Why Tattoo your Pets

Most pet owners know that a good secondary line of ID after a collar and tags, is to keep your pets safe when they are lost is to have a vet implant a permanent RFID chip so that if they are lost and then found, the vet or shelter can scan them and track down the pet’s owner. However, another method to keep your animal safe is by having them tattooed. It’s safe and has been routinely done since the sixties.

Tattoo vs. Microchip

Tattooing your pet is a great and permanent way to protect your companion if they ever get lost. This relatively painless procedure uses inks or pastes that won’t react with the animal’s blood or tissue. Also, unlike a RFID chip which needs to be scanned, the tattoo is visible to the naked eye. Additionally, implanted microchips can migrate within the animal, so when they are scanned, there is the possibility that no information will be found. Finally, tattooing your animal will protect them if they are accidentally donated to a research lab, as labs are prohibited by law to use tattooed animals in experiments.

Interested? Here’s a video detailing the procedure.

Where can I get my pet Tattooed?

While Ketchum doesn’t offer pet tattoo supplies, we do carry tattoo equipment and ink for identifying your cattle and live stock. For pets, tattoos can be done by veterinarians and then are registered. Different animal organizations (humane societies, breed clubs, etc.,) have registry procedures, ask your local vet on what the procedures are to get your pet’s tattoo ID registered. The largest organization that does pet tattooing is tattoo-a-pet.com, who has been providing a pet tattoo registry since the early 1970’s.

One Final Word

No single method can keep your pet safe. While tattooing is a great alternative to microchipping your animal, it does not guarantee their safety. You should always have multiple methods of identifying your animals. Collars and tags should always be your first line of defense when ID’ing your pets, these other methods should always be a back-up method. We have a full line of different pet collar ID tags and vaccination tags available on our website.

Lisa Podwirny is the owner of Ketchum Mfg. Connect with her on Google+!

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Think You Want a Guard Dog?


“I think I need a guard dog” is a phrase we’ve heard people say time and time again. The reason for such a phrase is usually legitimate. People want a dog that will protect them or their family in case of, say, a burglary.

We’ll admit that getting a guard dog is not that hard. You can get one quick and easily. But there’s usually a lot more to think about.

Guard Dogs vs. Watch Dogs

First, it’s important to understand the difference between a guard dog and a watchdog.  A watchdog’s job is exactly like it sounds – to watch an area, and make an alert if need be. A guard dog is usually larger, and its job is to protect. Guard dogs will bite and attack a potential intruder.

Lisa Podwirny is the owner of Ketchum Mfg. Connect with her on Google+!

What Breeds Make Good Guard Dogs?

Most dogs have a natural instinct to protect.  However, there are some breeds that are a much better fit for the job than others.  Common guard dog breeds include Rottweiler, German Shepherd, Great Dane, Bullmastiff, Boxer.  For families, calmer breeds like the Bernese Mountain Dog or Newfoundland can work because of their sheer size.

Do You Really Need a Guard Dog?

Now that you know a little bit about guard dogs and the most well-known breeds, it’s time for the big question:

“Do you really need a guard dog?”

I’d be inclined to say most people do not.  Reason number one is that training is intensive and usually dangerous.  You need to remember that you’re training a dog to attack.  Most people get the idea that their guard dog will automatically “know an intruder” and be fine around everyone else.  This is not the case.  You know the old scenario where the dog attacks the mailman?  It’s realistic.  You really don’t want a dog that’s extremely aggressive to strangers. That’s just waiting for something bad to happen.

Reason number two is that a guard dog can only do so much.  Most criminals flee a scene because a dog barks – not because they’re scared of the dog.  And if a criminal does end up in a scuffle with a guard dog, there’s a chance they can find a way around the problem.  Also remember that a dog is, well, only a dog.  It isn’t the police.

So, You Must Get One?

Fair enough. After doing a lot of consideration on the subject, you may still be inclined to get a guard dog. Use this article from WikiHow as an introductory guide to training a guard dog.

Lisa Podwirny is the owner of Ketchum Mfg. Connect with her on Google+!

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What’s Really In Your Pet’s Food?

People try to provide the best for their pets. That usually includes buying the proper pet food. From the way most pet food is packaged, you’d think there’s absolutely nothing to worry about. The ingredients look healthy, and when you open it up, it looks pretty normal. But just like there are “secrets” to human food, there are secrets to pet food. Read below for more information – but just be aware, it’s not pretty.

Most would like to think that their pet’s food just comes from the meat of other animals. This isn’t the case. Why? That’s what the humans get to eat.

Pets get all of the leftovers – skin, bones, blood etc. And that’s not all. 4D animals, aka animals not fit for human consumption, get thrown in the mix. These are the animals that were dead, dying, disabled, or diseased upon inspection.

