Home Again: Microchipping Your Pets
The American Humane Society estimates that 10 million pets are lost in the U.S. each year. They also estimate that 1in 3 pets will be lost at some point during their lifetime. Sadly, of these missing pets, only 2% of cats and 30% of dogs are ever reunited with their owners.
However, if your pet has a microchip, these statistics begin to look a little less scary. In fact, cats with a microchip have a 39% chance of being reunited with their owner, and 52% of microchipped dogs eventually find their way home again.
It’s clear that microchipping in pets is a good idea. Let the team at Mountainview Veterinary Hospital share more about what this process entails and how microchips work.
What is a Microchip?
A microchip is a tiny device that’s implanted under your pet’s skin. About the size of a grain of rice, this capsule stores a unique ID code that can be used to contact you should your pet ever become lost.
How Microchips Work
Once placed, you must register the microchip with your contact information in the national pet recovery database. It can then be scanned by any veterinary hospital, animal control officer, or shelter. When the scanner is passed over your pet’s body, the microchip emits a radio signal. The microchip database can then be contacted, and you will know the location of your pet.
If you move or change your phone number, it’s critical that you update your contact information with the database. A microchip is only as good as the information to which it’s attached.
The Importance of Microchipping in Pets
As a result of loud fireworks and increased time in the backyard, this is the time of year when shelters fill up with even more lost pets. Luckily, microchipping in pets is effective 365 days a year. Here’s why:
Microchips can never be lost. A collar and tags are important, but a microchip can never be lost, removed, or stolen. It’s a permanent form of identification for your pet that never expires.
Microchips provide peace of mind. Even indoor pets can go missing. It only takes a split second for a pet to scoot out an open door, and microchips offer the best chance at a happy reunion. During a natural disaster, microchipping may be the only way your pet can be identified and located.
Microchips save lives. Some pets who are lost need emergency medical care. Microchipping allows us to contact you more quickly, thereby enabling us to administer care above and beyond basic life-saving procedures.
Microchips are easy and inexpensive to place. Some pet owners are afraid that microchipping will hurt their pet. However, the procedure is similar to that of a vaccine. If your pet must be anesthetized for another reason, such as for a dental cleaning or spay/neuter surgery, the microchip can be placed at that time, eliminating all discomfort.
Microchipping in pets is the best way to ensure your beloved companion returns home safe and sound. In a world where the costs are often weighed against the benefits, microchips are worth every penny. Please give us a call for more information or if you have any questions!