At some point during your adventure in pet owning, there will come a near-miss pet escape or a situation where your pet has actually gone missing. Even the most well-behaved pet can get loose through a broken fence, a gate or door accidentally left open, during the commotion of guests coming and going, or any number of ways.
While we recommend that your pet always wear his or her collar with current ID tags, pet microchipping may be the best way to increase the odds of being reunited with your pet should he or she become lost.
Insurance Against a Broken Heart
More than 8 million companion animals wind up in shelters across the country each year, many of whom have escaped from a loving home. Sadly, less than 30% of dogs and 5% of cats are ever reunited with their families.
Microchipping is especially important for animals who don’t wear collars, or whose collars and tags become lost, damaged, or unreadable during their time away from home. In many cases, a microchip means the difference between finding your pet and never seeing him or her again.
Pet Microchipping Facts
If you have adopted your pet from a shelter or rescue, he or she is probably already outfitted with a microchip. Regardless of the large number of pets currently microchipped, there remains some confusion about how they work:
- Microchips are tiny transponders that emit a radio frequency, which relays information when a microchip scanner is passed over it.
- Microchips are usually implanted just under the skin, between the shoulder blades, via hypodermic needle. The procedure is no more painful than a standard vaccination and the chip is only about the size of a grain of rice.
- The microchip is encased in a biocompatible glass; it is nontoxic and will not migrate to any other area of your pet’s body.
- A microchip does not utilize GPS technology, so your pet’s whereabouts cannot be tracked.
- Considering the lifespan of the average microchip (roughly 25 years), the implantation is a cost-effective solution, usually between $45-$70 per pet.
How It Works
In the event your pet is lost and ends up at an animal shelter or veterinary hospital, he or she will immediately be scanned for a microchip by one of the employees. If your pet has been “chipped”, the chip’s unique ID code will appear on the scanner screen. The employee will then telephone the microchip company and give them the chip number, and the microchip company will call you right away and give you the location of your pet.
An Important Reminder
It’s essential that you register your pet’s microchip number with the microchip company as soon as possible after your pet’s chip has been implanted. This can easily be done online or by filling out the paperwork that comes with the chip. Any time you move or change phone numbers, be sure to update the chip information.