Identifying Your Pet

In addition to pet tags and pet tags are a trusted form of pet id, they can fall or break off if your pet is very active. Pet microchipping and pet tattooing are more permanent pet identification methods.

Pet Tattoos

Pet tattoos are permanently placed on your pet's inner thigh or inside their inner ear. Pet tattoos are performed under anesthesia by a veterinarian. Pet tattoos identify the pet with a number, like the owner's driver's license number. One disadvantage to pet tattooing is that many pet tattoos fade over time.


A recent addition to pet identification systems is pet microchipping. To microchip your pet a veterinarian quickly and painlessly injects a tiny microchip (about the size of a grain of rice) under your pet's skin, usually in between their shoulder blades. Although the microchip procedure doesn't include anesthesia, it is relatively painless and feels similar to a pet's annual inoculations. The tiny microchip contains a 10-digit number, which is registered with a national computer registry (such as 24PetWatch Pet Recovery Network). If your pet is found and taken to a shelter or pound, shelter staff will scan your pet. If a microchip is found the national computer registry will be contacted and you will be contacted through the information (name, address, telephone number) that the registry keeps on file. If you move or change your phone number it is important to notify the registry.

Even though more pet owners are microchipping and tattooing their pets, many shelters still don't have microchip scanners. Pets can also be picked up by good Samaritans without scanner access. This is why pet microchipping or pet tattooing in conjunction with pet tags and collars are effective pet identification methods.

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