It's important to keep comprehensive records on your dog, just as you do for other family members. Medical and licensing records, as well as adoption or breeding papers, belong in these files. Key information also should be included in an emergency kit with other essential family papers.
If there is a natural disaster, if your pet is missing or if something should happen to you, your dog's records are invaluable. You need to provide them to pet sitters, boarding kennels or a new veterinarian. If you take your dog on a trip out of the country, you'll need them, too. Many foreign countries have strict policies that require an extensive history of your pet's background and health.
If disaster strikes and a dog is separated from his owner, it's surprising how difficult it is for humans to identify their pets. If your pet has been injured or emotionally traumatized, if she has been kept in a strange place with other animals, she may not immediately recognize you or vocalize as you pass by her kennel. You should have as many ways of identifying your dog as you can.
Proof of Ownership
Pets are classified as property under the law - same as your home, car, jewelry or other precious possessions. Your dog can be lost, injured through someone else's fault, or even stolen. Ownership records can back up your claim if you go to court.
As with other ID tags, your dog's rabies tag or her entire collar can be lost, so you should keep the paper certificate you get when she receives her shot on file and easily accessible. If your dog bites someone, that certificate can save her life. The only other way a veterinarian can prove that your dog is rabies-free is to test her brain tissue. If you can't provide paper proof of vaccination, a court could order a vet to euthanize your pet in order to perform such a test.