How Is Your Pet Identified?

What happens if your cat gets out of the house? What happens when you’re on vacation and your dog runs away? What happens when your pet is lost and you’re looking for them? These problems happen every day and a lot of pets never find their way home due to a lack of identification! Many animals in the SPCA had a home but without identification, they remain there and can’t find their way back to their owners.

Importance of Tattoos & Microchips

When a lost pet comes into Lomsnes Veterinary Hospital or the SPCA the first thing we look for is a tattoo or microchip so we can contact the owners right away. It’s always a good idea to have a tag with your pet’s name and your phone number, but not all animals wear their collars every day in the house. Your pet may also have their collar on but when they escape it can come off and then what happens?

Tattoo Identification

If your pet receives a tattoo it goes in their right ear and all their information is stored at the vet clinic where their tattoo was performed. All vet clinics and rescue organizations have a list of each vet clinics tattoo letters specific to them. They will call the clinic to get your phone number, and once you are contacted you get reunited with your pet. Tattoos are considered provincial so if you and your pet stay within Alberta a tattoo is a great form of identification.

Microchip Identification

A microchip is a small device about the size of a grain of rice that is implanted under the skin of your pet by our veterinarians. It contains a number that is registered specifically to identify your pet. It is not a locating device; it has to be read by a microchip scanner at a veterinary hospital or animal shelter. A microchip is considered international, which means if you plan on travelling out of Alberta with your pet this is the best form of identification. It’s easily implanted and then you have the comfort of knowing if your pet gets lost someone will scan them and get your information.

Keeping Information Current

With tattoos and microchips, you must keep your information current. This means if you move or change your phone number that you update the microchip company and your vet clinic. This ensures that if your pet gets lost you can be contacted.

Ensuring Pet Safety

When your animal comes into Lomsnes Veterinary Hospital to get spayed or neutered, we include a tattoo in the procedure so they have a form of identification and at this time we will also discuss a microchip. Your pet should never go home without one or the other! They can escape from your backyard, jump out of your car, or run away when you are camping. This is when a tattoo or microchip is critical for returning your pet safe and sound to you.

Transfer of Ownership

If you adopt an animal from the SPCA or even buy a pet from a breeder they may have a tattoo or microchip, as the new owner you must ensure the tattoo or microchip information gets transferred to you.


When your pet is lost it’s a very scary situation. But with the help of identification you can get your pet home safely. The more identification your pet has the better chance it has to get home to you. Contact Lomsnes Veterinary Hospital if you have any questions about identification for your pet.