The 3rd week in April in National Pet ID Week. How important is a pet identification and microchip? Not to be overly-dramatic, but having an ID microchip inserted into your pet’s skin could save your pet’s life.
Nearly 56% of dogs that go to animal shelters are euthanized, less than 20% are reunited with their former owners. The best way to keep your pet dog or cat from being euthanized is to implant a microchip in your pet at your local veterinarian or at many animal shelters.
Having a microchip implanted in your dog may sound like a painful experience, but it’s actually nearly painless and can be done safely on puppies at the time of spaying or neutering. It’s a simple procedure to insert a microchip the size of a large grain of rice between your dog’s shoulder blades or at the base of her tail. Most vets would compare getting a microchip implant to getting a vaccine, as no anesthesia is required and it only takes a few seconds.
How does a microchip work? Every microchip has a unique registration ID number. It’s sort of like a barcode. Animal shelters and vets use a scanner to read the microchip, obtain a registration number and the phone number for the company that made your dog’s microchip. Then that company is called (most microchip companies are available 24/7) to provide your contact information and any other information you chose to put on file (such as vaccination records).
Dog tags are also necessary. Although microchips contain important information and can last 25 years without be recharged or replaced, they should not be used as a replacement to dog tags or dog collars with your contact information. As a responsible pet owner, it is advised that you take all necessary steps to ensure that your pet can be easily identified if lost. Microchips are not perfect, but they do increase the chances of your lost dog being safely returned to your care.
If your pet does not have a microchip implant or if you are unsure if your pet has a microchip implant, visit your local vet for more assistance.