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32–35 Weeks: What to Expect From Your Puppy

Solve Your Pup's Stress with Tolerance Techniques :: A Guide to Puppy Hip Dysplasia and Treatments :: A Guide to More Advanced Obedience Training :: How to Keep Your Pet Safe with Microchipping and Tagging

How to Keep Your Pet Safe with Microchipping and Tagging

A lost puppy is a heart-wrenching experience. It's something all dog owners worry about. There are hundreds of thousands dogs who are lost in the U.S. every year. Some are lost because their owners let them roam, some because they are escape artists that no fence can hold in, some because they bolt past their owner and out an open door.

Certain breeds are more likely to get lost including hounds (they pick up and follow scents), Siberian Huskies (not only escape artists, they are bred to run and keep on running) and sight hounds (their eyesight is so good they can see prey far away). And puppies who are not neutered or spayed are much more likely to roam. Also, puppies at this age are particularly susceptible to distractions.

You can help prevent a lost puppy by providing a secure, enclosed yard (remember to place bricks or stones around the edge of a fence to discourage diggers), providing advanced obedience training and by watching your pup closely when any doors or windows are open. But even the most astute dog owner can lose a pup. Luckily, we have several modern options to help us find our lost pets.

Microchipping Your Pet

Many breeders and humane shelters offer the option of microchipping your pet before you take them home. Your vet can also microchip your dog at any age. A microchip is placed between a dog or cat's shoulder with a needle. Animals stay awake while it's done. It is about the size of a grain of rice so animals aren't aware they've been "chipped." The owner then registers the chip number. A microchip emits a radio wave that is picked up by a scanner. The micro chippers, vets, rescue center and animal wardens all have the scanner.

Pet Identification GPS Tracking Device

GPS Tracking Devices, about the size of a business card - are worn on your pet's collar. You can track your pet's location by calling or texting the device and get his exact location, and even directions.

Tagging Your Pet

Most municipalities require pet owners to license their pets and with that comes tags. In addition to these, most pet owners "tag" their pets with their name, address and phone number.

There are also lost pet alert services such as Dogster's Together Tag. When your pet is lost, this service notifies over 30,000 shelters and vets nationwide as well as all Together Tag members and participating Dogster/Catster members in your area.

We all think our dogs will come when called until that fateful day at the park when your pup takes off after a squirrel, oblivious to your frantic commands to return. If your puppy isn't microchipped or tagged or equipped with a GPS service, your chances of finding him are far less. This means your pup may spend a long time in a shelter, be adopted by a stranger, or be euthanized because he doesn't seem to have a home.

Remember, your puppy probably won't hang around the neighborhood for long and there's a chance someone will transport him far away in a car, even if they're just trying to find his home. The good news is that many dogs who have been lost for a long time, do find their way home because of a microchip, GPS system or tagging, like the pooch Brindle who, in 2009, after traveling 1300 miles, was returned to his family ten years later. Increase your chances of finding your puppy today!

Advice from Other Dog Owners 

How to Keep Your Puppy Off the Christmas Tree

Puppies should be supervised at all times. She or he should be crated while alone, leashed while you are around. Time to teach the "leave it" command. You will really mean it when you fear for the dogs safety! Baby gates might deter him - unless he's that curious kind that looks to defeat all confinement. If he's leashed it's easy to give a sharp leash correction if he goes near the tree. Put the tree up for a few days without trimming to get the dog used to it without risking fragile ornaments.

~Liz H., owner of German Shepherd mix

When Puppies Lose Their Teeth

Puppies have a full set of 28 milk teeth - 4 canines, 12 incisors and 12 molars. The incisors and canines grow in first, the molars last. At around three to four months of age, your dog is going to start losing milk teeth and growing in her adult set of teeth, which consists of a total of 42 teeth - a lot more than the puppy teeth she has. The first to fall out are going to be her incisors, her front teeth. She will start growing her adult incisors first. Around four to five months of age you will see her adult molars and canines to grow in. By about six months, she should have her full set of adult teeth.

~Chris & Brian C., owner of German Shepherd

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