Have you ever been driving or walking along and noticed a stray dog running down the street? The dog looks disheveled, thin and sad. You look to see if the dog has any identification and of course, like most strays, he doesn't. Unfortunately, this happens way too often, and is easily preventable.

It takes a couple of seconds to place an ID tag on your pet, and also a few seconds for your pet to become lost. Wouldn't you want the person who finds your animal wandering to call you? We see it all the time, flyers posted throughout the neighborhood, looking through the classified section of the newspaper; the long list of lost pets. It's so sad!

Every so often, we find ourselves at the local animal shelter putting flyers up of an animal we've found wandering around with no identification. What's sad is that in most cases, we know the animal lives somewhere in our neighborhood, but because of the lack of an ID tag, we have no way of reuniting the animal with his family. So we're forced to go to the animal shelter after trying unsuccessfully to find his parents.

Why is it so hard for some pet owners to take the time to put some form of ID on their pet? Now we understand that in some cases, the animal had an ID tag that was lost at some point during his wandering, however, these are not the pet owners we're referring to. We see it everyday in our own neighborhood, people walking their new puppy down the street without a collar or tag. Every time we do, we say to ourselves, "It's really gonna suck when that dog gets out of his yard and comes up missing."

With so many different ways to ID your pet, (a chip, ID tag, license, etc.) there's no excuse for your not taking the time to ID your pet. For goodness sake, they even have LoJack for pets now! Do you know how many animals are put to sleep each year because the pet owner didn't take the time to place an ID tag on them? The numbers are staggering!

I have a story to share that drives our point home in this regard. I came home one day to find that our dogs had gotten out of our yard. According to our neighbors, 3 of them headed off together down the street. By the time I arrived at home, all of them had made their way back home and had been secured back into our yard except for one...our dog Megan.

Now let me give you a little background on Megan. She came to us by way of an alleged puppy mill. We were up in Northern California visiting my parents and on the drive home, decided to stop at a McDonalds off the I5 freeway. While there, we noticed an old pickup truck with several cages on the back (piled on top of a bunch of junk). Inside the cages, we noticed about 5-6 puppies that appeared to be approximately 6-8 weeks old. These cages were so small that the puppies couldn't even stand up; not to mention the fact that the cages were also very dirty and smelly.

The "owner" was selling the puppies for $25 each. Unfortunately, we only had enough cash on us to purchase one of them, so we picked Megan for a couple of reasons: how poorly she appeared to be (she wasn't as active as the other puppies were despite their present living conditions) and the fact that, according to the "owner", she had been born with only half a tail. We found out later, after arriving home, that Megan had Parvo. With the help of our veterinarian, we spent the next two weeks working to save her life by keeping her hydrated.

Now let me tell you, she's a dream dog. She's a lab/pit mix (we think) and is the mellowest dog we've ever seen...well besides our Great Pyrenees of course. So, getting back to the story, Megan remains missing, so we're driving through the neighborhood looking for her. Now keep in mind that she has NEVER left the house on her own, as she is what one would consider a "homedoggy."

So my friend and I are driving around looking for her when my cellphone rings. Apparently, Megan had been found about a quarter of a mile away from our house. When the woman found her, her exact words were, "She walked up to me looking so sad as if to say please help me, I'm tired and lost!" Now Megan's a little on the chunky side and is extremely lazy, so this was probably the most exercise she'd had in weeks.

Fortunately, like all of our dogs, Megan was wearing her ID tag with my cellphone number on it. Imagine how happy we were to know that she was ok! You see, our pets are EXTREMELY important to us, so we absolutely insist on making sure all of them are wearing some form of identification. It's also equally important that the ID tag remains up-to-date. Now that last part is EXTREMELY important. After all, how can you expect to be reunited with your pet if you haven't kept your information on the tag current? Because we insisted on all of our dogs and our cats too, wearing updated ID tags, Megan was lost for less than an hour.

Now I'm sure you're wondering why I'm writing this article, so let me explain. If even one pet owner reads this article and ensures their pet(s) is wearing an up-to-date ID tag, then I've made a difference as a pet care provider; to educate the public on the importance of pet identification.

Imagine the pain and suffering that can be avoided by doing this one small task that makes the difference between losing your pet forever, or you and your pet remaining together for life! I love animals and cannot stand for them to suffer needlessly, so do yourself a favor and ensure your pet, your friend's pet, your mother's pet, your neighbor's pet, everyone you know with a pet, has proper identification!

(Visit us on www.hairoffthedogandcatstoo.com to order your pet ID tag today!)

Author's Bio: 

Tracy obtained her MA in Organizational Management in July 2004 and has been the administrative force behind getting Hair off the Dog (and Cats too) Mobile Grooming & Pet Supplies set up for business. When she is not busy helping her business partner Emily bathe animals, she spends her time answering the phone, setting appointments, working with clients, and handling all of the administrative needs of the business. This enables Emily to focus strictly on grooming her pet clients.

As a team, Emily and Tracy have managed to build Hair off the Dog (and Cats too) to a level where they have over 100 clients and 180 pets with appointments booked throughout the year.

With a virtual zoo at home, Emily and Tracy’s love for pets is evident, as they share their home with 5 dogs, 4 cats, and some fish.