I was reminded of the importance of having identification on your pets last Sunday when I was woken up by a person that had found two dogs. Both dogs had collars but neither dog had identification but looked well cared for. I do not have a microchip reader at my home, so I could only offer that the pets were brought in the next day to scan for microchips.
Spring thunderstorms can cause pets, especially dogs, to run, get loose and then get lost. There are many things to do to help pets cope with thunder and sound related phobia, but it takes time and training. In 2012 I wrote an article about noise phobias and anyone that has a dog that is afraid of loud noises, be it thunder, gunshots, fireworks (Fourth of July or during Seahawk games) it is worth reviewing.
I’m a self-proclaimed technophile and I love gadgets. My kitchen is full of items that are “As seen on TV!” So as I was thinking about locating lost pets, I went to the computer and started looking for ideas. I remembered recently seeing an advertisement in a veterinary journal for a device that goes on a dog collar called “Voyce.” I went to their website, envisioning a device that made the dog talk like in the movie “UP”, “I have just met you, and I love you!” Well, it turns out that isn’t exactly how it works. It’s more of a device that tracts the pet’s vital signs (respiration and heart rate), activity, rest and calories burned. I think it’s an interesting idea and might come in handy for pets with certain maladies. Then there is another device to be worn on the collar called “ TAGG,” this is a real-time GPS tracking device so you can locate your dog or cat if he tends to roam. It can even be programmed to send you alerts if your pet leaves its specified boundaries. Then there is a device called “Whistle” which I liken to a Fit Bit for your dog, tracking activity and rest. Motorola unveiled a device called the “Scout 5000.” It has a GPS and a camera, so you not only know where your dog is you can see what he is seeing. It also includes a speaker so you can talk to your dog. I can see myself saying to my dog Emerson, “Bad dog! Stop rolling in elk poo!”
All this gadgetry sounds fun, but the most useful forms of identification are something your pet wears. This way, whoever finds your pet, can contact you right away. My first Aussie, Sydney, aka the best dog ever, sadly developed a fear of loud noises as she aged. She would often run through our fencing if we didn’t have her safely secured when there was a thunderstorm. I found the very low tech solution of writing her name and my cell phone number on a nylon collar with a Sharpie. She had tags, but in her travels, they seemed to come off. Of course, all my pets have microchips, in case their collars also come off. But someone has to have a microchip reader to find it and contact me. I will say I have improved my low tech solution to where I now I have my pet’s names and my cell phone number embroidered into their collars.
We are full swing into our remodel and looking forward to the improvements that will help us serve our clients and patients better. We are planning a 50-year celebration in August – look for details in the near future. We still have free coffee and hot chocolate if you ever want to stop by and just say hi! I’m proud to be a sponsor of the Maple Valley Farmers’ Market again this year and we are excited to join Marie Page’s FFA group marching in the Maple Valley Days Parade. As usual, if you have any questions, feel free to contact me at [email protected] and visit our Facebook page or website; widernessvet.com.