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Discussion Starter #1
Not sure if this goes here so move if needed.

Can an older dog be tattooed? If so where do you go to do it and how much does it cost?
I've been hearing a lot about the microchips not being reliable due to vets not always scanning if a new dog comes in.I never understood the tattoos till I came here and looked at some of the new posts of lost dogs.Makes sense to tattoo instead.
 

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That's IF your animal control keeps track of tattoos. Mine doesn't. I sent in my dog's tattoo and microchip info. The confirmation I received has only his chip info on it. I guess their computer systems don't have fields for extra info like tattoos.

Do I like having my dog tattooed? Yes. It's a big obvious notice to anyone who thinks about stealing him that he's going to be easy to trace.

But also, as my vet and I once discussed, I've been going to them for 10 years and they like and trust me. If I brought in a new dog and told them I bought him, they'd never question it. Never ever in a million years. So what's to keep me from stealing a dog with a tattoo and passing him off as mine?

There'd be issues if I tried to register him with AKC, who has records of tattoos. But as long as I lay reasonably low, a tattoo isn't better "instead" of a chip.

Chips provide information if your dog gets lost. One phone call to the chip company and your phone number, address, alternative phone number (I have an out of area number in case of a local emergency), medical information (like, if your dog takes medicine) is provided to the person who has scanned your dog and calls (usually a vet or shelter).

I've found dogs that were chipped and tattoed. It was the chip that allowed me to return the dog home quickly and safely. I just brought them to a local vet. They made the phone call, and I brought the dog home -- in one case before the owner even realized that he was out wandering in traffic.

A tattoo doesn't do that.

For me, it's not either/or, but BOTH.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Athena is microchipped so we already have that protection.Isn't there a place a vet or AC worker can call in to look up the tattoo? We are in a small town so we really don't have animal control.I'm not positive but I think if someone doesn't pick the dog up themselves the police take it to the nearest rescue place 2 towns over from us.

How is the tattoo done? Is it like a human tatoo or different? What is the cost and where can some one get it done?
 

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On an older dog (like 5 months or older) the tattoo is done with a pen, I think on the stomach or thigh. I've heard that the clamp tats used on puppies are best used before the dog's ears stand b/c it's basically pushing a bunch of pins through the ear and could potentially damage cartilage.
 

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The microchip will provide owner info to anyone with a scanner and most places now have them. A tattoo will only allow you to prove the dog is yours; there is no place that keeps track of them. Outside of working dogs that are clamp tattooed very young in the ear, other dogs are tattooed on the inner thigh by a pen type tattoo.
 

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There are several national tattoo registries where you can register your dog's tattoo information.
However, to find your information if someone found your dog they would have to actually know about the registries, contact them, and actually contact the right one! On the plus side one of the registries NDR states right on their website that if someone calls them about a tattoo number and it is not registered with them, they will call all the other registries to try to find out where the tattoo is registered.

Also AKC's Companion Animal Recovery (CAR) program will register tattoos, but again the person who finds a dog would have to know to contact them. I did register my dog's microchip and tattoo with AKC CAR just to have an extra registry.

The Canadian Kennel Club I believe requires tattoos for all registered dogs (although I think they may accept microchips now instead, not sure.) So they do have a central, national registry of sorts in Canada.


Here is a list of tattoo registries:
http://www.lostdogsearch.com/links.htm
 
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