Last time on the LazyPaw Animal Hospitals blog, we convinced the world at large that putting an identification tag on pets is absolutely essential (okay, maybe not the whole world, but it would be nice).
Just in case you need a little more information to make up your mind, consider this study from the National Council on Pet Population, which found that fewer than two percent of lost cats and only 15-20 percent of lost dogs ever find their way back home. If you love your very own Fido and Fluffy—and we know you do—then you won’t love those numbers.
If we can all agree that your pet wearing an ID tag is cheap, simple, and makes a world of difference if your furry friend wanders off, why do two thirds of owners not bother? Below are some common excuses as well as ways they can be easily overcome.
My pet hates his/her collar.
If your pet is resistant to wearing a collar and tries to paw, scratch, or bite it off, there are plenty of resources to help you train her to accept the new habit of wearing one. Try putting the collar on, then immediately reward her with special treats. This will not only show her that the collar is a good thing, but distract her mind and mouth for a few minutes while she begins to get used to wearing it. Do this for a short time at first, then gradually increase to a few minutes with longer times in between each treat. Eventually, she won’t even care that she’s wearing a collar.
Collars aren’t safe for animals.
Far more animals are lost, injured, or killed every year because they weren’t wearing a tag than the number that are hurt from wearing collars. A collar that’s sized and fit correctly should be perfectly safe, and your animal surgeon or tech at the vet clinic will be happy to help you adjust the collar properly. However, if you worry about the dangers of choking because your dog or cat has a tendency to jump and you’re scared they’ll get snagged and stuck, or because you fear their lower jaw will get stuck in the strap, look at breakaway collars. These are still sturdy, but designed to snap apart if too much pressure is applied.
My pet is always indoors or inside the fence.
Indoor animals are still animals, which means they can run, climb, and explore like nobody’s business. Window screens can fall off, sometimes fence gates are left open, and worst of all, a theft, accident, or natural disaster could occur. A collar with ID is the best way to keep your animal safe if something unexpected happens and they go exploring.
I can’t stand the clinking noise ID tags make.
Jangling tags can be distracting, but there are lots of new options out there for people who treasure silence. Plenty of vendors online make custom collars at reasonable prices that are attractive without being noisy. Some offer engraving right on the buckle, and others can stamp, embroider, or emboss information directly onto the collar material or a flat nameplate. If noise is still an issue, consider a simple pet ID tag silencer.