Unless there is a medical reason as to why your dog cannot wear a collar as with Fin (right), then please ensure they wear their collar at all times, even in the house, and that their disc is readable. An open door can see you searching the streets for your beloved pet. Identification discs are a must, and should contain your name (not your dog’s name), address (not just the postcode) and your telephone number (your mobile number is a good idea if you are out searching for your pet) and also your vet’s number in case of accident. “My dog is micro-chipped!” I hear you cry. Great idea, but not everyone carries a scanner (although we have one now!) – and those who do may not be open when your dog is found. Life is a lot simpler when your dog can be easily reunited with you. By the way, microchipping is mandatory from March 2016.
If you are planning on moving home, get your dog’s new ID disc ahead of time, and put it on their collar, along with the old disc until after you have moved, then simply remove the old disc. It is so easy to overlook this and in the hustle and bustle of moving, your dog may escape through a door left open by a careless removal man or family member.
I once found a dog in a local park. Actually I rescued it from drowning in the lake, as it could not get out. I seem to remember it had a collar on, but no identification. I took it home and bathed it, as much to warm it up as anything (it was winter) – and then set about ringing round to try to locate the owner. The dog warden was closed, vets too were closed, so I called the police who weren’t all that interested, but did at least take the details. Thankfully, within an hour or two the owners turned up, so I handed their dog over after having lectured them on the need for identification. The rather lame excuse was that “she jumped the fence” – all the more reason for ID – and a higher fence! However, a few weeks later, the owners arrived at my house again – their dog had escaped once more and they thought I might have found it again! Had they heeded my advice about the ID tag the first time around, they might have got their dog back more quickly the second time!