Labrador Retriever Dog Gifts : Articles : Lab Life : Dog IDs
By Shannon K. Steffen
Canine Dog Tags & Identification
MAKE SURE YOUR LAB IS SAFE
It is becoming more and more frequent that we hear about dogs being stolen or lost. When an owner is separated from its Lab, it can be a very scary time; for both the dog and the family. It is even scary for the family though when they realize their pup is gone and it has no proper identification on it. You can't ensure that it will never get lost or stolen but you can make sure that it is properly identified.
A pup with proper identification allows people to easily contact you when separated from your dog. It also helps you to prove ownership over your furry friend, should you ever have to prove ownership rights to a shelter or human society. For this reason, a number of identification methods are available.
Forms of Identification
- Microchip - a tiny computer chip which has an identification number programmed into it. The chip is encased in a smooth, strong biocompatible glass, and is small enough to fit into a hypodermic needle. Once an animal is injected with the chip, he can be identified throughout his life by this one-of-a-kind number. His identification cannot be lost, altered or intentionally removed. Popular microchip include: AVID and HomeAgain.
- Dog Tags - a small charm that is attached to a dog's collar. This charm can come in many different shapes, sizes, colors, and materials. It includes information such as the dog's name, address, and phone number. This type of identification can be easily lost or not used if the Lab does not wear a collar often.
- Tattoo - offers a permanent and visible means of identifying your pet to others. The tattoo is applied within seconds, and requires no anesthetic or sedation. The tattoo is easily traced to the owner, and is proven to deter theft.
Each dog owner has a preference and may even choose to do all options in order to offer as much support for the dog and family during separation. It is important though that whichever method is chosen, that the family make sure that the information given to either the tattoo or microchip registry, as well as the dog tags themselves, are updates regularly with any change in information such as an address or phone number change. If the information isn't updated, the identification is not as effective in getting you long lost pup home.
As with anything else, any of these options could be harmful if care is not taken. Dog collars can get caught on items and choke the pup. The microchip can be implanted by someone who is not a professional and can cause medical problems such as infections. As with microchipping, dog tattooing should also be done by a professional as all items should be sterilized and the facility must handle your pup with the best of care.
Whatever you choose to do, please make sure your Labrador Retriever is able to be properly identified as soon as it comes home with you. Labs are full of energy and can easily escape or wander. Unfortunately, they also make great guinea pigs in laboratory experiments and we have personally heard stories of Labs being snatched up from their own front yard in a split second just to be sold to a laboratory. You Labrador Retriever is counting on you to make sure it stays safe. Don't let it down!
Any health care links and information in this article should NOT to replace a veterinarian visit or advice; please take your Lab to a vet immediately at any sign of odd behavior, such as fighting, or any symptoms of illness or injury.