National Pet ID Week
This current week is National Pet ID Week, usually held on the 3rd week of April every year. It is an important awareness week that highlights and teaches the importance of pet ID.
Losing your dog can be a very traumatic experience. For many of us dogs are a part of the family, many people have grown up with their dog or spent many years together. There is a great bond and connection that a loss can be very difficult to handle.
It is estimated that 1 in 3 pets get lost once during their life, with around 10 million dogs and cats lost every year in the US. According to the NCPPSP under 20% of dogs are ever reunited with their families after going missing. The majority of these cases are only due to any form of identification they may have on them such as tags and microchips. Out of the 10 million mentioned previously around 7 million do find their way to some shelter or organization looking after stray animals. And if your pet has ID on them then the chances of them being reunited are much greater than those without one.
Our dogs and other pets being lost is not a thought we want to think about but it is something we should be prepared for just in case. You never know what can happen or the circumstances leading to them being lost. So it is always best to be prepared and this awareness week is held every year to promote pet ID.
There are a few forms of IDs that are useful:
- ID Tags – these usually are around the collar and have information on your pet, your contact information and other information that can help if they go missing. You can now also incorporate digital barcodes on ID tags that the person who finds your pet can scan and gain extra information. Chances are on an ID tag you can only put the most important information such as a contact number, while a digital code can be linked to a database containing full information about your dog.
- Microchip – these are small chips placed by vets inside your pet that will be linked to a central database containing information on your dog. It is a small painless procedure carried out by a vet and the most effective form of ID.
The best thing is to combine both tags and a microchip. A tag will visibly show someone who has found your dog that they do have family looking for them and provide them with your contact information. However you should always plan for any outcome and it is possible that the dog collar can be removed or the dog is not wearing it at the time so the microchip can still provide the information.
Make sure your dog’s information is always kept up to date with the microchip incase you change address, get a new number, health updates etc.
Also make sure your dog is always wearing their ID tag so you are always prepared. It may seem odd to them at first but will become used to it just like someone wears an item of jewelry. You can also get some really good looking tags these days so why not make your dog look good at the same time.
So spread the message this week and let your friends and family know about the importance of pet ID if they have pets. And make sure all your IDs are in place and up to date with the information contain on them.