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Tattooing your dog - No, not for fun


Dog Tattoos  

18 members have voted

  1. 1. Would you tattoo your dog specifically in reference to spay/neuter indication?

    • Yes, he/she is tattooed (or at least one of my dogs is).
      5
    • Maybe, I would consider it.
      10
    • No, never!
      3
  2. 2. Would you tattoo your dog specifically in reference to a microchip indication?

    • Yes, I would definitely do it.
      3
    • Maybe, I'd have to look into it.
      12
    • No, never!
      3


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The microchip thread got me thinking and wondering about different perspectives on this.

 

Calypso has a tattoo on her belly from her spay surgery that was done when she was a puppy (Yes, I know that's a whole other conversation...we didn't have a choice, that's how the shelter where she came from is working to control the stray dog population. Nobody leaves their doors without being spayed/neutered).

 

Calypso's tattoo is a mint green line on the bald part of her belly. I think they just added some ink to the incision so as it healed, it became a tattoo. It's about 3/4 inch in length and it's never bothered her. According to the shelter, it's an easy way for the vets to recognize whether an animal in intake is already spayed. Most often females, but I believe they also do it for males just in case it's hard to tell.

 

On that note, would anyone consider getting their dog a microchip tattoo? Something like the word "microchipped" on the exposed part of the belly near the spay/neuter incision? It seems like a good idea to me because all (all, right??) vets will check a dog's belly when they come in, it's visible and eye-catching, and it could remind/indicate that the dog is chipped.

 

I wouldn't put anything identifying such a phone number since those change, or even the microchip number itself because those can change too. But something generic that the dog has for life sounds like a reasonable idea. Now note, I'm not going to go ask the vet to tattoo Cal but I am wondering if it was an option in the future, would you be interested?

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Tansy also has a green line tattoo from her spay at the shelter.

 

I think it's a brilliant idea. If it saves even one dog from being anesthetized and cut open only to discover she's already been spayed (and, yes, it happens), it's worth it IMO.

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I looked into tattooing as identification, as there is a database for ID tattoos as well. The big issue is still the same of someone saying 'I put that there, so there is no reason to check their chip.' A not so great vet would listen and ignore the tattoo. Which is the same kind of vet not scanning new animals for microchips unless requested to do so.

 

Everything I found said its best to have all the bases covered it you are super concerned. A tattoo, a microchip, and a tag would be ideal, but even then nothing guarantees your animal would find its way back if someone is dead set on keeping them.

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My dog has a tattoo on his inner thigh with his litter ID from his CBCA papers. It's not easy to read and has been overgrown with hair, so I would not rely on it being a good id system.

 

But I do think tattooing spay scars is a great idea and should always be done.

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My vet also routinely gives all dogs that she neuters a little green line. It is a great idea. She told me that the tattoo is becoming a routine part of the spay procedure. The vet just does it.

 

I found a hunting hound wandering my property about 6-7 years ago. Dead of the winter, about 15 degrees at night. She had been wandering for almost a week according to my neighbors. Poor girl had been eating rough - pine needles, leaves, and ?? as evidenced by her poop. I did find a space for her at a local no-kill shelter, but I had to agree to vet her. Surprisingly, when they cut her open, the vet discovered she had already been spayed. A little green tattoo line would have saved her from surgery.

 

I don't think a belly tattoo indicating a microchip would be useful. Maybe if it is in the ear, but even then, why not tattoo the microchip # in the ear if you are tattooing anyway. I don't think vets will check the belly for a tattoo indicating a microchip. It is much easier just to wave the reader, plus for a really hairy dog, they might have to shave the belly to get a good look at the belly.

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I have seen many female dogs with the green line and think that is a great idea to identify a spayed dog.

 

I don't see how tattooing a microchip # on a dog's belly is any good. I have never seen a vet flip a dog over and look at their belly or get down under the exam table and take a good look, parting fur, in a routine exam. He feels around and would not feel a tattoo anyway.

 

My old cats, 14 years old, have an ID # tattooed on their inner thigh from the SPCA. They also have an N in an ear. Most people in the area know that the local SPCA's tattoo N and S in the ears of their dogs so it helps people to at least know to take the dog/cat to the SPCA if found. Now they microchip instead of tattooing the numbers on their thighs.

 

Either way, it is not proof of ownership as anyone can say the animal was rehomed to them. The best solution is a well fitted collar with current phone numbers. After that, a microchip with current info and an obligation by all vets to scan new animals or new pets that an owner says they just acquired or are bringing in as 'found'.

