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Pet Identification

When a pet goes missing, it is heartbreaking for their owner. Identifying your pet with a microchip or tattoo, or both, greatly increases the chance of them being safely returned to you.

A microchip, which is a tiny device about the size and shape of a grain of rice, is implanted just under the skin at the back of the neck. The implantation is minimally painful, and is similar to receiving an injection. It can be done on an awake pet, and is also often done while puppies and kittens are under anaesthetic to get spayed or neutered. After your pet is implanted with a microchip, you need to register with the microchip registration company. Our staff can help you with this. In the future, if you move or change your phone number or email address, you should inform the microchip company right away.

When a lost dog or cat is brought into a shelter or veterinary clinic, they will be scanned to read the microchip. The veterinary hospital or shelter then calls the chip manufacturer, retrieves the pet owner’s contact information, and calls the owner.

Tattoos are done in the animal’s right ear, while they are under anesthetic. Pet owners often request tattoos when their pets get spayed or neutered, but they can also be done when your pet comes in for a dental cleaning, or other surgery. The tattoo has three letters, which indicate which hospital did the tattoo and the year it was done, and a number that identifies your pet. When a lost dog or cat is brought into a shelter or veterinary clinic, they can call the veterinary hospital that did the tattoo to retrieve your contact information. It is very important that you keep your contact information at the original veterinary hospital up to date, even if you move away and start visiting a different clinic.

We recommend that you use a microchip and/or tattoo, along with a collar and ID tag, to identify your pet. An ID tag is still a reliable identification method, since anyone who finds your pet can read it without taking him or her to a shelter or veterinary hospital. However, collars and ID tags aren’t permanent and can be removed. In the event that your pet is stolen, a tattoo or microchip can be used to help confirm proper ownership of the animal.