Statistics show that one out of three pets become lost at some point in their lifetime, and missing pets rarely find their way home. Approximately 10 million pets are lost or stolen in the United States each year, and more than 6 million animals wind up in the nation’s animal shelters. Given that dogs and cats in shelters without ID are much less likely to be reunited with their owners, identification can mean the difference between life and death for your best friend.
This week is National Pet ID Week, an opportunity to ensure your pet is equipped with ID tags and/or microchips to maximize the chance of their safe return if they stray from home or are lost on vacation. As a pet owner, it is critical that your furry companion is protected. Many pets have tags and most who have been adopted from shelters in recent years have already been microchipped by the staff there, but you should still check to make sure your pet has at least one form of identification, or preferably two.
We provide the following tips to help keep your pet safe:
- Make sure your pet always wears a collar with a current ID tag, rabies tag and city/county license (where applicable).
- Include a contact name, correct address and daytime and evening phone numbers on all ID tags.
- Keep your pet’s licenses, ID tag and microchip current – make sure to update the tag if you change your address or phone number.
- If you are traveling, put a temporary tag on your pet with the contact information of someone who knows how to reach you.
- Tag your cats even if you never let them outside. They could slip through an open door and quickly become lost in the neighborhood.
- Take the added security precaution of having your pet microchipped. Microchipping provides an additional layer of protection in the event the pet’s collar and tag fall off or are removed, and nearly all animal shelters across the country routinely scan every animal upon intake for the presence of a microchip.
In honor of National Pet ID Week, some organizations, such as Pet Supplies Plus, are offering discounted microchipping services and name identification tags, so it’s easy to do!
Losing a pet can be absolutely devastating, but pets with ID tags and microchips are much more likely to find their way home to their loving family. Follow our tips and keep your family together.