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Here in BC, it is extremely common for dogs and cats to be tattooed when they are neutered. The tattoo is in the ear, and is a combination of clinic code, year and animal number. It can be easily traced back to the clinic by looking on the CVBC website and contacting the clinic to get the owner's contact information.

The problem with tattoos is that they fade and become difficult to read - depending on the skill of the tattooist and the chemistry of the animal. And the problem with any ID (tattoo or microchip) is the owner keeping their contact information up to date, which so many fail to do. Almost all shelters and rescues here both tattoo and chip. All of my dogs have one or the other or both.

 

I wish that some sort of tattoo was a requirement to indicate a neutered animal; working in animal control, we opened up a lot of pets needlessly, as they were already altered but we had no way of knowing that.

I had a dog from the US and the rescue tattooed their symbol on his inner him to indicate he was neutered, also presumably to identify him as one of their rescues.

 

RDM

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don't think a belly tattoo indicating a microchip would be useful. Maybe if it is in the ear, but even then, why not tattoo the microchip # in the ear if you are tattooing anyway. I don't think vets will check the belly for a tattoo indicating a microchip. It is much easier just to wave the reader, plus for a really hairy dog, they might have to shave the belly to get a good look at the belly.

 

I don't think I'd like the number tattooed in the ear for two reasons. 1) It would HURT! That's sensitive skin and having gotten my own tattoos in sensitive areas with similar skin, I wouldn't put my dog through that. 2) The chip # isn't necessarily permanent. Like with Cal's, the first chip got list and if we had that number tattooed it wouldn't be accurate. She has a second chip with the real number that contains our info.

 

I was thinking if they tattoo the green spay line anyway, they could tattoo a "Microchipped" text or a symbol to indicate microchipping. That way if the vet or shelter finds a lone dog and checks to see if she's spayed, they'd see both the line and the microchip indicator.

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Here in BC, it is extremely common for dogs and cats to be tattooed when they are neutered. The tattoo is in the ear, and is a combination of clinic code, year and animal number. It can be easily traced back to the clinic by looking on the CVBC website and contacting the clinic to get the owner's contact information.

 

The problem with tattoos is that they fade and become difficult to read - depending on the skill of the tattooist and the chemistry of the animal. And the problem with any ID (tattoo or microchip) is the owner keeping their contact information up to date, which so many fail to do. Almost all shelters and rescues here both tattoo and chip. All of my dogs have one or the other or both.

 

I wish that some sort of tattoo was a requirement to indicate a neutered animal; working in animal control, we opened up a lot of pets needlessly, as they were already altered but we had no way of knowing that.

 

I had a dog from the US and the rescue tattooed their symbol on his inner him to indicate he was neutered, also presumably to identify him as one of their rescues.

 

RDM

 

I think they use green ink because it's one of the toughest colors to remove and it doesn't fade easily. Or maybe that's backwards...Hmm, time to brush up on my ink knowledge.

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I prefer tattoos over microchips for ID purposes. Until Sugarfoot I always had my Driver's License # tattooed on the inside of the dog's thigh. While it's true that people don't always look for tattoos, I have been told that dog-dealers won't take a dog with a tattoo, and research labs won't buy them if they are tattooed.

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I think they use green ink because it's one of the toughest colors to remove and it doesn't fade easily. Or maybe that's backwards...Hmm, time to brush up on my ink knowledge.

 

I've worked in the shelter system/animal control for years. The green ink and the black ink both fade and blur, as do the stamp type of tattoos.

 

RDM

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Meg has a stitch left over from her spay surgery that Dad missed when we pulled her stitches. Only a fool would assume she hasn't been spayed. As for the other three bitches, there's no indication on mother earth that they'd been spayed. A little green line would tell anyone who might have the unfortunate experience of having to figure it out.

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I prefer tattoos over microchips for ID purposes. Until Sugarfoot I always had my Driver's License # tattooed on the inside of the dog's thigh. While it's true that people don't always look for tattoos, I have been told that dog-dealers won't take a dog with a tattoo, and research labs won't buy them if they are tattooed.

 

Where do you go to tattoo a dog safely? I doubt my regular artist would like Cal trotting into his shop!

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The green ink and the black ink both fade and blur...

 

Y'all have made me curious so I just checked Tansy's spay tattoo. She was spayed less than a month shy of 4 years ago and her tat's green.

 

It's shorter and a bit wider than I remember it, not surprising as scars tend to do both with time. It's still bright green, though hard to say what it'll be like in another 6-8 years. But I suspect it'll still be visible, even if faded. I've seen tats that have green in them on people who've had them longer than the lifespan of the average dog and, while maybe not as bright as they first were are still definitely green.

