The Organized Dog (Part 1)

Everyone’s talking about getting organized. It’s that time of year. Why not organize your dog’s records?

You may need to access your dog’s records for:

  • Veterinary consults
  • Kennels, petsitters
  • Training classes
  • Events (You’ll need basic info to register, and often proof of vaccination.)
  • Disaster preparedness
  • Travel outside the country
  • If your dog is lost or you need proof of ownership
  • If you are a breeder, detailed information is appreciated by new owners.

Choose the format that best fits your style. Records can be kept:

  • Digitally, on your computer or PDA. Disadvantages; accessibility, power-outages, and not having a hard-copy when you need one. However, having a digital backup of paper records is a great idea.
  • In a binder with originals, certificates, and registration papers tucked safely in a file. Disadvantages: paper in binders can tear loose or become dog-eared. Consider page protectors or heavy-weight paper and hole punch reinforcements. You may want to protect your information by using a zip-up binder, or making a pouch to keep it in.
  • Loose in file folders or in a portable file pocket.
  • In an index card file. Disadvantages: Limited to written information; this format is too small for photocopies.
  • In a “My Dog” recordkeeping book (usually found at bookstores) Disadvantages: you cannot add pages to a bound book. Tucking records in the pages is not secure.
  • Wireless electric dog fence I.D. tags for when Fido runs away.

I decided to keep Dash’s information in a binder that I can easily take with me. This method has worked very well for us. Here’s how we did it:

  • I bought an inexpensive binder with clear pockets on the front, back and spine, and a package of clear, archival-quality page protectors.
  • I printed a title sheet for the binder and slipped it under the clear front pocket.
  • When I want to add information to Dash’s binder, I slide it into a page protector and place that in the binder. No hole punching necessary!
  • I filled out our downloadable dog data sheets, saved them on my computer and PDA, and printed a copy for his book. I can update and reprint Dash’s data whenever I need to.

Here’s to an easy, organized New Year!