July 1 is National ID Your Pet Day to serve as a reminder to check that your pet’s identification is up-to-date. More pets go missing during the days surrounding the Fourth of July holiday than at any other time of the year. The best way to ensure your pet has a chance of coming home is to make sure they are microchipped and that they have a collar with tags, all with updated contact information.
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While we enjoy the Fourth of July celebration and many of us enjoy fireworks, our pets and other animals do not share the same enthusiasm for them, especially for fireworks—which can be downright terrifying. That is why it is especially important to make sure that your pets are microchipped and that your contact information is up-to-date. Make sure to check your contact information with your pet’s microchip manufacturer and also register your pet’s microchip and your contact information with one or all of the universal registry databases such as Michaelson Found Animals Registration or PetKey.
If your pet does not have a microchip, it is highly recommended that you have that done as soon as possible. Pets that are microchipped stand a much better chance of coming home than if they are not microchipped. According to a study published by the Journal of American Veterinary Medical Association more than 52 percent of lost dogs with microchips were returned to owners versus just 22 percent of those without. For cats the numbers were more than 38 percent of microchipped animals returning home while under 2 percent of those cats without microchips ever make it home.
Most veterinary clinics will implant a microchip for a fee or you can have your pet microchipped at Cincinnati Animal CARE, where they will microchip your pet for $25 during shelter hours, no appointment needed. For more information call (513) 541-PETS (7387).
When someone finds a lost pet and takes it to a shelter or a veterinary clinic, the pet can be scanned for a microchip and the owner can be contacted based on the information in the microchip database. The microchip is not a GPS but it does provide a permanent identification for your pet, which is why it is important to make sure your contact information is updated.
Another form of identification is a customized tag on a collar. If your pet is going to wear a collar in the house, we recommend using a breakaway collar so that your dog or cat is kept safe from potential strangulation. While collars with ID tags are a good way to help your pet be identified, it is not a foolproof solution, especially when using a breakaway collar. A breakaway collar is designed to come apart at the clasp if the collar is caught on something or there is some pressure pulling at the collar. Sadly, collar strangulation is more common than you would think, especially when dogs are at play.
The best method of keeping your pet safe and at home is to make sure that you keep a vigilant eye on them and limit their avenues for escape from your home or yard. Do not leave them unattended or doors open so they can run out. Many dogs can dig out from under fences or even jump a fence. A dog that is determined to escape will find a way to do so unless closely monitored.
Try to keep your pets calm during any fireworks celebrations by leaving them at home if you go to public fireworks displays and making sure they have a calm, safe space to stay in while you are away…or even if you are home. We’ve heard may stories about dogs breaking through glass doors when frightened by fireworks, so keep your pets in an interior room of your home without windows so that they can be more comfortable when scary fireworks are going off around them. There are also a variety of products you can use to help your pet stay calm during scary situations such as a Thundershirt, calming collar, Calm Balm, or even CBD oil or treats (like the treats and oil from our local friends at Tulip Tree.)
For more tips on navigating the Fourth of July with your dog, read the latest article from our training expert, Lisa Destanik.