The beagle lends itself to easy identification with the owner as each has unique markings. But how can w identify a beagle who is lost or stolen?
Microchipping is the most commonly used identification. This involves implanting a small transponder inside a glass capsule around the size of a grain of rice under the skin between the shoulder blades. When a scanner is passed over the chip a number comes up on the scanner which is registered to the owner. This relies on the owner keeping the contact details updated. It is possible for the chip to migrate under the skin particularly in dogs without much fat under the skin. The chip is blunt and cannot migrate into areas such as the spinal column. However, the chip implantation uses a sharp needle and must be done by a trained person to avoid the needle penetrating an important structure. Petlog holds the biggest register in the UK but will also give details of who to contact for chips they don’t have listed.
Tattooing is used by packs to identify puppies. One ear has initials of the pack and the other a number or number and letter identifying the beagle. Racing greyhounds are usually identified by ear tattoos also. There is also a national tattoo register with which dogs can be registered with. Although it is less common to use tattoos it is always worth checking the ears of dogs who are found. Occasionally one will find a dog with a tattoo inside the thigh. This is more commonly used for dogs registered under the Dangerous Dogs Act.
DNA profiling can be used to identify dogs used in breeding programmes. This is particularly useful where there is a dispute over parentage or identification of dogs for court cases. However, for general identification of lost or stolen dogs microchipping or tattooing is the best option. These two methods are also the acceptable identification types for Pets Passports.