It's National Pet ID Week! DYK: Over 10 million cats and dogs are lost or stolen in the USA every year? Dr. Heather Kovac talks about the various forms of pet identification available so your pet can always be properly identified if lost and returned to your home.

Featured Quote:

There are about 10 million dogs and cats that get lost every year in the United States. That's a lot of dogs and cats. And one in three pets will become lost sometime in their lifetime.


Video Transcript:

Hi guys. Just wanted to let you know that it's National Pet ID Week and so we wanted to talk to you about the importance of making sure your pet has proper identification, whether that's a tag on their collar or a microchip under their skins. We're going to talk about both of those. First off, I talk about the regular tag that you can put on your cat or dog's collar. Main things are, making sure their name's on it, your phone number, possibly a second phone number as well.

I think it's important to have your house number on there, your street address because if a neighbor finds your dog they can just say, "Oh, this is at 528 Ashbury Street. Let's take her back." It's much easier than even giving you a call so I think that's important too. Some people will put "Reward" or some other funny little thing on there. That's an option as well.

But if the collar comes off or your dog gets loose when it doesn't have the collar on, say after a bath, it's very important that they have a microchip under their skin. So what a microchip is, it's a permanent identification system and it's a little, tiny chip. We have it here. We're going to show you how small it is. It's about the size of a grain of rice and it's inserted between the shoulder blades under the skin with a needle, so it's an injection and safe for cats and dogs of all sizes.

The microchip is good for the life of the pet and it does need to be registered to your name. So as soon as you get it placed, you're going to contact the company and get them all your contact information and then keep that up to date. So if you move or change your phone number, it's super important that you update that with the company so it can all be stored properly. The microchip does not contain your actual information.

It's just a number and then any shelter or veterinary hospital who receives a lost animal will scan for chip and if there is one, the number will pop up and then we'll be able to contact the microchip company and find out who the owner is, So that's how that works. There's a study that was done with shelters across the United States and some of the statistics are pretty alarming for lost pets and reuniting pets with owners.

There are about 10 million dogs and cats that get lost every year in the United States. That's a lot of dogs and cats. And one in three pets will become lost sometime in their lifetime. Then only 22% of dogs who enter shelters are reunited with their owners. But if they have a microchip, 52% of those dogs are reunited with their owners. Some much higher increase in the percentage of reunited pets.

For cats, it's even more traumatic. Less than two percent of cats who enter shelters are ever reunited with their owners but if they're microchipped, it's over 38 percent. So, just want to stress the importance of a microchip. We offer that here at the Drake Center. We like to bundle it with a spay or neuter at that time. That way the pet isn't going to feel the injection but we can do it at any point in the animal's life. Very safe procedure. Very low impact on them. A little tiny poke and they'll be good for the rest of their life as far as that goes. So super-important. Make sure you get your pets microchipped on Pet ID week. Thank you.