“My cat has a collar and tag – why does he need a tattoo?”

I look to the animal shelters and SPCA filled with stray animals. Many of these animals had collars and tags….but they do not arrive with them. Collars can fall off, get hooked on a branch, break the clasp (or have it open with the newer quick release collars). Any of these can leave your pet without identification and on the receiving end of a quick trip to the SPCA. The first thing they do is look for tattoos or microchips. These are the most failsafe ways to ensure that your pet arrives back home to you.

Nobody expects to lose their pet, yet it happens all too often.A great number of those animals lost or stolen never make it back home.
To maximize the chance of having your beloved pet returned, we strongly recommend you have him/her tattooed or micro-chipped, or even both.There are advantages to both programs and really no disadvantages to either.


A series of numbers and letters are tattooed in the right ear while the animal is under heavy sedation (most often while they are anesthetized for their spay or neuter). Each Care Pet Wellness Group hospital participates in a province wide tattoo registration program, coordinated by the BCVMA.
  • Advantages: Tattoos are visible to anyone who looks for them but unfortunately can fade over time.
  • Disadvantages: The tattoos are specific to the hospital where the tattoo is done. Therefore if you move, you need to update your contact information with your new vet.


In this case your pet would have a tiny microchip (encased in a bio-medical capsule about the size of a grain of rice) implanted with a specialized needle just under the loose skin between the shoulder blades.(Most animals do not require sedation for this procedure.)
  • Advantages: This microchip can then be scanned by any animal shelter or veterinary office and the encoded information entered into a data base to trace the pet back to its owner. The data base is North America wide and covers much of Europe as well.
  • Disadvantages: Slightly more expensive than tattoos