Friday, April 24, 2015

It's National Pet ID Week! Is your critter tagged with your deets?

The third full week in April is National Pet Identification week, per the AVMA. Yes, it might seem like a silly thing to celebrate on a national level, but proper pet identification is absolutely vital. Awareness events like this might help more people to understand why they should protect their pets with tags. And if so, that's a great thing.

Let's start with collars and tags. A secure collar with a tag is one of the easiest ways to mark your pet with the deets that can bring it home to you, should that pet go astray.

In this photo, Liam wears a collar with his name, my address, and my phone number. And, he wears a tiny metal disk from the county, proving that he's been licensed as a companion pet. This is his uniform for our outings.

The identification tag is vital, because it contains all sorts of information about me. Anyone who glances at that thing will know just who to call, should Liam go missing. But that county tag is important, too.

In my county, dogs can't get licensed unless they're up-to-date on rabies vaccines. Liam's collar proves that I'm in compliance with the law, and it could keep him out of quarantine, if he gets loose and happens to nip someone out of fear. Everyone will know that he has his rabies protection, so the consequences he might face are a little less dire.

Troy here is wearing a nifty little tag he got from the Willamette Humane Society when I adopted him. But he has more protection beneath the skin. As part of his adoption package, Troy got a microchip that's linked to a database that has my name and phone number.

I'm a big believer in microchips like this. Collars and tags can slip and slide away, and they're not always appropriate for pets to wear around the clock. When my dogs go into crates, for example, I don't want them to wear anything that could catch on the bars. A mistake like that could cause them to strangle. So it's not at all unusual for the pets to run around naked in the house, as Sinead is doing here. If she runs out the door, her microchip will bring her back to me. 
Microchips work best when they're kept up-to-date, and that's something I've mentioned in another blog post. But even with that limitation, they're still amazing little bits of pet protection. I think all pets should have them.

So, how will you celebrate National Pet ID Week? You only have 3 days left! Better run out and get a collar now!