Have you been thinking about microchipping your dog or cat, but aren’t sure if it’s really necessary? Implanting a tiny identification chip under your pet’s skin offers several important benefits.
You’re Much More Likely to Be Reunited with Your Lost Pet
If you’re lucky, your lost pet will find its way home eventually. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case, as researchers at The Ohio University College of Veterinary Medicine discovered. They followed more than 7,000 stray pets in 53 shelters to determine how microchipping affects the odds that a pet will be reunited with its owner.
According to their study, microchipped dogs were returned to their owners 52.2% of the time, while unmicrochipped dogs were reunited with their families just 21.9% of the time. Microchipped cats were returned to their owners 38.5% of the time, versus 1.8% for cats without microchips.
Microchipping a pet only takes a few seconds and isn’t painful. Your veterinarian uses a needle to inject the rice-sized microchip under your pet’s skin around the shoulder blades. The chip contains a code that corresponds to a link with your current address. After your dog or cat is microchipped, you’ll submit your name and address to the microchip registry. Enrollment can be done by mailing the form to the company or by completing an online form.
Once your pet is microchipped, you’ll need to remember to update your address in the microchip company registry if you move. The researchers noted that incorrect information was a key reason that microchipped pets weren’t reunited with their families.
Microchipping Is the Ideal Identification Method for Pets
Would anyone know your pet belonged to you if its ID tag fell off or your furry friend managed to slip its collar? Microchips stay secure under your pet’s skin and provide a permanent way to identify your cat or dog.
Both veterinary offices and animal shelters scan lost pets for microchips. If someone takes your pet to one of these facilities, chances are good that you’ll receive a call informing you that your pet has been found. Thanks to the introduction of universal scanners, it’s easy to identify a pet no matter what type of chip is used. It’s still important to put an ID tag on your pet’s collar, even if it has a microchip. If a neighbor happens to find your pet, a tag makes it easy to determine where a lost pet lives.
Microchipping also prevents mix-ups that can occur if several pets at an animal shelter look the same. The chip provides evidence that your pet is undeniably yours.
Microchipping Reduces the Burden on Animal Shelters
More than 6 million dogs and cats are surrendered to animal shelters every year, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). Shelters only have space for a limited number of animals and often operate on very lean budgets.
Providing food, water, shelter, and veterinary care for pets can be very costly. Microchipped pets can be quickly returned to their families, ensuring that the shelter has more room to care for lost or unwanted pets.
Microchipping is safe, simple, and provides peace of mind should your pet ever become lost. Are you ready to microchip your pet? Contact our office to schedule an appointment.
The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine: The Microchip World: Recent Advances and Options for Shelters and Veterinarians
American Veterinary Medical Association: Microchipping FAQ
American Humane: Every Day is Tag Day – Is Your Pet Protected?, 4/1/2019
The Humane Society of the United States: High Tech: Identifying Lost Pets with Microchips