Imagine coming across a person you knew was in trouble, but they couldn’t tell you what they needed or who they even are. That’s a lot like what finding a lost pet without identification feels like. Now imagine if there was a way to take that person somewhere and within moments you’d have everything you need to help them… That’s what microchipping your pet does.
It goes without saying that properly identifying your pal is among the bare necessities of responsible pet ownership and, to us, microchipping should instantly come to mind. Don’t get us wrong, collars and tags absolutely have their pros (the information is immediately available and doesn’t require someone to transport your animal) but they also have one big con: they can fall off – leaving your pet completely and totally voiceless. And that’s where microchipping comes in: your information goes everywhere your pet does, no matter what.
A microchip is incredibly small, about the size of a grain of rice, and is painlessly inserted under pets’ skin between their shoulders. It requires no charging (wouldn’t that be weird…) and has an identification number that comes up when scanned; that identification number is linked to all of your information – but only if your microchip is registered. We repeat: simply getting your pet microchipped is not sufficient, you must connect the chip’s 9, 10, or 15-digit code with your information.There used to be some hullabaloo about different chips needing different scanners and there was no international database, but that’s all changed. Many shelters and veterinarians have a universal scanner, and thoughtful organizations, like Found Animals, have mainstreamed the registration process so owners can easily keep their information up-to-date. Between that and the American Animal Hospital Association’s searchable database, your lost pet’s chances of coming home just increased by 200%.
So this month, consider having your pal microchipped or take the necessary steps to update your information. And if you come across a lost pet without a tag always remember they may have a chip in their shoulders – literally! So take them to the shelter to be scanned!
Did your microchip reunite you with your pet? We’d love to hear your story on Facebook.