Recovering Your Lost Pet: The benefits of microchipping
You may believe that you are doing every thing you can to protect your pet from being lost, but every year millions of pets go missing. It is estimated that 1 in 3 pets will go missing in their lifetime. Most of these lost pets are never recovered. Millions of lost pets will sit in shelters and never be reunited with their owners. Collars and tags are a good start in letting people know who your pet is, but things can happen to them. A collar can be lost or ripped off, or a tag can be rusted or hard to read. One of the best ways to identify your pet is through microchip identification. A microchip is about the size of a grain of rice and can be implanted at your next routine veterinary appointment. They are one of the best ways to reunite lost pets with their owners.
Many owners are reluctant to use microchips because they do not know much about them. The process for implanting a microchip is very easy. It does not require any surgery and your pet will not have a scar. The microchip is implanted under the skin using a needle just slightly bigger than one used for a vaccination. It is not painful to the pet; they may just feel a little pinch or sting. The doctor will shave a small patch of hair between the shoulder blades to mark the spot of implantation. The microchip is then implanted in the subcutaneous skin between the shoulder blades where it will remain for life. The only after care may be to apply a little triple antibiotic cream to the injection site.
In order to read the microchip, the pet will be scanned using a special microchip scanner. A number that is linked specifically to your individual pet will appear on the screen. That number is registered into a national database that can be accessed all over the country. These scanners are at police stations, shelters and veterinary offices. So, if your dog is lost in Texas but you are from Rhode Island, the Texas shelter/vet can locate you and reunite you with your pet. The number in a microchip is unique. No other animal will have the same number as your pet.
There are many commonly asked questions about microchip identification :
Q. Will I ever have to replace the microchip?
A. Microchips are guaranteed for life. They should not fall out of your pet if implanted properly.
Q. If I move can how will I be able to guarantee my pet will find me?
A. When a pet is microchipped, your veterinarian will have you set up an account with the microchip company online. They will have you set up a user name and password that you can use to access and change you or your pets information.
Q. My pet is strictly indoors and never leaves the house without me. Why should I microchip my pet?
A. Pets do have the tendency to escape or be stolen from houses or yards. A microchip can guarantee that they will be brought back to you. In the event of natural disasters (such as hurricanes, floods or a house fire) many pets can be displaced from their owners because they cannot be rescued at that time or taken with the owner. Microchip identification reunites many owners with their pets after these natural disasters occur.