ID Tags and Microchips

If your pet is lost, a microchip or identification tag might be his or her ticket home. Since humans can't communicate with pets, license tags or a microchip will ensure that he doesn't end up at the local pound, shelter, with another family or worse.

Tagging - The most common and economical way to identify your pet is with pet tags. However pet tagging has its downside because pet tags can be lost or deliberately removed by a pet thief.

Pet tags usually cost between $3 and $10 online. Small pet tags are best for cats or toy dogs but if your dog is a medium/large sized then a larger pet tag will be more visible. For a more durable pet tag, try one made of plastic.

Microchips - are tiny metal transponders about the size of an uncooked rice grain. Microchips carry a unique identification number and are implanted using a needle just below your pet's skin (usually in the scruff of their neck).

Microchips are registered with local or national databases and many city pounds, vets and shelters have their own scanners to read the chips of stray animals. Once the microchip is read, the staff can call the 24-hour regional or national hotline and get your contact information.

Having your pet microchipped is as quick and uncomfortable as a vaccination. Microchips are also more convenient then tattoos because a frightened dog doesn't need to be shaved to locate it.

Microchip systems include the chip and the fee for life time registration, the insertion and the paperwork. Vets charge about $25 to $60 and shelters for as little as $15 for microchipping.

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