For pet owners, nothing is more horrifying than a lost pet. Putting up flyers on trees with “Have you seen this dog?” has been the go-to for many years but no more. Microchips greatly increase the chances that pets will be reunited with their families if they are lost or stolen. However, a microchip only works if its registration information is up to date and accurate.
Dogs are 2.5 times more likely to be returned to their owners if they are chipped. Cats are over 20 times more likely to be returned to their owners if they are chipped.
Microchips only work if your information is updated and accurate. Otherwise, your pet would be returned to the animal shelter and no attempts to contact you could be made.
What is a Microchip?
A microchip is your pet’s permanent ID. Dog and cat microchipping is a simple procedure. A veterinarian simply injects a microchip for pets, about the size of a grain of rice (12mm), beneath the surface of your pet’s skin between the shoulder blades. The process is similar to an injection and takes only a few seconds. No anesthetic is required.
The microchip itself has no internal energy source, so it will last the life of your pet. It is read by passing a microchip scanner over the pet’s shoulder blades. The scanner emits a low radio frequency that provides the power necessary where the chip is located to transmit the microchip’s unique cat or dog ID code and positively identify the pet.
If your pet gets lost and is taken to an animal shelter or veterinarian, they will scan the microchip to read its unique dog or cat ID code. This is the number used to identify the pet and retrieve your contact information, which is used to contact you and reunite you with your pet.
Check the Chip Day
To remind pet owners to have their pets micro-chipped and to keep the registration information up-to-date, American Animal Hospital Association created “Check the Chip Day.”
Pet owners are encouraged to take advantage of this reminder for the following.
- Make an appointment with your veterinarian for microchipping if your pet isn’t already microchipped (then make sure that your pet’s chip is immediately registered).
- Check your already-microchipped pet’s registration information in the microchip manufacturer’s database, and make sure it’s up-to-date.
- Updating your pet’s microchip registration
Updating Your Pet’s Microchip Registration
When you move or get a new phone number, the last thing on your mind is your pet’s microchip. So let this serve as a reminder to check that your pet’s microchip is up to date.
To update your pet’s registration, you’ll need your pet’s microchip number. If you haven’t already created an account with the manufacturer, you’ll need to do that as well so you can access the registration in the future to update the information. Make sure that all of the information, particularly your phone number(s) and address, are correct.
There are many databases that allow you to register your pet’s microchip, but the one that really counts – the one that animal shelters and veterinarians will search – is the database maintained by the manufacturer of your pet’s microchip.
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