On the Way Home: Microchips for Pets
If your pet were lost today, would you know how to find them? The American Humane Society reports that 10 million pets will go missing in their lifetimes, and what’s more, only 1 in 3 will be found and returned to their rightful owners.
The fact is, if your pet has a microchip, you have a better chance of being reunited with them. In a study of animal shelters, 39% of cats and 52% of dogs are reunited with their owners if they have a microchip, compared with 2% of cats and 30% of missing dogs without a chip.
But, what exactly is a microchip, and how does it work? Come along with Redwood Veterinary Hospital as we explore this technology and how it can protect pets from becoming lost forever.
How Microchipping Works
A microchip is a device about the size of a grain of rice. It’s placed under your pet’s skin using a simple injection. When a microchip scanner is passed over the area where the chip is implanted, the chip emits a tiny radio signal that sends a unique ID code to the scanner’s screen. This ID code is used to provide your contact information if your pet is ever lost.
To Register or Not?
You may have heard that microchips need to be registered. This simple step, which we can help you with after your pet’s chip is placed, is crucial. If the chip is never registered, or contact information for you changes, it’s not possible for animal shelters and veterinary hospitals to contact you if your pet is found. To know if your pet’s microchip is registered with the correct contact information, check the universal pet microchip lookup from AAHA.
The Importance of Microchipping in Pets
Every summer, shelters fill with lost pets who escape the yard during a family BBQ, are lost while camping, or are scared by fireworks and summer thunderstorms and run away. Microchipping is beneficial at any time of year, for the following reasons:
Microchips can never be lost — Every pet should wear a collar and ID tags at all times, but there is always a chance they will be lost or damaged. Microchips are permanent and secure and, since they are placed under your pet’s skin, they can never be lost or expire.
Peace of mind — If you have an indoor pet, you know how quickly they can scoot out the open door. Sadly, emergencies and natural disasters do happen. In these events, a microchip provides you with peace of mind for both indoor pets and those who spend time outdoors.
Microchips save lives — It’s a common occurrence: a lost and injured pet arrives at the veterinary hospital with an animal control officer. As we work to care for the pet, we scan for a microchip. If the pet is chipped, we can immediately call the owner, reunite them, and gain permission for next steps in medical care and treatment.
Easy peasy — Microchips are easy to place, and the procedure is relatively pain-free. The placement can be done during your pet’s preventive care exam, and is similar to receiving a vaccination.
Microchips reunite hundreds of pets with their owners each year. They are easy, inexpensive, and effective. By choosing a microchip for your pet, you can rest easier in the knowledge that they can be found if ever lost.
We are here to answer your pet health questions. Please give us a call with any concerns about your pet’s health.