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pet microchippingAs responsible pet owners, we do everything we can to prevent our furry friends from becoming separated from us.  Despite our most conscientious efforts, however, it only takes a moment for a pet to slip out of a door or gate that’s accidentally left open, or any of the countless other situations in which our pets could potentially go missing.

A properly fitting collar and ID tags are important for all pets to have, but pet microchipping may be the best way to increase the odds of being reunited with a lost pet.

Why Pet Microchipping is so Important

An estimated 8 million pets wind up in shelters across the country each year, many of whom have escaped from loving families. Sadly, out of those lost animals, only 10-30% of dogs and less than 5% of cats are ever reunited with their families.

Microchipping is especially important for animals who don’t always wear collars, or whose collars or ID tags have become lost or damaged during their adventure away from home. Having your pet microchipped may mean the difference between being reunited with him or her, or being lost long-term.

The Nitty-Gritty

A microchip is essentially a tiny computer chip, roughly the size of a grain of rice. The chip is inserted just beneath your pet’s skin near the shoulder blades via hypodermic needle, where it will remain throughout your pet’s life. Pets can be microchipped during a spay/neuter procedure, or during a regular wellness exam.

Pet microchipping is safe, easy, and relatively painless. Because microchips have no battery or internal power source, they are considered inert. The chip itself is encapsulated in biocompatible glass and will remain stationary inside your pet’s connective tissue.

In the event your pet ends up at a shelter or veterinary hospital, your pet’s microchip will be scanned with a handheld microchip scanner. Your stored contact information is then displayed across the scanner’s screen, allowing them to notify you that your pet has been found and where you can pick him or her up.

Don’t Forget!

Having your pet microchipped is a great first step, but it’s important to remember that a microchip is only as good as the information it contains. You will need to register your pet’s microchip number with the microchip company as soon as your pet is chipped. Any time you move or change your phone number, you will need to notify the company so your pet’s microchip can be kept current at all times.

In a 2009 study by the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, it was found that only 58.1 percent of microchipped animals that ended up in shelters had been registered with the microchip’s database. By registering your contact information and keeping it current, you will greatly increase your chances of being reunited with your pet.

No Time like the Present

May is National Chip Your Pet Month! If you haven’t had your pet microchipped yet, please give your friends at Soundside Animal Hospital a call to set up an appointment for this quick and easy procedure. We look forward to seeing you and your pet soon!