This is not my idea, but it’s brilliant. Petco and PetSmart both have machines that allow you to make, quickly and cheaply, an ID tag for your dog’s collar. Before you leave for a trip, make a tag showing the address where you will be, including a local telephone number, and clip it onto your dog’s collar with her regular ID tag. That way, if your Seattle-based dog is lost while you’re traveling in Southern California, the person who finds her in Long Beach will be able to reach you right away. Traveling to more than one address? Make more than one tag — they’re pretty cheap.
Even cheaper? Buy a pack of those round, metal-rimmed tags people use to identify keys. They’re small, but you can just fit the crucial information onto them. Be sure to use a permanent pen, like a fine-tipped Sharpie marker. [10/3/10 This idea only works for a short getaway, it turns out. I put a metal-rimmed tag of this kind on Chloe’s collar on a Thursday morning, and by Sunday night it was so worn that the text I’d written was nearly illegible, and the hole had been battered wide. I’d take this approach only for a weekend trip, or I’d carry a supply of the tags with me, so I could replace them as necessary.]