The importance of pet ID tags is highlighted in these startling statistics: 

  1. One in three pets will go missing in its lifetime
  2. More than ten million pets are lost annually 
  3. Only about ten percent of those pets will be reunited with their families — and that is mainly because they had identification tags

On a recent edition of DOGTV Chats, held on our Facebook, Lorien Clemens, COO of PetHub was interviewed to raise awareness of National Pet ID Week. PetHub boasts that “96% of pets protected with a PetHub ID tag are returned home.” If you could virtually guarantee that your pet, if he or she ever went missing, would be reunited with you, wouldn’t you do all you could to make it happen? 

The Importance Of Pet ID Tags 

Lorien explained that with Pethub, a pet parent gets an identification tag that has a QR code on the back and that there is a person available 24/7 to answer the phone if your pet goes missing. Not only that, but the website, on which you register your pet, allows you to put up photos of your pet, multiple points of contact: 

  1. Family
  2. Friend
  3. Pet sitter
  4. Veterinarian
  5. The campground where you’re vacationing (to name a few) 

“The best part of the digital ID tag is that you can change that info when you need to,” she explained. “If you’re going on a road trip or to a campground, you can put in the address and contact information of that RV park and if your pet goes missing, the most up-to-date information is available and that enhances the chance of being reunited.” 

With a PetHub identification tag, the information isn’t static. The pet parent can easily log in and update contact information, addresses and even the pet’s photo, and any changes in health conditions that could be a concern if he gets loose. 

At the bare minimum, every pet should have an “old-fashioned metal ID tag that holds the pet’s name and a phone number.” Lorien said that pets who have an external identification tag get home more often than pets who have an “internal” ID tag like a microchip. You should also have an identification tag on your cats, “Yes, you need to find a way to get your cat to wear a collar,” she said.

When explaining the importance of pet identification, Lorien likened it to a chair or a stool and said you certainly wouldn’t sit on a chair or stool that only had one leg and you also shouldn’t rely on just one piece of identification to get reunited with your lost pet. 

Having a multi-pronged approach to your pet’s identification is your best chance of being reunited. 

  1. Microchips. These are important and need to be up-to-date. In many cases a microchip is “out of sight, out of mind.” The microchip gets put into your pet and the pet parent never registers it and never updates it if they move. “The stats from the microchip industry,” she shared, “are that more than half or more of the chips, when scanned are out of date, never registered or not current.”  PetHub recommends getting your pet’s chip checked twice a year. 
  2. External identification tag. “We obviously recommend having one of our digital tags because the fit a modern pet parent’s digital life,” she said. Updating the information, for vacations, road trips, when changing veterinarians, or pet sitters, helps assure your pet would be returned if she gets lost. 
  3. Licensing as required by many municipalities could also help your pet be reunited with you. Whatever licensing your municipality requires, the pet parent should do. “Some places require a paid license and that’s critical because it lets someone who finds your dog to know he’s current on vaccinations, and it lets animal control know to whom the pet belongs and could prevent your pet from having to be in a shelter.”  In some cases the municipal dog license is a “get home free” tag because you’ve already paid for the license and the animal control officer could bring your pet right home to you. 

What tools do you use to protect your pet from getting lost? What steps have you taken to help assure you’re reunited if your dog or cat runs away? 

To help assure your pet is calm and comfortable while you’re away (and yes, even when you’re on vacation!) sign up for a free 7-day trial of DOGTV — programming scientifically-developed for dogs!