Identification for your puppy

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Your puppy's ID

As we mentioned, it is the law for your puppy to be microchipped and to wear a tag on his collar with your contact details clearly displayed. However, there are other steps you can take to ensure your puppy's safe return if he gets lost. For more information see article on Microchipping.

Some dog owners opt for their pet to be tattooed, usually on the inside of a rear leg or ear, but nowadays, microchipping is considered the effective way of permanently linking pets to their owners, greatly increasing the chances of having them returned should they get lost, or stray or stolen.

Most puppies can be microchipped when they reach eight weeks of age. The tiny 'chip' can be implanted painlessly under your puppy's skin; the chip won't normally move, and it can't be seen, but it can be read by a scanner. Your puppy's microchip has its own unique code which, along with your details, is put on the national PetLog database. This scheme is a foolproof way of identification, wherever a dog is found. A one-off payment of around £20 will get your puppy onto the PetLog database for life.

If you'd like to find out more about microchipping, your vet will be happy to advise you.

And if you do lose your puppy?

Perish the thought that you should lose your new puppy, but better to think the unthinkable than be ill prepared. It goes without saying that losing your pet is bound to be a very stressful time, but even the best cared for pet can get lost or stolen. Home-loving pets are especially vulnerable because they won't know their way around the local area.

Of course, many dogs can, and do, find their own way home, but if your pet goes missing, you should take immediate action. Your puppy should be wearing his ID tag, so the police or local authority are likely to return him to you. But if they don't, give the police or your Local Authority Dog Warden a detailed description and a contact number. Also, get in touch with local kennels and animal rescue centres, they may have your puppy, and you can look them up in your local phone book. Finally, it has been known that a well-meaning person might've taken your puppy in, so put up posters in your locality; in shops, libraries, supermarkets and your vet surgery.

You could also consider getting in touch with Animal Search UK, which is a nationwide network of volunteers who'll look out for your pet. You can contact them here.