Today, the American Humane Association is reminding us that every pet needs to be properly identified. That means tagging and/or microchipping your pet.
We’ve talked about microchipping and identification tags here before. For the absolute best in safety for your pet, I recommend both microchipping and placing an identification tag on your pet.
Identification tags are important. Though microchips serve an important purpose also, they require a special scanner to detect and read the information on them. In most cases, if your pet gets lost, the person finding him will not have access to a scanner. However, if your pet has an identification tag, they can easily read the information on the tag and contact you.
Make sure your pet’s identification tags have current information on them. You may want to consider listing a cell phone number rather than your home phone (or maybe both.) If you travel with your pet, an identification tag with a cell phone number or other telephone number where you can be reached while away from home is critical.
Unfortunately, we all know that identification tags can fall off or even be removed from your pet. This is the reason that microchips are important. If your pet ends up in a shelter without his ID tags, a microchip will send him safely home. Pets with no means of identification all too often never find their owners once they end up in a shelter.
Be sure to register your pet’s microchip though. This registration is what connects the tracking number embedded in the microchip to you. Without registration, a microchip will serve no useful purpose for your pet as there will be no way to find or contact you. Once registered, make sure you keep your personal information up-to-date. If you change your address, phone number or other contact information, you need to update your pet’s microchip registration with the new information as well.
Microchips are easily implanted for both dogs and cats. Sedation/anesthesia is not required for this procedure. For more information, to see what a real microchip looks like and to see the implantation procedure, see FAQs about microchips.