Pups are tattooed to help identify them in case they are lost or stolen. Microchips are great, but sometimes do not always work. They also tend to migrate which has some breeders wondering how safe they really are when they are implanted in the neck and found a year later in the rear leg. A tattoo can be removed, but a microchip is more difficult to remove. The number on the pup is like a license plate, and will lead back to the breeder and the owner if the dog is registered. For example, if you register with the CKC, the CKC registers all tattoos automatically. Some breeders microchip dogs, which means a chip is inserted into the dogs neck that, when scanned, shows an identification number. However, tattooing is usually a better method, as with the microchip, you have to have a special scanner available and you cannot tell the dog has the microchip unless you have a scanner and run it over the dog. You do not need any type of special tool to see the identification number on a tattooed dog if the tattoo is legible, though 50% of them are not done properly. For a dog that is just lost, there is a 24-hour number, to call, and anyone can find out the owner of the dog, whereas with a microchip, you would have to find a chip reader. My personal advice to pet owners is to have both. Tattoo the puppy at six to seven weeks old with a legible tattoo, AND then, if your vet recommends a microchip, have him implant one properly at six months of age, when you spay or neuter your puppy. (IT IS VERY IMPORTANT that the vet scans and checks the microchip BEFORE insertion, as many are faulty.)
First, clean the area well with alcohol. The tattoo gun also needs to be very clean with alcohol. I have never had one of my puppies get a tattoo infection, BUT, I have seen others that have.
My pups were sooo good, Emily held them, and one even went to sleep.
It takes about 30 seconds to one minute per pup to do a permanent tattoo. I like to do large breeds at six weeks, and toy breeds at seven weeks.
Sassy with her six-week-old pups being goofy.
Sassy playing with her six-week-old pups.
Emily trimming Gus Gus's nails.
When trimming nails, have quick-stop on hand in case you cut a quick. Don't make a big deal of it and carry on.
This pup is six weeks old, look how BIG he is already. He is 13.2 pounds. Notice the pot belly! :)
Courtesy of MistyTrails Mastiffs