3 Reasons Why Your Pet Needs an ID
Pets are like members of your family, but you can’t expect animals to act like people. When spouses leave for work each day, and children head to school, it’s natural to expect them to make it home in time for dinner, but when your dog slips a leash or your indoor cat slips out through the door, they might wander off and never make it home.
With National Pet ID Week in April (the 16th-22nd), it’s time to put some thought into why you have yet to outfit your beloved canine or feline with identification, or why you haven’t considered the benefits of multiple forms of ID. If you truly regard your four-footed friends as valued members of your household, their safety is of paramount concern, and proper identification could mean the difference between getting them back and never seeing them again. Here are just a few reasons why your pet needs ID, and the sooner the better.
The Statistics are Shocking
The ASPCA reports that only about a third of pet owners have their dogs or cats properly tagged at all times, which is to say, wearing a collar with an ID tag that has a contact phone number for the owner. In addition, about a third of all pets in the U.S. will get lost at least once during their lifetime, and the overlap means that a lot of pets who get lost will not bear proper ID that would allow them to be quickly and safely returned to their families.
In fact, about 90% of animals that get lost never make it home without proper ID to expedite the process. Roughly 15-20% of lost dogs are returned to their owners, according to the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy (NCPPSA), while the number falls to a disheartening 2% for lost cats. In other words, proper identification makes a difference, and if you fail to utilize options like up-to-date ID collars and chipping, the chances your lost pet will come back to you are pretty abysmal.
Show Your Pet is Owned
The most important reason to use visible ID for your pets is to show that they’re owned, rather than strays, and to give anyone who finds them a means to contact you. If your pets are chipped, you might not think it’s important to outfit them with ID collars. After all, when they reach a shelter they’ll be checked by staff and returned to you, right?
There are a couple of problems with this theory. For one thing, people often forget to update their pets’ chips after moving, which means shelters could be working on outdated information, making it difficult to find you. They may not have the time or resources to track you down if your information isn’t readily available.
In addition, dogs and cats with no collar or identifying information could be assumed to be strays. This means the people who find them may not even take them to a shelter or try to find their owners. They might just keep them, assuming they have no home or family. This is why it’s so important to utilize multiple forms of pet ID.
Prepare for the Unexpected
I know what you’re thinking: my dog or cat won’t get lost because I’m careful about pet safety. While it’s great that you take measures to keep your cats in the house or your dogs in an enclosed yard, accidents happen. A child or a visitor to your home could accidentally let your cat out, or your dog could burrow under the fence. There might be a natural disaster (fire, flood, etc.) during which your pets escape.
Without an ID collar and/or chipping, you might never see your beloved pets again. Considering how cheap and easy it is to outfit animals with identification, there’s really no good excuse not to.
To learn more about the team at Central Texas Animal Hospital, view our team page or contact us today to schedule an appointment! We offer veterinary services for cats and dogs in the Pflugerville/Austin-Round Rock, TX area.