How to identify your dog?

Posted on October 07 2018

How to identify your dog?

Tattoo and microchip are the two main means of identification for the dog. Having your dog identified is mandatory, but it is also very useful. Explanations ...

Identifying your dog is not only mandatory under the law, but is also practical in different situations such as loss , litigation , theft and accidents . There are two legal identification processes: the tattoo and the electronic chip .

Some animals have one or the other, others have both at the same time. Each of these two forms of identification has advantages and disadvantages. They refer to the information on the dog identification card , which must always be updated.

A compulsory step ...

Identifying your dog is first of all a legal obligation . Law No. 99-5 of 6 January 1999 stipulates that identification by microchip or tattoo is mandatory for all dogs over 4 months old living in France. It must also be systematically carried out in case of change of ownership , whether the animal has been given free or sold. This will also be required if you wish to drop off your companion on  board  and  travel abroad  with him.

... and useful for more than one reason

In addition to being mandatory, identifying your dog will be useful on many levels . It will allow you to prove that you are the holder of the animal in case of theft or litigation. The identification will also give you the opportunity to find your dog if he lost or in case of accident. With the tattoo or microchip, you will be quickly contacted by the veterinarian or shelter staff, for example, if they have been given. 

In addition, identification will be required if you want to provide health insurance to your pet .

Thanks to the identification, many people were able to trace their dogs, some even after several years of disappearance, as for Bella , this bitch who wandered for 5 years before being recovered by his family. 
Make sure that your puppy or dog is well equipped with one of the forms of identification that are the microchip and the tattoo. Let's see this last ...

Tattoo identification

In general, the tattoo is done with the dermograph, under general anesthesia and in the right ear of the animal. The main disadvantage of this mode of identification is therefore the need to put the dog to sleep, but it still has a significant advantage: lifetime visibility . However, some diseases or lesions can alter it, such as repeated ear infections that can cause the skin of the club to thicken.

The tattoo is durable, but also fast and easy to access . Just raise your ear to see it. It is still necessary that the dog is allowed to approach. The average price of tattoo under general anesthesia at the vet is around 66 euros .

Identification by microchip

Chip identification involves implanting a transponder under the dog's skin. The chip is very small - it is hardly bigger than a grain of rice - and is placed by means of a syringe at the level of the left jugular gutter (behind the left ear).

The installation of an electronic chip does not require anesthesia , except in dogs of small size, too agitated or aggressive. Detection of the device is done through a reader usually available to veterinarians, the police and the Gendarmerie or the staff of the shelters. Just pass this device over the neck of the dog so that a number appears on the screen.

This number is composed of 15 digits  : the first 3 correspond to the country (for France, it is the 250), the 2 following identify the species, the 2 following correspond to the manufacturer of the chip and the 8 last ones constitute the individual identifier of the animal.

Finally, know that since July 3, 2011, the chip identification is the only one that allows you to travel within the European Union with your dog. The price of implanting an electronic chip at the veterinarian is between 60 and 70 euros .

Identification card

This is, in practice, the dog's identity card. It shows the characteristics of your pet, as well as your coordinates .

The current model has 2 parts: a lower part that you must keep and an upper part to be transmitted to the Société Centrale Canine if there is a change (change of ownership, change of address ...).

It is important that the dog identification card is updated in the event of a change of keeper, new address or even telephone number. Thus, the central file will also be modified accordingly and the identification will be facilitated if necessary.

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