What Does My Dog Ear Tattoo Mean? Find Out

It is both intriguing and sometimes confusing when you adopt a new pup from a rescue shelter and come across a tattoo on its ear.

A lot of questions will pop up in your mind, seeking an answer.

What you should know from the onset is that the dog ear tattoo is not a criminal act.

It is seen as legitimate, and for good reasons.

This short guide will explain more about dog tattoos and their necessity.

What is a Dog Ear Tattoo?

A dog ear tattoo is a symbol of identification, meant to be more permanent than a tag which is another form of identification.

Tattoos on a dog are usually placed on the ears, though you might find them on the belly.

According to federal law, laboratories are not allowed to use dogs with tattoos and their employees check for it first.

Another form of identification used on a dog is the microchip.

It is preferred to the tattoo, but it isn’t visible and the average passerby won’t know if a dog has a microchip planted in.

The tattoo remains a better method of identification.

What Does My Dog Ear Tattoo Mean?

Rescue shelters put a tattoo on a dog’s ear to signify that it has been neutered or spayed.

As such, the new owner doesn’t need to go through the procedure again.

You might want to confirm from a veterinarian once you find there’s a tattoo marked on a dog’s ear. 

Also, tattoos work alongside microchips and tags to identify a dog when it gets missing.

Some breeders put the tattoo so someone won’t return a puppy they didn’t breed. It can also help locate a lost puppy.

Do Vets Tattoo Dog’s Ears?

Veterinarians put tattoos on a dog’s ears after spaying or neutering it.

This is so future owners can tell of the status of their new puppy.

Related Questions

Can I get my dog tattooed?

Perhaps you could some years back, but owners are no longer allowed to tattoo their pet’s ears.

This ban was put in place by Governor Andrew Cuomo who deemed the practice a form of animal abuse. It is still a controversy at this point. 

How long does an ear tattoo in a dog last?

Tattoos are meant to be permanent, so they can’t be washed off by water nor do they wipe off completely after time.

If you wish to remove your dog’s tattoo, only laser removal can be done. 

Should I microchip or tattoo my dog?

Both methods are preferred over tags because they are permanent, unlike the tag that can easily be removed.

Both are recommended as they complement the weaknesses of the other. Tattoos are visible while microchips don’t fade. 

Are microchipped dogs tattooed?

Some microchipped are also tattooed either to give the dog another form of identification or to show that it has a microchip within it.

Final Thoughts

Far from being just a fashion fad or a sadistic mark, tattoos have many uses.

It helps identify a dog as well as show that a dog has been desexed.

Tattoos are as relevant as microchips and tags, though you might be called an abuser if you try to put one on your pet.

People don’t think too highly of the procedure.

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Authored By

Ben Pierce

Ben Pierce is a canine behavioral and nutritional specialist, professional dog trainer, and the CEO of Puplore. A former military working dog handler, Ben founded Puplore to provide owners with breed-specific information and to act as a go-to guide to health, nutrition, care, and to help them find the confidence they need to step up to the plate and become the best pup parents they can possibly be. A firm believer in treating all animals with kindness and compassion, and that positive discipline is paramount in achieving a harmonious canine-human relationship, Ben’s former and present careers have enabled him to become a leading light in his chosen profession and business.

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