Preventing Lost Pets: Are Pet Microchips Worth All the Hype?
Despite the best efforts of most pet owners, a third of all pets become separated from their people at least once. The result can simply involve a trip to the animal shelter where they can eventually be reunited with searching owners, but not always. Pets on the loose can unfortunately be stolen (either on purpose or mistakenly) or become victims of automobile accidents, injury, and premature death.
The statistics that support the efficacy of pet microchips are incredible, increasing the inevitable odds of homecoming.
A Look at the Details
Pet microchips are not tracking devices. Without global positioning systems (GPS), the chips simply contain a number that, when scanned and entered into a microchip database, are used to find a lost or missing pet’s owner.
Not a replacement for a collar and proper identification tags, pet microchips add an extra layer of insurance against the possibility of never seeing your pet again. Collars can break or be removed; contact information on tags can become obscured after awhile. It remains absolutely critical to maintain both the quality and appearance of collars and tags.
Smaller Than Small
About the size of a single grain of rice, pet microchips are completely inert. Inserted just beneath the outer layer of skin and between the shoulder blades, they do not move, break down, or cause problems during an animal’s life. They can be implanted during a routine wellness visit (they are similar in sensation to vaccinations) because they don’t require anesthesia. Some owners, however, opt to have it done while their pet is being spayed or neutered.
Pet microchips are critical, but even more important is following up on the chip registration process. Each chip manufacturer has a website that you must log into in order to link the chip’s number with your contact information. Without this extra step, if your pet is ever scanned, the number will not be connected to you. It may be linked to the shelter or veterinarian hospital they were initially chipped at, but it’s not a guarantee.
Once your contact information is entered, check the manufacturer’s website occasionally. If you ever move, change phone numbers or your name, update the account on the website. You can also list other family members of friends in case you are out of cell service or temporarily absent from home if/when your pet turns up.
Pet Microchips Save Lives
If you’ve been holding off on microchipping your pet until now, we hope you’ll give our staff at New Haven Animal Hospital a call to schedule a time that works for you. Because you never know when your pet may decide to bolt out of the front door, hop the fence, or sneak out at night, pet microchips are always an important choice.