Your Dog's Information
and Records
Will Help Reunite You

You don't head to work without the information and records you need to prove who you are.

You carry your driver's license, insurance and registration, health insurance numbers, and other identification. You also take contact and allergy/medical information in case an emergency arises and you're unable to speak.

If you and your dog have to abandon your home due to a disaster threat, you both need documents and identification. Below are the types of information and records you'll need for your dog.

On Your Dog

Your dog needs some type of identification on him at all times. The best forms can't be removed. Micro chipping and tattooing are permanent methods you can use to provide identification for him.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has this to say about micro chipping your dog:

The ASPCA supports the use of microchip identification systems for companion animals. When combined with visible ID tags on a pet's collar, they constitute the most reliable system for the recovery of lost or stray companion animals.

Most vet offices and animal shelters will microchip your dog.

Some cities now offer reduced rates on licensing if your dog is micro chipped and spayed/neutered.

Be sure they give you a tag for the collar that indicates your dog has a microchip.

Dog tattoos are used by many breeders. Unfortunately, they are painful to the dog, and require sedation or anesthesia.

Tattoos are found on the inside of the ear or on the inner part of the rear thigh.

Remember that a microchip or tattoo is almost worthless if you don't keep your contact information updated in the database.

Most microchip companies have web sites where you can update your information online, free of charge. Ask your vet or animal shelter staff for the database web address for their microchip supplier.

You should also have at least one dog tag on your dog's collar.

If your municipality requires you to license your dog, they'll give you a tag. Unfortunately, these tags are not personalized, so after a major emergency, the information may not be available for days or even weeks, delaying your reunion.

Many pet stores take orders for personalized tags, or you can order one (or more) online.

In Your Evacuation Kit

Your dog's medical information and records, including copies of his vaccination certificates, should go into a waterproof resealable plastic bag.

Most vet offices, shelters, kennels and boarding operations will not accept your dog without proof that he has had his shots.

Also prepare several photos of your dog. Write his identifying features, any medical requirements, and his name on the back of each photo so that you can hand them out to rescue agencies and animal hospitals.

If your dog wanders off and loses his collar, this may be the only method you have of getting him back.

I recommend that you write on the back of each photo that your dog has had his rabies vaccination. People might be less reluctant to approach him if they know he's had his shot.

Some dogs get a foamy mouth if they've exerted themselves too much and haven't had water.

In an emergency situation, this scenario is a possibility, so a little thinking ahead could get you and your dog back together.

With You

Keep a photo of your dog in your wallet or purse. Have his identifying features written on the back.

Also keep a note in your wallet or purse informing others that you have a dog at home, in case you are unable to get home for any reason.

Without up-to-date information and records, your dog may be refused shelter. And if he has no identification, it's possible that you'll never be reunited.

Invest the time it takes to collect the information and records you need so that this never happens.