The Meaning of Microchipping Your Pet
You may have learned of people microchipping their pets, but have you microchipped your own? According to recent studies, over 12 million pets in the U.S. are reported lost or stolen every year, and more than 8.5 million animals end up in shelters around the United States.
Many of these are pets that have lost their way from home. They are scared. It is a national crisis; on average, only two to three percent of dogs that enter sanctuaries are microchipped. The statistic is even worse for our beloved felines, as less than one percent of those entering shelters are microchipped. This raises the likelihood that once a pet is lost, it might never be rejoined with its family, which is why microchipping is indispensable.
We can’t tell you how many tragic stories we have heard over the years from people who wished they had microchipped their precious animals while they had the chance.
One in three pets will get lost during their lifetime, and 9 out of 10 don’t return home. Should your pet become lost, he must have proper identification to increase the chances of being returned to you.
Though collars and ID tags can be helpful, they aren’t always a reliable form of identification since they can easily fall off or become hard to read over time, leaving your beloved pet among the other unidentified lost strays at shelters. The use of microchips can easily prevent this.
COMMON MOTIVES PETS GET LOST
Many pets become lost because they escape from the backyard or run outside when a gate opens. This is notably true during celebrations were crashing noises, social gatherings, and unfamiliar faces are familiar. Even during storms, many pets can become scared and run away during these circumstances in an attempt to flee the commotion.
Other everyday situations where pets go missing include contingencies such as house fires and vehicle accidents. A pet with a microchip is more likely to make it back home than one without this identification.
WHAT IS A MICROCHIP?
A microchip is a very advanced piece of technology. Microchips are radio-frequency identification transponders encased in a small amount of bioglass and injected under the skin. These microchips are incredibly tiny, no larger than a grain of rice, and are encoded with identification numbers that can help you reunite with your pet should he become lost.
Animal shelters and veterinary hospitals usually carry various scanners that will read most microchips. It is standard practice to scan every new animal to see if the pet has a microchip at many veterinary and shelter facilities. This helps ensure a lost pet is returned to its owner. It is important to note that this is standard practice for most facilities in the United States, but if you travel to another country, you should be aware that their scanners might not be able to read your microchip. Talk with your veterinarian if you plan to be traveling to discuss alternative ways to equip your pet with the proper identification.
REGISTER AND UPDATE
It is important to note that a microchip will only be effective if it is registered and contains up-to-date contact information. When you microchip your pet, the vet will give you information to register the microchip with a nationwide registry. You will then be asked to record the microchip and include your most up-to-date contact information. Suppose you do not register and input your information. In that case, the microchip is essentially useless as the microchip will not be connected with information to help your pet be returned to you. If your information changes, be sure to update your pet’s profile immediately.
WHAT IF I LOSE THE INFORMATION ABOUT MY PET’S MICROCHIP?
It is important to note that we do not recommend putting in another microchip as the frequencies could interfere. If you lose the information associated with your pet’s microchip, let us know. We can scan your pet’s microchip and assist you with getting the information you need to update your pet’s records.
CAN A MICROCHIP HELP TO TRACK MY PET IF THEY BECOME LOST?
No. A microchip is not a GPS device that can track your pet if they become lost. It is only used to provide an identification number encoded with your contact information. Pet parents should not be concerned about their privacy as the scanner is only used if your pet is found without you and will only contain the contact information you choose to provide.
Though equally important, a microchip does not replace a collar and ID tag. Instead, a microchip provides your pet with permanent identification should he become separated from you. Microchips help to return thousands of pets home. To learn more about microchipping or schedule an appointment, please get in touch with your local shelter.
WHAT IF I FIND A LOST PET?
Think, you had taken the care of microchipping your pet only to have them disappear from your home and be found by somebody who decided to keep them! Animal control, veterinarians, and even some pet supply stores can scan to check for a chip. Still, any found pet should always be reported to your local shelter in an attempt to reunite with the animal’s owner. There are many local missing pet Facebook groups, and you can always utilize sites like Next Door to notify your neighborhood that you have found a stray animal. As much as you might fall in love with a cat who showed up at your door or a puppy who appeared in your yard, you must follow all the steps to try to get them back to their family first.
THE COSTS OF MICROCHIPPING A PET
Microchipping is a moderately inexpensive procedure, particularly considering the benefits associated.
If you have the procedure performed by your veterinarian, it will most likely cost you between $40 and $50. However, some of that will probably be due to the cost of an office visit, so you might be able to save money if you have the chip inserted while you’re there for another reason, such as a regular checkup.
Also, if you adopt from an animal shelter, your pet may already be chipped. That will save you some cash. Still, you must switch the registration information with the microchipping company, so you are contacted instead of the previous guardian.