Help Your Dog Return Home
Oftentimes we hear of ones who have found a pet wearing a collar without I.D. tags. Many of these pets are never reunited with their owners. "Black dog wearing blue collar." Would YOU know how to go about finding it's owner? Make certain this never happens to YOUR pet. Put your contact information on your pet's collar.
Here's what you will need:
1) A nylon collar with no design (blank). If possible, choose a neon color since they are bright and easily seen.
3) Fabric Paint
Here's how to do it:
Adjust the collar to your dogs neck size before writing on it. Make sure it fits appropriately. An easy way to check is to put TWO fingers beneath his collar. If it is less than that, then the collar is too tight. There must be enough room so that when your dog lies down he is not being choked.
Lay the collar on a flat surface and using a PENCIL write your phone number (area code included) in numbers as large as possible. You will notice that the spacing will not look even until you put the collar back on the dog. If you have purchased the wider nylon collar, your phone number should easily be seen from a distance. This is helpful if you have a dog that others may be afraid to approach because of their looks and/or size.
Once you are happy with the spacing and see that all of the numbers are visible, use Fabric Paint in a color that is highly visible against the color of the collar.
For example: Duke's collar is RED so I bought YELLOW fabric paint to use on his collar. Even from a distance people ask "Is his name Duke?" I have both his name and our phone number on the collar. Of course, smaller collars may only be able to hold the phone number but it is still important to have it on there.
Fabric paint can be purchased in the crafts section at Wal-Mart or Michaels or any crafts store and is inexpensive. Mine cost .99 for a small easy to use squeeze tube. After writing on two different collars, I still have plenty left over for others. Look for fabric paints labeled "Liquid Embroidery," "Three-Dimensional" or "Puff Paint." Choose fabric paints that come in small squeeze bottles with fine applicator tips. Fabric paint can even be purchased in Glow-in-the-Dark colors.
Paint directly from the bottle to the collar, tracing over the pencil lines. Allow to dry for at least 24 hours before using. This paint is wonderful since the collar can be laundered again and again without it ever peeling off. Before laundering wait until the paint has dried for at least 72 hours.
This simple idea can be a real lifesaver for your dog! Monogrammed collars while great looking do not hold up like the fabric painted ones. This collar of Duke's is two years old and not in the best shape but the fabric paint has held up nicely and is still easy to read. You can also see that spacing will not be even because of buckles and loops on the collar.
I.D. tags along with name tags can and often do get caught on other objects and are lost. As long as your dog has on his collar with your phone number (mobile number is best), the chances of him being returned increase tenfold.
True story (October 2, 2006): We were out of state with two of our dogs, Duke and Rowdy. Daily we would take them to the woods or a field for exercise. They would usually make a big circle and come back to our vehicle totally exhausted within 10-15 minutes. Before we left for home, we let them run again but this time they did not come back.
I received a phone call on my cell phone about 30 minutes later from a woman whose property they had wandered up onto. They were about a mile or so from where we had let them out. We never would have found them on our own, being unfamiliar with the area. And our dogs would not have been able to find us once we left to go searching for them.
Duke & Rowdy are safely back home now because their collars were clearly marked with my cell phone number. A home phone number on their collars would not have been useful out of state.
Consider putting your cell phone number on your dogs collar. As long as he keeps his collar on, your information is clearly visible to others and increases his chances of being safely returned.
If you do not have fabric paint, use a Sharpie Permanent Marker. The color is washable and will last a long time.
Sharpie website19, 2012