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Just for Kids: How to Identify Your Dog

If your dog ever got loose and wandered away, how would you find him? Even if you take excellent care of your dog, there is always the possibility that he can get loose. Without proper identification, finding him could be very difficult. One important thing you must do for your puppy is to provide proper identification in case he ever gets lost. There are several methods you can use.

Collar Tags

A collar and ID tag should be on your dog at all times. If your dog is found, and he is wearing an ID tag on his collar, whoever finds him will know he has a home and a family who miss him. An ID tag should have your dog’s name, your family’s name, the address and telephone number. If there is enough room, you can also put the name and number of your veterinarian.

The ID tag should also have your dog’s license tag. This tells whoever finds the dog that he has been vaccinated for rabies and is registered with the local government.

Unfortunately, collars can be lost or removed, so you’ll want to use another method of identification, too.


You can give your dog a tattoo. The tattoo is a series of numbers and letters that are tattooed on some part of your pet, such as the hairless inside of the earflap and the tummy. These numbers are registered with a company that has your phone number and address. The company will contact you if your dog is found. If your dog is a purebred and is registered with the American Kennel Club, his tattoo numbers can be registered with them, too.

Some people have their phone numbers tattooed on the pet, but this can be a problem if the phone number changes or if the family moves to a new home.


A microchip is a very small capsule (about the size of a grain of rice) that contains a computer chip. The chip holds a special identification code that belongs to your pet.

When a scanner is passed over it, much like the scanners in a department store, the chip gives a number, which is registered with the microchip company. The company keeps the owner’s contact information.

The microchip is injected under the skin of your pet with an instrument similar to a hypodermic needle that your veterinarian uses for vaccinations. It is a very simple procedure and it doesn’t hurt your pet.

If your pet should get lost and end up in a shelter or the humane society, he can be scanned, and the information on the microchip will be displayed. Then the microchip company can contact you and your pet can be returned.

Losing your pet can be a sad experience for you and your family. Make sure you provide two identifications: one visible type, like the collar and tag, and one permanent type, like a tattoo or microchip. This will make it easier for your pet to be returned to you if he ever becomes lost.