to the AVMA, lost dogs without microchips are returned only 21.9%, while the return rate increases to 52.2% when the dog has a microchip!
While it might sound scary, sticking a microchip in your pup, implantation isn't difficult, necessarily painful, and can be carried out by your vet. Your vet will use a syringe to fix the chip between your puppy's shoulder blades.
While geo-location isn't possible yet with the microchip (like being able to track your puppy's location via GPS), it does allow chips to be scanned by shelters or to any vets who your puppy is taken to, providing all basic info on your pup and your contact information. Most facilities are equipped with scanners for this purpose.
The microchip will last your dog's lifetime or more, generally up to 25 years, won't get lost and rarely malfunction. Have your chip scanned during checkups with your vet to make sure it's working correctly. Almost half of new dog owners (42%) who opt for the microchip forget to go into the recovery database and fill out their registry. Make sure to be responsible and fill this info out as soon as possible.
Protect Your Puppy, Make Sure They Make it Back to You Safely
Put an ID tag on your puppy, along with a microchip, and should anything happen with your pup, you'll have the best chance of being contacted and having your puppy safely make their way back to you. While having both is the best option, even one or the other is far better than nothing.
We hope these tips help you protect your pet and ensure their safe return home.