Don't make it harder than it has to be to get reunited with a lost pet. According to the American Humane Association, one in three pets will become lost in their lifetime. Their research shows that although 80% of pet owners believe it’s important for dogs and cats to wear identification tags, only one in three pet parents confirm that their pets actually wear them regularly. Fewer than 2% of cats, and fewer than 20% of dogs return home to their owners when lost. Why take the risk? If you don’t understand why it’s essential to have external identification on your pet, this article is for you. Even in the case of staunchly “indoor” pets, it’s worthwhile to expect the unexpected—it only takes one time. One escape. One time the door is left open. We’ve all done it. An external ID tag can be easily identified and read by anyone. Even microchipped pets must be taken to a veterinarian to be scanned, and this process isn’t always an easy one. Add the factor that many people won’t approach or pick up an animal that's not wearing a collar out of fear of a stray dog or feral cat. An ID tag attached to your pet's collar signifies that this is someone’s family member, and someone is missing him—making it more likely that someone will intervene and try to get the pet to safety, and ultimately, home. For those whose pets do currently display ID tags, make today the day you ensure that your pet's collar is safely fitted, and that his or her tag is both accurate and legible. Many aluminum tags have a limited durability, and your essential contact information may not be easily read if you haven’t replaced the tag in a while. For a longer-lasting ID tag, consider investing in a gold-plated, stainless steel, or brass name plate. These metals allow for a deeper indentation and engraving method, resulting in a sturdier tag with enduring print. If your dog switches collars on occasion, make sure that all collars are up to date. A bit of prevention today can save you from what could be a heartbreak tomorrow. Already convinced about this vital act of responsible pet ownership. Share the love. An ID tag is a thoughtful gift! If you notice that a friend or family member’s pet isn't wearing a legible ID tag, consider presenting them with a new collar and tag for their pet. It makes an ideal gift on Mother’s Day or Father’s Day for the pet parent who treats their fur kids like their favorite children. With literally hundreds of styles, colors, and shapes in virtually every price range, and for every personality, go ahead, have some fun with it! There’s a fabulous ID tag out there just waiting to be found.