The Organized Dog

Everyone’s talking about getting organized. It’s that time of year. Why not organize your dog’s records? Here’s to an organized New Year!

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
  • Install a wireless electric dog fence
  • 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 record keeping book (usually found at bookstores) Disadvantages: you cannot add pages to a bound book. Tucking records in the pages is not secure.
  • 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!