The whole process of putting all of this “junk” together is called rendering. All of those junk leftovers go to a rendering plant, where everything gets put into a vat and cooked. Anything infectious gets separated from the fat. When whatever is left is dried, it goes into pet food.

So when you see the words “By-Product Meal” on the packaging, what is your pet really getting? Well, anything that’s not meat, but still added to the pet food to raise protein levels – bones, intestines, brain, etc. And although you may think that labels with “natural”, “organic”, and “gourmet” on them are automatically better, this isn’t always the case. Natural pet food technically isn’t chemically altered. But on pet food labels, be wary. Natural pet food is less regulated. As for “organic”, it’s important to be aware what’s really in the food. Remember, there are plenty of foods (like grapes) that are good for humans, but not for pets. As as for “gourmet” food, it’s basically just a word on a label.

So what are you supposed to do? Stop feeding “pet food” to your pet? Absolutely not. At the end of the day, this is the food that’s currently available for pets to eat. Even if it all sounds appalling to humans, a pet can live a long and healthy life with pet food in their diet. You can keep feeding your pet as your normally do – but awareness is important!

Lisa Podwirny is the owner of Ketchum Mfg. Connect with her on Google+

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5 Great Dog Breeds for Active People

It’s finally nice out, which means it’s time to get outdoors and do some running, cycling, or whatever else you love doing. And of course any active person needs an energetic dog by their side. But where to start? There are so many choices. Let the list below help you.

Airedale Terrier

Most terriers are energetic. But if you’re really energetic, the Airedale terrier is your best bet. Talk about an interesting looking dog! They stand tall, courageous, and ready to protect. Aieredale terriers were originally hunting/guard dogs, so they may not be the best choice if you have small children (just because they play a little rough). However, they’re still very friendly. Just a tip – these dogs need to be walked for long periods, since they really need the exercise.

Labrador Retriever

With 3 choices, choosing a Labrador retriever can be tough — you’ve got to decide if you want a chocolate lab, golden lab, or black lab!

Need a dog a little bit more toned down than the Aieredale terrier? The Labrador retriever might be one to look into. Talk about a family friendly dog; it’ll love swimming, hiking, or and other casual activities. Labrador retrievers will be playful when you want them to be, but can certainly calm down when it’s necessary.

Australian Cattle Dog

As you could probably guess from the name, this dog is a herding breed. Love running? This dog is the one for you. As long as Australian cattle dogs get exercise, they’ll behave. Otherwise, they could be trouble.

Bernese Mountain Dog

If a dog breed has “mountain” in its name, you know it means business. Perhaps they’re not as energetic as the Aieradale terrier, but they’re still fun, loving, and strong. Due to their thick coat, they’re perfect for taking on a winter snowshoeing adventure or playing with the kids, but even in the summer, these dogs are still adventurous. Walk them regularly and train them correctly, and you’ll have a very loyal dog on your hands.


The Dalmatian used to be the official dog of the firehouse. The amount of stamina they have is incredible, and they absolutely cannot sit around all day with nothing to do. They love running, so if you have a large yard, this dog will keep playing for ages. They’re friendly with children as long as they’re getting the proper exercise.

Lisa Podwirny is the owner of Ketchum Mfg. Connect with her on Google+

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The Benefits of Animal ID Tags

Here at Ketchum, we sell ID tags for many different animals. We make dog tags, cat tags, cattle tags, poultry leg and wing bands, and more. But what’s the purpose? It’s 2014, there’s probably some app you can download on your iPhone to identify animals, right? Not exactly. Check out these benefits of animal ID tags:


We make plastic numbered tags that come in very handy for livestock auctions. If you’ve ever attended an auction, you know that there are a lot of people and a lot of animals. It would be virtually impossible to make order of it all without a way of identifying the animals. Our tags come in very bright orange, white, and yellow colors. You can order them blank or numbered; they’re perfect for any auction.


When it comes to farm animals, accountability is VERY important. You need to monitor animals to make sure they’re healthy, you have as many as you think you do, etc. ID tags are at the root of the system when you’re keeping track.

However, plenty of animals won’t stay on one farm their whole life – they’ll more then likely get shipped around in the process before the grocery store. At that point, accountability is, potentially, even more important. If your animals need blood tests before they leave your farm, or they need to be checked for disease, it’s important to have all animals properly accounted for. Plastic ear tags, metal ear tags, neck tags, etc. are all humane ways to identify certain animals.

Lost Pets

ID tags can save your pet’s life. If your pet gets lost, an ID tag is really the only way it could be brought back to its owner. Put your dog’s name and your phone number on the tag, at the least. The person who finds your dog will be able to comfort them by name.

Other Uses

Our tags are so durable and high quality that they go beyond being useful for animals. We had our tags being used to mark the gate positions at a ski resort. After all, they are tags — they can be used to number anything!

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