A safety checklist to help ensure lost pets can find their way home

2023 is now behind us, and we’re already into late January. Hopefully we’ve all managed to keep track of our New Year’s resolutions. Mine is to take the dogs to more new places so that they can sniff and explore, and that goes for me too! Well, the exploring part.

I’m not quite into sniffing around at the base of trees, and even after all these years of dogs, I just don’t get the allure.

Resolutions aside, there are many things that are great to do at the beginning of the year for you and your pets!

I always take a look at all my vet records and find out when my four legged crew needs their yearly checkups. Luckily, most are later in the year, so allows me time to psyche myself up to pit my skills against my oldest cat, since Sophie has no intention of going into the carrier on her own.

She’s got ESP when it comes to vet visits, and that wily calico girl pulls out every trick in her arsenal. It usually ends up with her camped happily under the far corner under the bed and smirking at me from just out of reach. She’s a mathematical feline genius when it comes to judging the exact length of my arm.

Luckily, other things we can do for our pets’ health and safety are so much easier than chasing down a wise old cat that has no intention of being caught that day.

Pet checks: Ensure your pet’s ID is still readable

First, examine your pet’s collars, and make sure nothing is frayed too badly or worn out. If your pet has a collar with a plastic buckle clip, check that buckle to ensure it hasn’t become brittle and that it still clicks together strongly, especially if your dog loves to swim in the ocean.

Collars and ID tags can wear out over time but are essential if you become separated from your four-legged friend. Photo courtesy Paws and Fins Pet Shop

Collars and ID tags can wear out over time but are essential if you become separated from your four-legged friend. Photo courtesy Paws and Fins Pet Shop

Next, it’s important to check that your pet has some sort of identification on their collar. Most lost pets are reunited first with their families with that information. Make sure the tags are secure, and that the ring is not rusted or loose. If you have an older tag on your pet, make sure that contact information is still legible. Years of play and fun cause even metal tags to scratch, scuff, and become completely illegible. Here at the shop, we have a tag machine where you yourself can engrave a new tag in minutes.

Other available identification items include collars embroidered with your information and metal ID tubes with small slips of replaceable paper inside. If you don’t like the sound of jingling tags (I personally do love that sound, but know many folks don’t) there are even fabric tag silencers that you slide your tags into – with the added bonus of protecting the tag from getting scratched or scuffed.

Make a list of your pet’s names and microchip numbers. When you visit your vet for the first time in the new year, I recommend you have your pet scanned and make sure that their chip is readable by a scanner.

Check to see where the microchip is on your pet. Usually they’re implanted between the shoulder blades, but if the microchip isn’t implanted deeply enough it can actually migrate around in your pet. It’s not unheard of for them to end up down at the bottom of the shoulder, or even in a front leg. It’s not dangerous in any way to your pet, but it can make it more difficult to find!

I’ve personally had one of my dogs have an implanted chip work out of his body, verified by my vet using both a scanner and then an x-ray. It’s an incredibly rare occurrence, but it can happen – so now I check my dogs every time I go in for their yearly checkup!

If your pet isn’t chipped, go and take the time to get it done. It’s quick, any vet can do it, and there are even microchip clinics where you can get it done at a very low cost. Microchips are one of the best ways to identify your pet and help them get home. It is an amazing safety net in case they accidentally get out and somehow lose their collar, or somehow get loose or spooked, especially while you’re traveling.

Happy New Year to you all out there! Bring on 2024, and may it be a wonderful year for you and your furry, scaley, feathery or finny friends!

Learn more at pawsfinspetshop.com, visit at Suite 104 – 1050 Hildebrand Ln NE, Bainbridge Island and stay up to date with the latest news on Facebook.

Bio / Paws and Fins Pet Shop, Bainbridge Island

The news and editorial staff of Sound Publishing, Inc. had no role in the preparation of this post. The views and opinions expressed in this sponsored post are those of the advertiser and do not reflect those of Sound Publishing, Inc.

Sound Publishing, Inc. does not accept liability for any loss or damages caused by the use of any products, nor do we endorse any products posted in our Marketplace.