Pet care and behaviour help topics | BC SPCA
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Pet care and behaviour help topics

Pet care & behaviour

Nobody plans to lose a pet. Prepare for the unexpected by following these steps to provide your pet with identification.

Provide two forms of identification

  1. A collar and tag: Keep a collar and tag on your pet with your home phone number and address.
  2. A form of permanent ID (microchip or tattoo): Pets can slip their collars at any time, but they can’t slip a permanent ID. Make an appointment with your vet to get your pet a microchip or tattoo today.

Register your pet’s permanent ID

Register your pet with the BC Pet Registry, B.C.’s first provincial pet ID database, owned and operated by the BC SPCA.

Registration guarantees that your pet can be traced by all participating veterinarians and animal sheltering agencies province-wide.

Remember: Permanent ID has little value unless it is registered. Give your pet the protection of registered pet ID today.

Learn more about the BC Pet Registry and how to plan ahead for peace of mind.

Keep your contact information up-to-date

Have you moved or changed your phone number? Don’t forget to update your pet’s ID! Contact your veterinarian with your new information so they can update their records.

Is your pet’s ID registered with the BC Pet Registry? Updating is easy! Log in any time to update your contact information.

Licensing your pet

In most municipalities, a license for your dog is required by law. Call your local city/municipality to update the records on file or to get more information on licensing.

Side view of dog wearing collar id on a blue sky day outdoors

Tags: cat, dog

Is your pet’s microchip, tattoo or license registered with the BC Pet Registry? Updates can be made at any time. Registered users can also add additional forms of identification (ID) to their pet profile.

Contact your veterinarian

Call your veterinary clinic so they can update their records. You can also register your pet’s tattoo with the BC Pet Registry.

Contact your municipal animal control office

In most municipalities, you must license your dog. Contact your local animal control office (e.g. City of Vancouver Animal Control) to update your phone number, address or family members on file. You can also register your pet’s municipal license with the BC Pet Registry.

If you have cats in your community who appear to be living on their own outdoors, there are a few things you can do to help, especially during the winter months.

Get the cat spayed or neutered: The best method of getting feral cat populations under control is through trap-neuter-return (TNR). This involves trapping the cats, getting them spayed or neutered and vaccinated, and then returning them back to their environment. In addition to humanely reducing the population, TNR also improves the health of the cats and makes them better neighbours.

Contact your local SPCA or cat rescue for advice on how to humanely and safely trap a feral cat. They may even have a trap loan or TNR program to assist you. Community programs are available to help spay and neuter cats to help fight the cat overpopulation problem in B.C.

Ensure access to food and water: Food should be left out for cats only during feeding time and then removed to ensure it doesn’t attract wildlife such as raccoons, skunks or bears.

Water should be available at all times. In winter, water sources and wet food can easily freeze over. When you put out water for cats, check it twice daily to make sure it stays ice-free. During the winter, choose dry kibble and ceramic or plastic dishes.

Check your local bylaws: There may be provisions in your municipal bylaw that require you to register the cat colony, or ensure that all cats have permanent identification such as a tattoo or microchip.

Build an outdoor cat shelter: Wintertime is especially hazardous for feral cats. They can struggle through the coldest months of the year to find enough food, water and shelter. Their ears and toes can easily get frostbitten if they don’t have access to a winter shelter.

By providing a cat shelter, cats will be able to escape the wind, snow and rain and make it safely through the cold winter months. Our instructional video walks you through it step by step.

Tap your car: Keep in mind that in the winter months, outdoor cats (and wildlife) may see your car as a warm refuge. Before starting your vehicle, ‘think and thump’ – tap the hood and check between the tires to make sure no cats are hiding underneath or camping out in the engine compartment.

Spay or neuter your own pet: Female cats have a quick reproductive cycle, and cat populations can boom in a very short amount of time. The first step is always to ensure your own pets are spayed and neutered. In addition, we recommend keeping your cat indoors – not only for their own safety, but also to prevent them from catching and spreading diseases or getting lost and ending up part of a feral colony. We have a lot of great tips for how to keep your indoor cat happy and healthy.


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Tags: cat, kitten

Register your pet’s microchip, tattoo or license with the BC Pet Registry. Submitting your pet’s information to this provincial database ensures your pet is traceable by all participating veterinarians, animal control agencies and humane societies.

Find out more about how permanent pet ID can help ensure peace of mind.

Update Your Information

Have you moved or changed your phone number? Keeping your contact information up-to-date is easy with the BC Pet Registry. Registered users can also add additional forms of ID to their existing pet profile free of charge.

To report a lost pet, please contact your nearest BC SPCA branch.

Cat playing with woman with wand toy