 

Green makes more sense for a spay/neuter indicator. Wouldn't be confused for normal skin pigmentation.

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I used to go to a tattoo clinic which was held in my area. Sadly, the microchip has become most people's first choice. My last dog tattooed was a Doberman Pinscer. She was tattooed at the age of six months. The person who did the clinics used a regular tattoo needle, and my dog's tattoo remained dark, sharp and clear throughout her life.

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Back before microchips, I used to get each dog tattooed when they were spayed/neutered/hip x-rayed. I did something that I would never do today in the age of identity theft. We shaved a stripe on their side and tattooed my SSN. When the hair regrew it was completely invisible, but I knew it was there, so if my dog was ever stolen and someone claimed it was their dog, I had an identifier.

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Gideon's girl, that's actually a pretty cool idea. I've never even thought of that.

 

I'm vain, and I don't like the idea of being able to see ear tattoos. But one used for identification purposes that's invisible, I'd absolutely consider that. Not my SSN of course, but something unique to me would be great.

 

S/N tattoos are quite neutral to me. I wouldn't mind them, but I've only had male dogs. So, you know, they either have nuts or they don't. :P

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S/N tattoos are quite neutral to me. I wouldn't mind them, but I've only had male dogs. So, you know, they either have nuts or they don't.

 

I've actually been thinking about this as I'm planning to have a vasectomy for Wink instead of a castration, unless his behavior's obnoxious. Then a tattoo would be helpful.

 

And for those probably pretty uncommon dogs who've been castrated but have the fake testicles. :P

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I've actually been thinking about this as I'm planning to have a vasectomy for Wink instead of a castration, unless his behavior's obnoxious. Then a tattoo would be helpful.

 

And for those probably pretty uncommon dogs who've been castrated but have the fake testicles. :P

I think the problem is vasectomies are so rare that no one would know what the tattoo meant and because the dog still had his balls they would just assume he was intact.

I thought about going down this route, and my vet has happy to do it, but in the end we did not do it, as it became very apparent that we have a dog who has no idea what bitches are other than smelling slightly strange when in season, it is a good job I never planned on breeding him!

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I didn't think of it in context with a vasectomy, that does make since. I wonder, though, if anyone would even bother to look. I know I'd say "has testicles, is intact" before even thinking of looking for a tattoo. Maybe if VASECTOMY was written in bright letters on the pare part of his stomach I'd notice. :)

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Maybe the average person wouldn't know, but I think most vets would recognize what it was when they did the prep. I'll have to ask when I'm looking into it and maybe ask about an additional identifying tattoo. (At least the surgery for a male isn't as invasive as a spay, so at least there's that if the worst ever happened.)

 

If it were up to me and Wink's behavior doesn't become obnoxious, I'd just leave things alone. But he's a rescue and I'm contractually obligated to neuter him. They were fine with a vasectomy though.

 

I know I could probably just ignore the contract and get away with it, but I respect the rescues and the work they do and don't want to make things more difficult for them.

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Maybe the average person wouldn't know, but I think most vets would recognize what it was when they did the prep. I'll have to ask when I'm looking into it and maybe ask about an additional identifying tattoo. (At least the surgery for a male isn't as invasive as a spay, so at least there's that if the worst ever happened.)

 

If it were up to me and Wink's behavior doesn't become obnoxious, I'd just leave things alone. But he's a rescue and I'm contractually obligated to neuter him. They were fine with a vasectomy though.

 

I know I could probably just ignore the contract and get away with it, but I respect the rescues and the work they do and don't want to make things more difficult for them.

This was the situation I was in, but when Brody got sick I spent a fortune at the vet and so the vasectomy got postponed and in the end the rescue said don't bother, they knew him well, but I would have been happy to do it. It was the first time the idea had been proposed to them and it took awhile for them to understand why I wanted to keep him intact. My vet was game, and she understood the moral aspect of him being a rescue, but she was all for not bothering.
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  • 2 weeks later...

Gem and Gyp were spayed at the shelter and have "RHS"(the shelter initials) tattoo'd in their ears. Happy has an ear ID tattoo that she got when she was Spayed, it identifies her vet, age and links to me. Sola has a breeder tattoo on her belly. Paisley is my only dog with no Tattoo at all, and all are also Micro-chipped except for Happy. I have a strong preference for my dogs being both Tattoo'd and Chipped. only reason Paisley is only chipped is because she was Spayed in rescue and they only chipped her, and Happy is only Tattoo'd because she is almost 16 years old, 15 years ago when she was spayed, chipping was not a thing, and I have seen no reason to now, she isn't going anywhere lol

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