It’s National Pet I.D. Week–and we hate to admit that it probably does take a week of promotions to get people to get their pets properly tagged. You’d think that a pet owner would be obsessed with making sure their animal companions can be returned to them. We’ve all heard way too many horror stories about pets running out of the house the one time that they aren’t wearing their collar. In fact, bath time for our dogs and cats can turn us into a nervous wreck. We’re convinced that they’ll find some way to bolt during those horrific minutes when they don’t have their tags.
Like most pet owners, we rely on the old-fashioned metal tag. Just remember to include your area code with the phone number, and include a second phone number, as well. Tags are far from ideal, though. We all know how they can slip off a pet accidentally–let alone with the help of evil people who might take our pets.
That’s why we also enjoy the high-tech security of a microchip. It took us a while to be convinced that we weren’t going to harm our pets with that kind of thing, but we’ve had cats and dogs go through the procedure with no complaints. At least nowadays, it’s no more traumatic than an injection–and we’ve never had to pay more than $50 for the procedure. It’s especially gratifying to have a microchip placed in your cat. At least in our case, since we have one indoor cat who really loathes wearing a collar.
And while you’ll need to actually register the ID number on the microchip ID, that’s actually preferable to having your dog or cat running around with any of your personal info embedded under their skin. We have noticed a new trend of ID tags that can be scanned by a smartphone. That’s pretty cool. In contast, USB Pet Tags just seem like a very expensive tag that can get lost. The cost is coming down for GPS Tracker Tags, though. You can buy a package for around $200, and then an additional $100 a year for the GPS service.
Yes, that’s certainly pricey compared to $15 for a dog tag, but think of how cool it is to be able to track your animal just for fun. The biggest problem is that current GPS technology still has can’t come up with anything better than a device that’s hanging from a collar. We don’t think our pets will respect how much the GPS costs. You can just spend $80 on a RFID Collar and have the same fun (and collar problem) without the major investment.
And then we go back to being retro and considering the pet tattoo–which can be done under anesthesia for about $35, if you hate the idea of your poor pet’s pads (or elsewhere) being stabbed with a needle. You have to register the tattoo number just like a microchip, but we like the security. And we kind of hate the idea, too, but that’s just us being sensitive pet owners.
The important thing is that there’s all kinds of options for pet owners. None of them are ideal protection against thieves, but you have plenty of options to keep an eye on pets that can just go missing–perish the thought. Maybe that’s why we need a week of Pet I.D. conversation. We might just ignore this scary topic if we only covered it for a day.