By: | | Pet Care Tips

Making sure your pets are equipped with all the necessary forms of identification will help them get them home if they’re ever lost.

If your dog or cat gets picked up by Carroll County Animal Control, they’ll be held for just 5 days. If they’re not reunited with you by then, they could be adopted by someone else – or worse, euthanized. That’s why it’s so important your pet can be identified with collar tags and a microchip. The sooner your pet is back in your arms, the better.

Make sure your pets are up to date on ALL types of identification. Here’s what you need to know:

Pet Tags Provide Instant Identification

Your cats and dogs over 4 months old need to wear 3 tags at all times: a rabies tag, a county license tag, and a personalized tag inscribed with your contact info. You can attach these tags to your pet’s collar. Attaching tags to a harness is okay too if your pet wears it all the time, even indoors.

Maryland state law requires that all dogs and cats over 4 months old wear a rabies and county license tag. You’ll get a rabies tag from your vet when your pet is vaccinated. County licenses are sold at veterinary hospitals, humane societies, animal control centers and some town offices.

In Carroll County, you purchase a county license at any of these locations. You’ll need to bring proof their rabies vaccination is up-to-date.

If your pet is found without a license, you may get fined. It’s more affordable to just get your pets licensed, and you’ll have a much better chance of being reunited than if your pet went missing without a collar and tags.

Personalized pet tags aren’t required by law, but they make it really easy for anyone to return your pet. At minimum, include your phone number and address. If your pet has special needs, you may decide to add “Needs Medication” to urge finders to return your pet quickly, and to discourage those who might try to sell your pet for a quick buck.

Many people put their pet’s name on the tag. This is totally optional. If your pet is very friendly, and will happily go with any shady stranger that calls their name, you might want to leave it off. On the other hand, including a name could make it easier for a helpful rescuer to call your lost dog to safety.

Microchips, Like Diamonds, Last Forever

a pet microchipA microchip can identify your pet even if their collar is missing or their tags are destroyed. They’re affordable, with a one-time cost that keeps your pet identifiable for their lifetime.

Your vet will insert the microchip into the loose skin between your pet’s shoulder blades using a needle. It’s quick and relatively painless, and the microchip is not much larger than a grain of rice. If your got your pet from a shelter, they may already have a microchip, but it will need to be updated with your information.

When your pet is found without a collar, they may be scanned at a vet or shelter. The microchip provides information that can be used to look up your pet in the microchip company’s database.

As an added bonus, a microchip is concrete proof of ownership if your pet is ever stolen. The cats and dogs in your life should be chipped. Though they won’t know it, the microchip is your permanent way of saying, “you’re mine.”

Spread the Word!

Remind all of the pet lovers in your life to tag and chip their pets and keep their contact information up-to-date. Share this post to help keep your friends’ pets safe!