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Has your beloved pet been tagged?

It is every pet owners worst nightmare: Your beloved friend is missing.

He or she has wondered away from home and you start the search.

You walk around the block, call your neighbors, and start posting fliers and, many times, to no avail. According to the American Humane Association only 17 percent of lost dogs and two percent of lost cats make their way back from shelters to their loving homes.

An alarming 9.6 million pets are euthanized every year, because of the lack of successful reunions. The single best way to improve the chances of a happy homecoming is keep a form of identification on your pet at all times.

There are many types of ID you can choose from. The most popular is the classic ID tag. This can be a plastic or metal tag that fastens to your pet’s collar. They can be purchased in just about any color, shape, size, or design.

They usually display your pet’s name and phone number. The bigger tags may also contain an address. This form of ID is easy to read and reliable, because it does not take any special equipment to read.

The down side is that they only work if your pet wears it. Many people like to take their pet’s collar off when at the house, but many times that is exactly where the pet sneaks away from.

Another popular type of ID is having a microchip implanted beneath your pet’s skin.

Some microchips use what is called radio frequency identification. It uses radio waves to transmit your pet’s information. They require a special device to interpret the transmitted information.

Another type of microchip does not actually hold information, just a unique number. They do not actively transmit information and do not need power. They just sit there and wait to be read by a scanner. A microchip capsule is approximately 11.5 millimeters, or the size of a grain of rice.

They are permanent and always with your pet. The problem is a scanner must be used to read the information. If the average person finds your dog, they have no way to know your pet’s information and they most likely will not even know your pet has a microchip.

The same goes with many shelters and dog pounds.

The type of ID you choose for your pet is not nearly as important as having adequate ID on your pet.

We all love our pets and we certainly do not ever plan to lose them.

If you find a lost pet, check for ID. If they do not have an id tag, check for a rabies tag.

A rabies tag will have an ID number and the veterinarians name that administered vaccine. If you call the clinic they will usually be able to track down the pet’s owner.

You may even consider calling your vet to see if they have time to scan the dog to see if it has been microchipped.

Maybe someone will return the favor in the future.

Remember, every dog deserves to be treated like a show dog.

Tony Barker

The BARKer Shop