Dogs are essential members of our family, but, like children, they require us to advocate for their safety and well-being. Caring for a dog means providing the following:
Did you know that an identification tag with the right information is vital to your dog's well-being as much as any other category of care? Even the best precautions will not guarantee that your dog won't become lost. Consider the following circumstances:
Dogs are spontaneous creatures and willingly run after things that spark their interest, like squirrels and birds. Many people think that microchipping a dog eliminates the need for it to wear a tag if it runs off. This kind of thinking is faulty and can even delay your dog's return. Anyone who locates your dog will need to take it to a shelter or a vet to determine if it has a microchip. Tags are the fastest way to communicate information that will help return a lost dog.
It is difficult to know if a dog is a family pet if it is wandering around alone unless it is wearing a tag. Family pets get vaccinated against diseases like rabies and don't pose health risks to people. Dogs that don't have tags make strangers reluctant to be near them unless they can ascertain the dog's recent history of disease exposure. Not wearing a tag can make it difficult for your dog to get the help it needs and prolong its separation from you.
When unexpected disasters occur, the confusion and chaos that ensues can be very disorienting for people and pets. Natural disasters like fires and floods can wipe away scents that are familiar to pets and help direct them to their homes and owners. In 2012, after Superstorm Sandy, many pets went missing as floodwater devoured people's homes and communities. According to Animal Care and Control of New York City, identification tags were significantly more effective than microchips at achieving the timely return of lost pets.
A dog's identification tag is only as useful as the information it carries. It is helpful to include the following on your dog's tag.
Tags are a great way to communicate vital details about a dog's health. For instance, offering treats to dogs can gain their trust and keep them calm and happy, but well-meaning strangers can inadvertently make a dog sick if they are unaware of foods that trigger allergies and other adverse reactions. Or, if a dog is injured and requires medical treatment while out of its owner's care, knowing the details about its medical conditions or medications can allow veterinary professionals to safely administer appropriate first aide without further jeopardizing a dog's safety.
Some people worry that printing a dog's name on a tag will allow unscrupulous people to call that name to encourage a dog to come to them. This concern is unfounded because for strangers to read the name on a tag, the dog has already approached them. Calling a dog by its name is useful for gaining its trust and a dog must trust anyone who attempts to lead it back home.
People are often reluctant to include their home address on their dogs' identification tags because they don't want others to know where they live. Using an address found on a dog's tag for nefarious purposes is very unlikely. However, not including it can prevent someone from quickly returning a lost dog, prolonging the amount of time that it remains separated from its owner.
In today's world, most people have dispensed with landlines in favor of personal mobile phones with individual phone numbers. Mobile phones can lose their charge, become lost and get turned off. It is prudent to provide a second phone number for someone you trust to coordinate the safe return of your dog if you are unreachable.
Including details about your dog's nature can provide valuable clues about what made your dog run off or what will entice it to stay if it is found by a stranger. For instance, someone who finds your dog might unintentionally expose it to uncomfortable circumstances, like loud noises or other animals. If doing so will make your pet anxious , it is best to indicate this information on your dog's tag to avoid adding to its trauma.
If you want added insurance that a stranger will do the right thing and return your lost dog, include a brief mention of a reward on the tag. It is unlikely that a stranger will keep your dog if you don't offer some compensation for its return. Still, if you are feeling generous or uncertain, it can't hurt to make this offer to ensure your dog's fast and safe return.
Dogs tug at our heartstrings, even if they belong to someone else. If you want to take advantage of this phenomenon and use it to retrieve your lost dog, include a message directly from your dog on its tag. Consider something like, "I'm lost, and I miss my family. Please help me get home."
Every dog, even one with a microchip, should wear an identification tag that accommodates vital information. Not only will it help a lost dog return home quickly, depending on the circumstances, it can also save a beloved pet's life.