Tattoos Are a Great Alternative to Microchipping

Posted by Allie Layos
Labrador Forums

Instead of microchipping your pet, you may want to consider a permanent tattoo.

I.D. tags have long been used for pet identification, and microchipping has gained popularity in recent years, but there is a third lesser-known alternative to pet identification -- tattoos -- that may provide the best of both worlds.

The genius of using tattoos as an identification method is two-fold. A tattoo can't fall off like a tag, but doesn't introduce a foreign object into your pet's body like microchipping does. And, since there have been a number of documented cases of animals developing tumors at the microchip injection site, it is a method that some concerned pet owners may prefer.

Sechelt Animal Hospital
Sechelt Animal Hospital

Pets are usually tattooed on the ear flap, stomach, or inner leg, but if your pet is particularly furry the ear flap will be the best location. While tattooing can be done at a dog club or other organization with a qualified individual, it is best performed at a veterinary office under anesthesia, or at least a local anesthetic.

Animal shelter employees know to look for tattoos, and federal law does not permit laboratories to use tattooed dogs. Still, the tattoo doesn't do much good unless you register it.

The registry can assign you a code to have tattooed on your pet, or you can use a number that will remain the same your entire life, like your social security number (though this could cause its own set of problems). If your phone number doesn't change frequently, this may be a better choice. And, of course, anytime your address or contact information changes, be sure to let the registry know.

Human tattoos are fun and full of self-expression, but a pet tattoo could actually save a life.

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Tattoos Are a Great Alternative to Microchipping