Each year, thousands of pets go missing, and many don’t make it back home. Many pets (especially indoor pets) don’t wear collars or tags. Even if your pet wears a collar and identification tag, collars can break off and tags can become damaged and unreadable, so these forms of identification may not be enough to ensure your pet’s safe return. Your pet needs a form of identification that is reliable and can’t get lost, stolen, or damaged. A microchip is a safe, simple form of identification that can significantly increase the chance that your pet will return safely.
One of the worst feelings to experience as a pet owner is a realization that your pet has gone missing. Only 17% of dogs and 2% of cats make it back to their owners—which can make it feel like you’ll never see your pet again if they get lost.
Bartlett Animal Hospital wants to encourage you to consider microchipping your pet, even if they live entirely indoors–because even indoor pets can escape and become lost. Unlike collars and tags, microchips can’t fall off and they serve as permanent identification for a pet’s entire life. Microchips are also rated for 25 years, meaning they never need to be removed or recharged during your pet’s lifetime.
A microchip is about the size and shape of a grain of rice and is placed underneath your pet’s skin between the shoulder blades. Microchip implantation takes only a few minutes and is very safe. Each microchip is unique and carries vital information about your pet—including your name, address, and contact information. When a microchip is implanted, the pet owner is given a registration form to complete. Registering the number on the microchip includes your pet in a national pet recovery database. Veterinary hospitals, animal shelters, and animal control offices across the country are equipped with special electronic scanners that can detect the microchip and read the identification number. If a lost pet is picked up by animal control or found by a good Samaritan and presented to a veterinarian, a quick scan of the microchip reveals the identification number. A toll-free phone call to the pet recovery database alerts the microchip company that a lost pet has been identified. The pet owner can then be contacted and reunited with his or her pet!
Microchipping a pet is simple, relatively painless and very affordable. Young puppies and kittens can receive microchips, but even if your pet is already an adult, you should consider microchipping. Even indoor pets can get outside accidentally and get lost, so if you’re relying on other forms of identification, you could be placing your pet at risk. Once implanted, authorities only need to scan the chip to locate your information. But remember: a microchip is only useful if your contact information is updated.
Bartlett believes microchipping is the safest, most effective method of pet recovery available, helping reunite more than 15,000 lost pets to their owners every month. To get your pet “chipped”, request an appointment online or call us at 630-830-3444.