Pet Identification

The ABC’s of Pet IDs

Always keep an ID tag on your pet! This is one of the quickest ways to help your pet find his or her way back home.

Be safe! No single ID is fail-safe. Use more than one method of identification.

Chip your pet! Microchip your pet and keep your contact information current.

Collar ID Tags

Animal Hospital of North Asheville urges you to please ALWAYS keep an ID tag on your pet’s collar! It is one of the most important things you can do to keep your pet safe. Collar tags come in different forms and sizes and should be engraved with your name, address, and multiple phone numbers. Tags can be engraved with medical alerts and microchip number as well. They are easily available at pet stores or online. Be sure to keep all your information current on the tag, and make sure the tag remains readable as even engraved tags can become too worn to read. Do not rely on a rabies tag as the only form of identification because tracing the rabies number is often difficult and the information may not be updated.


Collar ID tags allow immediate identification by finder and a quick return of your pet. Are clearly visible and immediately establish your pet as belonging to you.

Keep in mind:

Collars can fall off or be taken off, and tags can wear to point of becoming unreadable. Choose a breakaway collar when you are selecting a collar for a cat’s ID tag. Break away collars prevent your cat from getting hung on brush or trees. Even indoor cats should wear a collar and an ID tag at all times.


Microchips are rice grain-sized computer chips etched with a unique ID code that can be read by special scanners. The chip is placed under the pet’s skin (usually between the shoulder blades) with a hypodermic needle, very similar to a regular vaccination. You can have a microchip placed under the skin of your pet during any appointment at Animal Hospital of North Asheville. After having the chip implanted or immediately after adopting a previously microchipped pet, be sure to register your information with the manufacturer of the chip. If you have adopted a pet and are not sure if the pet has a microchip or you need the information on the chip, we will be happy to scan your pet at no charge.  Also, contact the company to ensure that all your contact information is linked to the chip. It is also a good idea to have friend or family member information linked to the chip as an alternate contact in case you cannot be reached (ex. if you are on vacation).

Please be sure your pet has a microchip! Know your microchip brand and always keep your contact information up to date with the microchip company! If you have lost your pet's microchip information, we will scan the chip at no cost to you at any time.


  • A microchip is a permanent, unique form of ID that establishes the pet as belonging to you.
  • A microchip allows you to prove ownership.
  • Your contact information can easily be updated.
  • Many people bring found pets in to veterinarians to be scanned free of charge and the pet is returned before reaching a shelter.
  • If your pet ends up in a shelter, your pet will be scanned for a microchip and returned to you.

Keep in mind:

The finder has to bring the pet to a shelter or veterinarian to be scanned for a microchip. Some of the old scanners cannot detect all chips, but fortunately all scanners being made now are universal scanners.

Be aware of the type of microchip registration plan you have with a company. Some have lifetime registration, while others have annual renewal of registration.

Following the ABC of pet identification gives your pet the best chance of being returned home if they are lost or have escaped. Animal Hospital of North Asheville urges you to have your pet microchipped, keep the information current, and keep an ID tag on his or her collar at all times.