Believe it or not, your dog has an identifier that is equally as unique as a human fingerprint: his nose! Just as a human’s fingerprints are specific to that one person, so too is a dog’s nose highly individual. No two dog noses are precisely the same. A careful examination of your dog’s nose will reveal a design that is similar in appearance to a human fingerprint. Since every dog’s nose print is different, can a nose print be used as a form of identification if your dog becomes lost or stolen?
Could Nose Printing Become a New Type of Identification for Dogs?
Though a few areas of the world have considered using nose printing as a form of identification for lost dogs, there is one kennel club that has been leading the way with this type of identifying tool since 1938: the Canadian Kennel Club. Microchips and tattoos have long been the gold standard for keeping track of dogs and identifying them should they become lost or stolen. However, nose printing is a form of canine ID that does not fade (as with tattoos) and cannot migrate or deactivate (in the case of microchips), making it highly reliable.
Some owners object to the use of microchip technology, expressing concerns that the insertion of the chip may be painful for their dog. Unfortunately, microchips can become inactive and can also migrate to an area of the body where they become unreadable. For this reason, some owners prefer to avoid microchipping their pets.
Dog tags are a wonderful way to provide identification for your dog. However, if your dog slips his collar or his tags become loose and fall off, your dog will be without anything to identify him as yours. This is particularly problematic if your dog’s tags were the only identifiable connection between you and your dog.
Nose print technology is becoming a more popular option for many different reasons. Owners like that it can be done without any discomfort to the animal. The process involves the use of no ink and can be performed by an owner right in the comfort of their home. Once the print has dried, the owner can forward the image along with a clear picture of their best canine pal to the appropriate registry for recording.
One of the most popular dog nose printing companies today is ID Systems Integrators. They make use of Dognose ID to help owners obtain an image of their dog’s nose without the use of inks or dyes and without causing the dog any discomfort in the process. After the nose print image and accompanying dog photo is received by ID Systems Integrators, the company forwards a Pet Identity card to the owner. This card displays the photo of the dog, the nose print, and all pertinent contact information for the owner. Along with this card comes a tag that can be attached to the dog’s collar and that indicates the dog’s ID number as well as the owner’s phone number. If the dog ever goes missing, a quick call to ID Systems Integrators is all it takes to get the process started. The company will then fax a complete description, your dog’s photo, and the nose print image to all veterinary clinics and shelters within the region. This allows for easy identification of the dog if he is found and turned in to a veterinarian or local shelter.
What About Paw Prints?
Much like nose prints, a dog’s paw prints are also unique to them. However, there are several reasons why a print of the nose is preferable for identification than the paw.
In dogs with voluminous coat, hair can grow between the paw pads that make it very difficult to get a clear image of the paw print. Though a nose print can also become smeared during the impression process, it is less likely that the resulting image will be unreadable.
Though paw prints are unique to each dog, they are not as deeply ridged as the nose, making it harder to get a clear impression for use for identification purposes.
If I Use Nose Print Technology, Should I Still Microchip My Dog?
It’s always a good idea to have a secondary form of identification for your dog. You can think of a microchip as a backup plan. Though nose print technology is quickly gaining in popularity, it is not as well known or easily accessible as today’s microchip databases. For best results, it is a good idea to use both of these options to ensure your pet can be identified as yours if he ever becomes lost or stolen.
How Do I Make a Nose Print for My Dog?
You have a few different options available to you if you are looking to make an impression of your dog’s nose. One of the most popular ways to do this is through the purchase of a non-toxic mold kit. These types of impressions make a very clear mold and the resulting image can also be used to make a piece of decorative jewelry for you to wear.
If you’re feeling a little uncomfortable at the thought of a DIY mold kit, you could take a clear photo of your dog’s nose and forward it to a graphic designer. If the image is very distinct, a graphic designer can sketch it, leaving you with a good impression that can be used for identification purposes.
As a final option, you can make use of some pet-safe food coloring and some other household materials to make a unique impression of your dog’s nose. To begin the process, you will need to carefully remove any moisture on your dog’s nose with the use of a dry paper towel. With a second paper towel, carefully apply food coloring to the surface of your dog’s nose. When the nose has been thoroughly coated, you can then use a pad of paper to press against the nose to form a print. Once a clear print has been obtained, you will need to make use of a damp cloth to clean away any remaining food coloring.
Can you identify a dog by nose prints alone? You absolutely can! Nose print technology is becoming a very popular option for people looking to provide clear identification for their dogs without having to go the more traditional route of tattoos or microchips.