Greyt Inspirations Life

A little about our life, our business and our pets. www.greytinspirations.com

Track your lost dog

If you have any dollars left after your Christmas shopping there’s a dog product I’ve seen advertised that sounds like it could be a lifesaver.  It’s called Zoombak and it’s a a GPS device worn by your dog that works from a satellite.  (I know — very high tech.)

 

 

 

Lost dog poster.  Flickr

Lost dog poster. Flickr

According to the Zoombak web site your dog wears the collar with the device all the time.  The device contains a rechargeable battery that lasts about five days on standby or for 150 location requests.  In order for the Zoombak device to work you have to sign up for the monthly service plan with the company.  They send you reminders to recharge the battery when the signal gets low.  If your dog should happen to get lose and become lost the company uses the satellite to track your dog’s collar device and let you know his position.  They can tell you where your dog is on a map, in real time.  You will receive text or e-mail alerts with his location.  They say the Zoombak is small, lightweight and water resistant (it’s only 2.5 ounces).  And, the company claims to provide 24/7 customer support.

 

 

The product is recommended for dogs over 15 pounds.  The price is $199.99 plus the monthly service plan ($9.99-14.99 per month).

 

Of course the drawback is that if your dog ditches his collar or if he’s stolen and someone removes his collar the company would be unable to track him.  But for the typical lost dog who keeps his collar on Zoombak could help many owners bring their dogs safely home if it works as described.

 

Zoombak isn’t meant to replace your dog’s identification.  Things like ID tags and microchips (if you’re so inclined), are still necessary in case your dog is picked up by a Good Samaritan or by animal control.  Collars, even collars with GPS devices, can be switched around, so your dog needs to have some kind of permanent ID, whether it’s a microchip or a tattoo.  Despite a few bad stories about microchips moving around or causing reactions at the point of entry, the overwhelming majority of pets who receive microchips have no problems with them.  I will say that there are a number of people who object to them on moral and ethical grounds and I think their objections are to be respected.  They don’t like the idea of essentially barcoding pets, anymore than they like the idea of injecting microchips into people.

 

If you have objections about microchips, either ethical objections or worries about a health reaction, then tattooing your dog is a good option.  You will need to find a name and number of some kind so that people will be able to contact you if they should pick up your pet.  Phone numbers change.  There are multiple registries so if you use a registration number of some kind people may not know what it is or who to contact.  If you register your dog with one of the pet recovery services, such as Companion Animal Recovery, you can use their phone number.  Or you could use your vet’s phone number if you think they will know your dog and be able to contact you.  Or, you may come up with some other idea for a good tattoo as ID for your dog.  Be sure to place the tattoo where it will be visible even if your dog is lost for several weeks.  Lost dogs often look very different than they do at home.  They may be dirty and shaggy and not look like any recognizable breed.  Many people place a tattoo on the inner thigh where it is most likely to be seen.

 

It’s a good idea to have your dog wear a collar with tags as a precaution.  I know some people have concerns about dogs catching their collars on a fence and choking, and they don’t like their dogs to wear collars at home for other reasons, but the fact is that your dog is in much greater danger if he gets loose and has no identification.  Microchips and tattoos are useful IDs, but nothing beats the old-fashioned collar and tags.  They’re easily seen and as soon as someone sees them they know a dog has an owner.  You can put your name and current phone number/address on a tag.  Anyone picking up your dog can contact you right away.

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December 29, 2008 - Posted by | dogs, Pets | , , ,

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