Published on: April 10, 2019
Author: Kathy Pobloskie
Category: Pet Safety

Could it be true?  Has spring finally arrived?  After an extra cold, harsh winter in much of the country it is wonderful to see the first signs of warmer weather.  Longer daylight hours and milder temperatures give us the opportunity to spend some outdoor time with our pets. Spring is a good time to check your collar and id tag to make sure they are secure and legible. And don’t forget to check their microchip! (More on that below). Springtime “zoomies” mean dogs may be at risk for getting lost while they explore scents and sights they haven’t seen in a few months.

Here are some great facts about pets:

  1. Having a pet as a family member is more popular than ever in the U.S. According to the AVMA’s latest figures, nearly 57% of U.S. households had a pet at the end of 2016.  Dogs are the most popular pet with approximately 38% of households owning one or more dogs.  Cats are next and are found in 25% of U.S. households. All other species of pets (rabbits, ferrets, reptiles, etc.) make up 13%.
  2. The state with the highest percentage of pet ownership is Wyoming where 72% of households have a pet. West Virginia is next with 71%.  On the low end of the range is Rhode Island (45%) and South Dakota (46%).
  3. Looking for an easy way to start a conversation with someone?  Ask them about their pet! Based on the figures above there is a good chance that they have one.  People love to talk about their pets making it a sure-fire way to find common ground with a stranger who may become a new friend!  
  4. According to the AVMA dog owners are more likely to visit the vet than cat owners. When you do visit the vet ask them to scan your pet’s microchip to make sure it is functioning properly. Try to do this at least annually.  Then when you get home, login to your PetLink account to make sure everything is up to date. Have you moved recently? Or changed your telephone number or dropped your landline?  Keeping your microchip info current means you will be quickly reunited if your pet ends up in an animal control facility or shelter.
  5. The American Kennel Club (AKC) recently released their Top Ten Popular Dog Breeds for 2018.  For the 28th year in a row, the Labrador Retriever holds the top spot.  Following the Lab are: 2, German Shepherd Dog; 3, Golden Retriever; 4, French Bulldog; 5, Bulldog; 6, Beagle; 7, Poodle; 8, Rottweiler; 9, German Shorthaired Pointer; 10, Yorkshire Terrier. Do you own one of these popular breeds? If so, it is doubly important that you get your dog microchipped and keep everything current. Many of these dogs look similar to other dogs of the same breed so if they end up lost and in a shelter you want to make sure you are contacted as soon as possible to pick them up.  Even if your dog isn’t in the top ten list or is a one of a kind lovable mutt, make sure you take the extra step to keep them safe by keeping their microchip up to date and their id tags visible. You want to be enjoying your pet’s company for many years to come!

Get out and enjoy the nice weather and have a happy and safe spring!