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Proper Identification for Pet is a Must!

Today marks the beginning of National Pet ID week.


While wearing proper identification may seem like a no-brainer to dedicated dog owners, the lack of proper on pet dogs, as well as cats, is still a problem for many dog owners and animal shelters. The National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy found that only about 15-20% of dogs that become lost are reunited with their owners. Its even worse for cats, where less than 2% are found and returned to their families. The ASPCA did a survey in 2010 which noted that 80% of pet owners believed proper ID for their pets was important, yet only 33% said their dogs wore collars and ID.

Pets that wear a collar with ID when outside but are naked in the home are still at risk. Depending on where you live, you could face natural disasters such as tornadoes, fires, earthquakes or other events that can cause a dog in the home to be forced to flee and become separated from his or her human family. Or a dog can simply become lost if a backyard gate is left open by accident. Likewise an accident can occur during a car ride that can cause your dog to become frightened and run off.

Microchips are extremely important to increase the likelihood that your dog is returned to you if found by a shelter, local animal control or veterinary staff. Studies have found that dogs with a microchip are returned to their families more than twice as often as dogs without a chip. And for cats, this likelihood increases to a factor of 20! Even dogs that have a microchip though may not be taken to a place with a scanner, and therefore having a collar with tags with up-to-date information makes it much easier for anyone who finds a dog to return it to the owners. If a dog becomes loose from your yard and is found a few blocks away by a neighbor, it's much easier and faster for them to use the information on the dog's tag to return them to you, rather than having to bring the dog to a shelter and have the dog wait for you there.

Some dog owners are not thrilled with the idea of having dogs wearing a collar all day long in the house due to the chance that the collar might become tangled in an object or another dog's collar, or they simply dislike the jangling noise of the tags. Theres a simple solution to both issues. There are collars made specifically for this concern called a breakway collar, which will release the clasp if a dog becomes entangled with an object. For the tag noise, there are many types of silencers available today that are basically fabric pockets that wrap around the tags and minimize or completely eliminate the noise. And there even many places online where you can order collars that have the contact information either embroidered or engraved right onto the collar.

If you have family, friends or neighbors who are dog owners that you know are not using proper identification, use this week as an opportunity to share this article on your social media pages to remind all dog owners to keep their dogs (and cats) safe with appropriate collars and ID! It's a simple task that can potentially save pet owners a load of headaches and heartache in the future.

Photo credit: Shiba Inu Dog Portrait (cc) via photopin (license)

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