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Tattoo or Microchip?

Marcha
November 17th, 2009, 08:57 PM
What are YOUR experiences regarding tattoos or microchips for dogs? We're researching (so we're finding the pros/cons from a technical perspective) but would like to hear personal experiences and opinions of either.

aslan
November 17th, 2009, 09:03 PM
personally i would say microchip, my qman has both tho. I figure if someone finds my dog and wants to keep him tho, doesn't matter which he has. They can also take a nose print, like our fingerprints.

doggy lover
November 17th, 2009, 09:06 PM
I've had my dogs microchipped, its a lot easier just one needle and its done..Tucker was done when he was fixed so he didn't even feel it..I have heard that when a dogs ears it tattooed that people have cut off the dogs ear to remove the tattoo, now I don't know if its true but with some undesirable breeders who knows if they would steal a puppy and do this, wouldn't surprise me.

mona_b
November 17th, 2009, 09:41 PM
Mine has both...He has the breeders tattoo (not ear. Inner thigh)..When I got him at 12 weeks I had him chipped.. He didn't feel a thing..:).He's 13 1/2 and the chip still works..My cats are chipped too....:D.

doggy lover, i too have heard this..They would actually crop the ears to get rid of the tattoo..When it's in the ear, it's closer to the outer part...That's why many breeders do it on the inner thigh.

Etown_Chick
November 17th, 2009, 11:42 PM
Microchips enable the pound to instantly ID your pet if it happens to end up there. Tattoos wear off or smear. Scruff has a microchip.

Chaser
November 17th, 2009, 11:46 PM
I would do both if possible....Chase got chipped one year ago and at his last annual exam it took the vet more than 10 minutes to find the stupid thing it had travelled so far from where it was inserted. Kailey's has moved a lot too :wall:

Marcha
November 18th, 2009, 01:18 AM
Thanks everyone (and keep 'm coming too, please).

The chip moving around - Good point.

Stupid question perhaps, but a tat on the inner thigh, doesn't hair get in the way of visibility?

kathryn
November 18th, 2009, 10:18 AM
The brand of chips I have the most experience with are 24petwatch chips. I've never had an experience with them moving. I've also implanted many chips myself and I prefer them. The other chips I have experience with are AVID microchips. They are good as well, no experience with them moving, BUT, they are much harder to insert. It may just depend on the kind we use, and may be different where you live, but I also have SUCH an issue getting them under the skin. Other people I work with have the same experience. They are just awkward to use and I would never be able to use an microchip an awake animal with an AVID chip. I really don't even want to do it when they are sleeping :eek:

24petwatch chips are generally cheaper and I like their online features. You can register online and get updates to your email on new features and things like that. You also get to create a pet profile online and upload a picture of your pet.

I have seen some tattoos on pets, but generally they are useless. No one really looks for them anymore. I wish I had this picture a vet showed me where he went to do surgery on a cat and when they shaved it's stomach they found a HUGE tattoo across it. It said something about having a microchip and the number... it turns out the number tattooed on it didn't match it's actual chip number!

But yeah, tattoos are sort of outdated at this point. You really don't see them unless you know where to look. Also you can constantly update the information on your pets microchip and it's fairly common for people to scan for chips anymore.

Chris21711
November 18th, 2009, 10:25 AM
I would go with microchipping....they do move around though, but if the person scanning does the job properly then they will have no problem finding it......My daughter who works at the OSPCA once found the chip had moved to one of the forelegs of a Pittie, it saved her life :D......(BSL in Ontario :wall:)

JanM
November 18th, 2009, 10:27 AM
Our cat was microchipped but when we moved from one province to another, we found that the microchip readers in the new province couldn't read his chip - since then we've gone to tattoos.

Love4himies
November 18th, 2009, 10:28 AM
Rose and Sweet Pea have both, and their tattoo is readable, Jasper just has a microchip. The only advantage of having a tattoo is that shelters have an instant visual ID that this pet was probably once loved. Puddles has a tattoo that you can't read and haven't gotten her microchipped because of her age.

Chris21711
November 18th, 2009, 10:32 AM
Our cat was microchipped but when we moved from one province to another, we found that the microchip readers in the new province couldn't read his chip - since then we've gone to tattoos.

That's weird JanM, they are suppose to be universal readers :confused:

kathryn
November 18th, 2009, 01:52 PM
That's weird JanM, they are suppose to be universal readers :confused:

It really all depends :shrug: Universal scanners cost more. Most shelters are supplied with a scanner from the company who's microchips they choose to use, and occasionally the scanner may not pick up on a lesser known brand of chips.

