No one wants to experience the panic of their pet going missing. But thanks to technology introduced over the last several decades—microchipping, in particular—you have a much greater chance of being reunited with your dog or cat, if it happens to get lost.

Beyond keeping your pet’s microchip updated, you can also keep track of them using a GPS tracker—or adding them to FidoAlert, a free nationwide pet alert network.

How does FidoAlert work?

Once you register your dog or cat for the service, they’ll be assigned a unique ID number, and receive a free ID tag with their name, ID number, on one side of the tag, and a QR code on the other.

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None of your personal information is included on the tag.

If your pet is missing and someone finds it, they can scan the QR code or enter their ID number on the website to report them found. Once they do, you and your emergency contacts will be notified via text and email.

But you don’t have to wait around for an alert: You can also report your pet missing on the FidoAlert website. This will automatically send a text message with a photo of your dog or cat to every member of the network within a few miles of where your pet was last seen, so people know to keep an eye out for them.

Currently, 1.3 million pet owners in the U.S. are part of the FidoAlert registry, according to the company.

The digital flyer

In addition to the text blast, as soon as you report your lost pet via FidoAlert, the service also generates a dedicated website with a custom URL with your pet’s name, photo, and other basic information—the digital equivalent of a “lost dog” flyer. It will also include the date, time, and location they were last seen, as well as their breed, coat color, and any unique markings.

This will help you broaden your search beyond other pet owners who are part of the network, giving you the option of texting the link to family, friends, and neighbors, and posting it on social media for even greater reach. This feature can help you find your pet even it goes missing and isn’t wearing its collar with its ID tag.

How to add your pet to the registry and get a free ID tag

To add your pets to the nationwide registry and get a free ID tag, visit the FidoAlert website and click on the red box that says “Get Your Free Pet ID & Tag.” You’ll be asked to create an account with—FidoAlert’s parent company—then complete your registration with your address, cell phone number, and information about your pet.

How is this service free?

Of course, like anything “free” on the internet, you pay for FidoAlert by providing the company with data on you and your pet. Per the FidoAlert website, revenue from covers the costs of manufacturing the customized pet tags, mailing them out, and sending the lost-and-found text alerts to members of the network. According to the company, the ID tags and service will always be provided free of charge.