There was an amazing story this week about a cat that was reunited with its owner after going missing four years ago in La Pine. This heartwarming story would have not happened if the cat had not been implanted with a microchip, and the cat’s owner had not been diligent about keeping her contact information up to date with the microchip manufacturer. Not only do stories like this warm our heart, but they help spread awareness about the importance of microchipping our furry friends.
What is a microchip?
A microchip is a small electronic chip that is permanently placed under your pet’s skin by a veterinary professional or animal shelter. The chip is tiny (about the size of a grain of rice) and is typically placed between your pet’s shoulder blades. The chip contains a unique code that can be picked up by specialized scanners. The unique code can be linked to an owner’s contact information and is used to help determine proof of ownership.
Why should you microchip your pet?
Research conducted by the American Humane Association indicates that one in three pets will become lost or stolen during their life. Microchips are imperative to helping ensure that these lost pets will be reunited with their owner. Animal shelters and veterinary clinics are equipped with microchip scanners and can scan your pet or strays to help determine if a microchip is present.
Having a microchip implanted is quick and relatively easy (though some people opt to have the microchip placed while their pet is under anesthesia for routine procedures like dental cleanings or spays and neuters). Microchips are implanted via a large bore needle (similar to receiving a vaccination). The cost of having a microchip implanted is inexpensive and can last up to 25 years.
What if you move or change your phone number?
One of the most important components of microchipping your pet is making sure you keep your contact information up to date. This includes your phone number and address.
Maintaining current contact information helps to ensure that a lost pet will be reconnected with its owners. Time and time again, veterinary hospitals and animal shelters scan stray dogs and cats that have microchips, but no current contact information is linked to the chip. They are unable to connect these pet with their families.
If your pet currently has a microchip placed, and you are unsure if your contact information is up to date, reach out to your pet’s microchip manufacturer. They can help you confirm your contact details. If you are unsure of the microchip manufacturer, speak with your pet’s veterinarian. They can assist you with this.
If you are interested in having your pet microchipped, please call your veterinarian and set up an appointment! It will increase the chances of reuniting you with your pet if the two of you are ever separated.