A missing pet is the nightmare of every pet owner. When a pet is missing, they will most likely be reunited with their owner if they are identified with a tattoo or a microchip. What do you know about both of these methods?


Pets don’t need to be under general anaesthesia to get tattooed since the process is painless. Veterinarian or tattooist first shave and clean the area (usually the right ear or the inside of the thigh). Then, they apply a layer or Vaseline and start to tattoo a serial of numbers and letters with a tattoo machine. Pets are not tattooed as deep as humans, and that’s why there is no bleeding and it’s painless.

The biggest advantage of pet’s tattoo is that it is immediately noticeable. If someone finds your pet and brings it to a shelter or veterinarian, a professional will be able to know very quickly that it is yours. However, tattoos fade with years and might become unreadable, especially if your pet has had several ears infections. Also, tattooing a pet is cheap (around £25 in the UK).

The main drawback of tattoos is if you are travelling with your pet. Since July 2011, tattoo identification is not enough to cross a border inside the European Union. Pets must have a microchip. However, pets that have been tattooed before July 2011 can still travel if their tattoo is readable; except in Ireland, Malta, Sweden and the United Kingdom.


Microchips are as big as a grain of rice. Veterinarians set the microchip under the pet skin with a needle. Thanks to a scanner, professionals such as vets, shelter members, or policemen are able to read the information on the microchip.

Unlike a tattoo, microchip data are indelible and tamper-free. Plus, they are easy to read even if your pet is agitated. Also, data is readable internationally.

The major problem of microchips is that they are not noticeable. Most of people won’t have the reflex of bringing a lost pet to a veterinarian to read its microchip because they don’t see it. To counter this, you can add to your pet’s collar a tag saying does have a microchip.

British government announced that micro-chipping of dogs will be mandatory in April 2016. You still can choose the way you want to identify your cat and until 2016, your dog too.

Well, you are now ready to choose between the 2 ways of identifying your beloved pet. Don’t forget to keep your data up to date in case you move or change your phone number. In addition, a name tag with your phone number is an efficient way to find your animal if it is lost in the neighbourhood.

Photo credit : Yummypets 

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