Generally speaking, the 3 most common chips are AVID, Homeagain and 24petwatch and all those companies scanners are interchangeable and will read on the same frequency.

boxerlover2008
November 18th, 2009, 02:17 PM
Stella has the tattoo from her breeder. It's on her inner thigh as well. I can't imagine it being on her ear, as they are pretty thin. I think it all depends on the area, but I'm not sure if all vets/shelters have micro chip scanners? Here's a picture of Stella's

Since she's white and doesn't have much fur on her belly, it's easily noticed, well aside from her freckles :D

Marcha
November 18th, 2009, 02:22 PM
That's a good thought, BoxerLover. Would it be useful for me to call the most nearby shelters, vets and hospitals to ask if they have a m/c scanner? Or are the vast majority of them equipped with this scanner now?

mona_b
November 18th, 2009, 07:26 PM
Stupid question perhaps, but a tat on the inner thigh, doesn't hair get in the way of visibility?

Not a stupid question..:)

It would depend on the breed..Some have more hair and some don't...With my dog(GSD), his fur is very light on his inner thighs.

I have seen some tattoos on pets, but generally they are useless. No one really looks for them anymore

I wouldn't say they were useless..Not only do they have the breeders name, but it has the owners info also..If a purebred(looks like one)is found, they do look for a chip AND a tattoo.

Equla
November 18th, 2009, 07:58 PM
That's interesting. Our Chi/Terrier mix came from a pet store...

Side story: Yes, I know it's horrible that we purchased a dog from a pet shop. My hubby took the kids to pet some puppies. We were pre-dog at the time and didn't know if we were ever going to get one. The kids love dogs, so he would take them to visit with friends' dogs or to a pet store. Anyway, Miko was incredibly shy and wouldn't talk to anyone. Severe lack of socialization and possible inbreeding. He cowered in his cage whenever anyone came near him. Dear Hubby walked by the cage and Miko perked up! He immediately took to my husband (Jeff). When Jeff told me later that night about what happened, I told him he had to go back and get the puppy. Since Miko picked him, and probably wouldn't warm up to anyone else (not the cutest chi... he's huge and mixed, I think), that Miko was destined to be ours. Sorry for the side note... just didn't want to get flamed for getting a dog at a pet store.

Anyway, since he came with papers and all that, so was at least thought to be purebred, why wouldn't he have a tattoo as well? He came microchipped, but I think the pet shop did that. Just curious...

boxerlover2008
November 19th, 2009, 09:25 AM
Marcha, I guess it'd be best to call around your area and ensure they are equipped with the scanners, and see if they are specific to a certain brand of chips or all?

Equla; As per the CKC, all purebred dogs need to be either microchipped or tattooed. Not sure how it is in the states.

My thinking is, unfortunately a lot of people do not know about microchips and scanners... The tattoo is something people can notice right away.

Aside from the tattoo, I also have her license and her rabies tag registered to us, so hopefully we are safe in case something were to ever happen.

Marcha
November 19th, 2009, 12:10 PM
I will call around and ask the various hospitals and shelters and the CRD if and what kind of scanners they have.
And yes, we have the rabies tag, the licence and a regular name tag that all have phone numbers on it, so if her collar is on, the tags should be the first resource.

Gail P
November 19th, 2009, 03:43 PM
That's interesting. Our Chi/Terrier mix ...

...since he came with papers and all that, so was at least thought to be purebred

Chi/Terrier mix does not equal purebred no matter what kind of "papers" you may have been supplied with. A purebred is a purebred, meaning it is only of one breed and is registered with the appropriate registry for where you live (Canadian Kennel Club, American Kennel Club etc.) There are other registries that will provide papers for mixed breed puppies, which basically just allows puppy millers to better market their pups.


From what I've seen of tatoos, the ones in the ear are more clearly read than the ones on the belly or inner thigh. The skin in the ear does not stretch as much as the other areas, so it remains easy to read. The other can become blurred as the pup grows, to the point that it can be difficult to distinguish. My two old collies had ear tatoos that were easily read their whole lives.

Melei'sMom
November 19th, 2009, 04:10 PM
I have Melei chipped and the kitties will be chipped soon I hope.
I don't like the idea of tattooing an animal, but that is up to individual owners. I just think that microchipping is less invasive.

Equla
November 19th, 2009, 04:58 PM
Chi/Terrier mix does not equal purebred no matter what kind of "papers" you may have been supplied with. A purebred is a purebred, meaning it is only of one breed and is registered with the appropriate registry for where you live (Canadian Kennel Club, American Kennel Club etc.) There are other registries that will provide papers for mixed breed puppies, which basically just allows puppy millers to better market their pups.

Oh, I know. I took one look at him and knew the papers were false. We plan to get the blood test done to see exactly what's in the mix with him. I have never seen a chi weigh 25 pounds... I know it can happen, but hes a little funky shaped too.

Sib.HuskyMom
November 19th, 2009, 08:52 PM
My sibes are both microchiped.
When I was younger, my parents had a black toy poodle and he was tattooed.
His ears were so little, that they had half the number in one ear, and the rest in the other ear.

Unfortunately, as the years passed on, his tattoo became so faded that it was virtually unreadable.
Mind you, that was quite a few years ago, so perhaps they use a different ink product now that stands up better?