We all think it couldn’t possibly happen to us, but the sobering fact is over 10 million dogs and cats are lost or stolen in U.S. every year. We understand that things happen – the door is left open for a second too long, your pet gets spooked by a loud sound, or they just have a free spirit – but the good news is there is something that can help bring them home. To remind pet owners to have their pets microchipped and to keep the registration information up-to-date, AVMA and the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) joined together to create “Check the Chip Day.”
Small size, big game changer.
The microchip itself is about the size of a grain of rice and is implanted between the shoulder blades of a pet. It is a very simple procedure that takes less than a minute. Both cats and dogs can be microchipped. If your pet is already going under anesthesia for a spay, neuter, or dental cleaning, this can be done while they are asleep. If not, we can still implant the microchip by numbing the area with a topical anesthetic and then inserting the microchip.
This simple piece of technology can make the difference in your pet finding their way back home to you. Animal hospitals and shelters are all equipped with scanners to check for the presence of a microchip. Once a lost pet is scanned and a microchip is located, an identification number will appear on the scanner. This ID number can be called into the manufacturer’s lost pet line, or it can be entered into a website like AAHA’s Universal Pet Microchip Lookup Tool. Some microchip ID numbers can even be searched in Google!
The chip isn’t enough.
Only 58% of microchipped animals have their owner’s information registered. Without any information registered, the microchip serves no purpose. It is critical that you register your information with your pet’s microchip company as soon as possible. Also keep in mind that if you move, change your phone number, email address, or the pet has new owners, those changes should be recorded with the microchip database company. We have encountered so many lost pets that have been brought in to be scanned, only to have no information registered or the information is out of date.
Sounds good … Is my pet a good candidate for microchipping?
The short answer is YES! Even if your pet is indoor-only or only goes out in a fenced yard, nothing is a guarantee. One in three pets will become lost at some point in their life. Safeguard your pet by microchipping them today!