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Nose Printing of Dogs

By: Alex Lieber

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Look at your dog's nose – did you know that there's literally no other nose like it? The nose print of a dog is as unique as a fingerprint, and your dog can be positively identified the same way.

The Canadian Kennel Club has accepted nose prints as proof of identity since 1938. Now a company in the United States is offering a product to identify dogs by their nose prints. The company, ID Systems Integrators, developed a system called "Dognose ID" that, according to the Web site, provides a "tamperproof, painless and noninvasive way to provide a permanent record of any dog, anywhere."

Louis Meadows, company owner, said he has been working on the system for several years. Using an inkless device, an owner takes an impression of his or her dog's nose and sends it to the company, along with photos of the dog. The company scans it into a proprietary nose print database.

The owner receives a Pet Identity card imprinted with your dog's photo and nose print, along with contact information. A collar tag is provided with the dog's identification number, owner's phone number and the company's toll-free number.

If the dog is ever missing, the owner logs onto the company Web site or calls the company. A description, photo and nose print will be faxed to every known veterinarian and animal shelter within the owner's area. Meadows said local schools would also be contacted.

If someone calls to say they picked up a dog matching that description, the owner can visit the shelter and, if there's any question of ownership, can take a nose print of the dog and compare it with the original.

Meadows said the Dognose ID is more reliable than dog tags, which can be lost. Furthermore, he explained, many owners are reluctant to tattoo or microchip their dogs. "Many people don't want to subject their dog to those painful or invasive techniques," he said.

The product will soon be test-marketed in the Midwest, Meadows said. If successful, nationwide advertising will follow. To learn more about Dognose ID, you can visit the company at and judge for yourself.

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