Permanent Identification is very important to have if your pet goes missing. Even with strictly indoor pets, there is a possibility they may still slip out the door. Permanent identification increases the chance of you being reunited with your pet if they go missing or if they are stolen. There are two kinds of permanent identification available; microchips and tattoos.
Microchips are a small chip placed under your pet’s skin using a needle. Each microchip is assigned a number. This number shows up when the microchip is scanned with a microchip scanner, which all veterinary hospitals and shelters should have. The company associated with the microchip can be found by searching the microchip number online. After the company is found, the owner’s information can be obtained, and they will be contacted. It is very important to keep your current information up to date with the microchip company so you can be contacted easily. Microchips are great because they will always be with your pet, and they can be placed at any time with no anesthetic needed! Microchips do not contain GPS as some people may think.
Tattoos are a great option for your pet because they are visible and a person can see right away if your pet has one, but there is a small chance the tattoo may fade over time making it illegible. A tattoo is placed with a tattoo gun and ink, just like human tattoos. Therefore it must be done under a general anesthetic.
The tattoo normally goes in the pet’s right ear. Each pet is assigned their own tattoo which includes a letter, followed by a number, followed by another letter. The first letter is for the vet hospital the tattoo is associated with, the number is specific to each pet, and the second letter represents the year the tattoo was done (Example: P19F – P= Campbell River Veterinary Hospital, 19= pet’s number, F= 2017). Every veterinary hospital keeps a log of their tattoos with the owner’s information so the owner can be contacted if the pet is found or brought into the clinic.
We recommend both microchipping and tattooing, so your pet has the best chance at getting back to you.
Written by: Jessica Nicholson, Veterinary Nurse