Pet owners know that a missing pet is scary and upsetting. But, in general, one of the biggest issues in returning a missing pet to his proper home is a lack of adequate identification. Microchips and tags mean pets and their parents are reunited far more quickly. Pet ID Week is observed next on April 17th, 2023, but it’s always a good time to look more closely at pet IDs and how to make sure your pet can be brought home quickly.
While microchips are great, wearing a collar and ID tag with your name and phone number is also important. If your pet is found by a neighbor or passerby, they can easily contact you and reunite you with your pet. Microchips require a special tool to read, and it can be months or years before that finally happens. Here are a few ID tag options available for pet owners:
- ID tag – Strong, nontoxic Industrial Grade Silicone. Jingle-free. Lifetime warranty and Made in the USA
- Combo collar – Durability, safety, and customizable -Plus, it’s a great brand.
- Slide-on Engraved – Surgery-grade stainless steel, up to 5 lines of customized text, and no noise (jingle-free)
- QR Code ID Tags – Made of durable silicone. Scanning the tag QR code activates it and links to the free pet profile page; No app is needed. If someone finds your lost pet and scans the QR code, it will email your pet’s GPS location and show it on Google Maps for Free!
- GPS Tracker – tags are attached to a pet’s collar and use satellite signals to pinpoint the pet’s location (worldwide location tracking), which the pet owner can then view through a mobile app or website. These include additional features, such as activity monitoring, virtual boundaries, and alerts when a pet leaves a designated safe zone. Subscription plans are needed.
- SmartTag – Samsung-based, communicates with your smartphone and tracks your pet in real time. Use the SmartThings app to set up geofencing alerts and to receive notifications when your pet leaves or enters a designated area. SmartTag is compatible with both Android and iOS devices, and you can also use it to control other smart home devices.
- AirTag – An Apple product that uses Ultra-Wideband (UWB) technology to communicate with your iPhone and iPad. AirTag also has some additional features, such as the ability to make a sound to help locate the AirTag, and integration with Apple’s Find My network for more precise tracking.
Both SmartTag and AirTag can be helpful tools for finding lost pets, but it’s important to note that they have limitations. For example, they rely on the availability of a nearby smartphone with the appropriate app installed and working internet connection to be effective, and may not work well in areas with poor network coverage. It’s also important to ensure that the tracking device is securely attached to the pet’s collar and that the collar is properly fitted to prevent it from falling off.
Particularly in the case of cats or smaller dogs, collars easily get caught in bushes and safely break away to prevent choking your pet. However, they don’t help your pet return home once they’ve fallen off. Therefore, having your pet microchipped is an important safety net. Shelter workers and veterinarians can scan for the chip and contact you based on that information.
Make Sure Microchip Info is Updated
If you move or change your phone number, be sure you update the information on file with the microchip company. Your pet can’t tell whoever is scanning the information that it is wrong, and if you’re unreachable, the microchip is essentially useless. So it’s a good idea to ask your vet to scan it once a year to ensure the information is up to date.
Any Pet Can Get Lost
Some pet owners think they can’t get lost because their dog is always on a leash or their cat is an indoor-only pet. The truth is leashes can break, doors get left open, and other tragedies like fire or natural disasters happen. Losing a pet is always a possibility, so take a few moments this week to ensure your pet has the proper ID. It is well worth the effort.
Start Searching for Your Lost Pet Immediately
While this may sound obvious, many pet owners assume their pets will turn up on their own. The sooner you start looking, the more likely it is you’ll find your pet. Make posters with a picture of your pet and your phone number and hang them in the area your pet was last seen. Contact the animal control officer in your area and alert local shelters. Most lost pets don’t stray too far if you start looking right away.
- Pet FBI The Free Information Center For Lost and Found Dogs, Cats, and All Other Pets
In my house, and probably in yours, pets are family. So please spend a few moments this week making sure they’re safe and can be quickly returned to you in case they’re lost.
Also, remember it’s important to keep your dog’s license current and their dog tags on their collar or harness at all times. (jingle jingle)
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