You might think it will never happen to you, your loving furry friend would never run away or get lost. However, accidents happen even when we are being overly cautious. Every year 10 million pets are lost in the US, yup you read that right, 10,000,000 pets every year get lost. Even worse 1 in 3 dogs will be lost in their lifetime. Just imagine how scared and lonely your furry friend would be if they were lost. It can happen to anyone and that’s why its extremely important to be prepared for such a tragic circumstance.
How can you prepare
Other than being extremely careful there really isn’t much you can do to prevent your pets from getting lost. So if the tragedy of losing your pet can’t be prevented the best thing to do is make sure you’re prepared. Once your pet is lost they will become very scared, so the most important thing is getting your pet back, safely. The best way to get your pet back home is making sure your pet is identified, the two popular ways to do this is with a microchip or an ID tag. Studies show that if your dog is wearing an ID tag their chances of being returned home is 85%, compared to just 15% chance of being returned without an ID tag. If your pet has some sort of identification whomever finds it can contact you and get your furry friend back home. The best preparation for a lost pet is to ensure your pets are identified so that once they are found they will have a quick and easy return home,
ID Tag vs Microchip
The microchip only has 1 real positive, its nearly impossible for it to be separated from your pet because its injected inside your pet. This is important since an ID tag is useless if it isn’t attached to your pet when they get found. However microchips come with a lot of downsides. They need to be injected into your pet which can’t feel great for your furry friend. The information on the microchip can’t be updated once its in, so if your contact info changes then it becomes useless, Microchips aren’t very visible and can easily be forgotten about, microchips also require whomever finds your furry friend to take them to get scanned, so there is a decent chance that whomever finds your lost pet won’t realize it’s micro-chipped. With a microchip you run the risk of it being missed by a scan at the vet too. But the worst possible outcome of using a microchip is having your pet get stolen, if your pet is found without a collar and ID tag and the finder doesn’t realize they have a microchip the finder might think your pet is a stray and keep your furry friend for themselves. Microchips have 1 great feature but come with a lot of downsides.
ID tags can come in many different styles, for more information on ID tags specifically check out our post about them, so this will be generalized a bit to give an overall assessment of ID tags. The best part about ID tags is that they are visible and make it much easier for whomever finds your lost pet to return them. If you have a phone number on the ID tag the finder can call you and get your pet returned quickly, better yet assuming your furry friend didn’t go far, having your address on the ID tag allows the finder to just bring your pet back home right away. ID tags ensure that the finder knows the pet has a home and isn’t mistaken for a stray. Since ID tags are connected to a collar they don’t require any sort of injection. Depending on the style of ID tag the chance of it falling off , how comfortable it is and durability can vary. So you’ll want to make sure to get an ID tag that doesn’t fall off, won’t get caught on anything, doesn’t cause injury, and is comfortable since your furry friend has to wear it all day, every day.
The facts don’t lie, with over 10 million dogs lost every year and the chance of your pet being returned going from 15% without an ID tag to 85% with an ID tag, your pet needs to have an ID tag. However you’ll want to make sure you get a quality ID tag, cheap tags can fall off or even injure your pet, this is the best ID tag we have found yet. That being said don’t write off microchips yet, they can be used with an ID tag to give your lost pet the absolute best chance of being safely returned.