Imagine the horror of realizing your beloved pet is lost. You have no idea where your pet is. You visualize your scared and confused pet running the streets or hiding in a bush as you hope and pray your furry family member gets picked up by a good Samaritan and brought safely back home but then realize, to your dismay, that your pet is not wearing a collar with identification tags.
I guarantee we have all seen flyers and social media posts about lost pets. What do these lost pets have in common? These lost pets do not have on a collar with tags. If the pet did have a collar with a tag identifying the owner, the pet would not be lost but easily returned to the owner.
“The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) recently found that only 33 percent of pet parents said they keep ID tags on their dogs and cats at all times,” as stated in the March/April 2019 edition of Petsitter’s World magazine. That means 67% of pet owners do not consistently keep tags on their dogs and cats.
Why take the risk of a loved pet possibly getting away from you, being lost and having no visible identifications attached to them? Why not make it as easy as possible for you to be reached and reunited with your lost furry family member?
I’ve heard the reasons why people do not keep collars and an ID tags on their pets:
“My pet does not like wearing a collar.” Pets, I assure you, do get used to wearing a collar just as they get used to wearing a harness and walking on a leash. Give your pet the opportunity to adjust to wearing a collar.
“The collar irritates my pet’s neck.” There are plenty of different types of collars out there from soft cloth to leather. Try different options of collars and even tags. Tags come in all different materials as well.
“My pet may strangle himself when left alone wearing a collar.” This is unlikely unless they are being crated. Cat collars have a release mechanism, so that does not happen.
“My pet is always with me and never runs away.” Is that actually true? Is the pet with their person for 24 hours a day, 365 days a year? Is the pet never left home alone? Does anyone else have access to the home when you are not there, such as a maintenance person, housekeeper, family member, neighbor, friends, etc.? Those looking for their lost pet did not intentional lose their pet. Obviously something unexpected happened to lose a pet.
“My pet is microchipped, so a collar and tag are not necessary.” A microchip can only be read if the pet is captured by animal control or taken to a vet or shelter. Why not make it as easy as possible for you to be reached, if your pet is lost? There are also some people who may not check if a pet is microchipped. They may assume the pet found with no collar or tags is abandoned, so they keep the pet.
Pet dogs and cats should always have a collar with identification tags. Make it as simple as possible for anyone to get in touch with you, if your pet is found roaming the neighborhood or streets. Have a collar and tag with up-to-date phone numbers on it. Don’t let your pet go naked! Allow your pet to wear a tag showing they belong to you who cares enough to be easily reached.