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!