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Check that I.D.!

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Gate left open? Bolted after squirrel? Spooked by fireworks? Wandered off to see the neighbor's barbecue?

There are lots of reasons that your pet goes missing. Keeping some sort of ID on your dog will go miles towards getting him back. When finding a lost pet, the first place most people will look is the collar for a tag or embroidered information. There are many sources for tags and embroidered collars — but start at your local independent pet store. Many stores have a machine that will make a tag while you wait, and put it on the collar. They can also order fancier tags or embroidered collars.

Other options are tattoos and microchips. Vets generally offer microchipping and shelters, vets, and animal control agencies have chip scanners. Be sure to register your dog with the chip registry so that your pet can be returned to you.

Tattoos are another way of identifying pets. The safest place to tattoo a pet is on a surface such as an inner thigh. While dogs have been ear and lip tattooed, ears and lips have been removed to remove the ID. Keep hair in the area of the tattoo clipped short. It’s vital to register tattoos with a recognized national organization so the pet’s identity can be traced if he is lost.
Tattoo-A-Pet maintains a worldwide pet recovery network, with participating agents and veterinarians who perform tattooing at a reasonable cost. This service also maintains a 24-hour hotline and claims a 99% recovery rate. Contact Tattoo-A-Pet at 800-TATTOOS or info@tattoo-a-pet.com. The National Dog Registry also registers tattooed pets. They can be reached at 800-NDR-DOGS 24 hours a day, has been finding lost and stolen pets for three decades. You can also email info@natldogregistry.com.

With identification on your dog, your chances of having him returned increase substantially. Utilize lost dog posters, Facebook, and other social media to alert people to your lost dog, along with calling shelters, pounds, veterinarians and delivering a lost dog flyer to them. Be sure to include a photo, description, and contact information.