Up to 8 million pets end up in shelters each year and only 15-20% of dogs and less than 2% of cats are estimated to be reclaimed by their owners.
Microchipping your pet is a simple, pretty inexpensive and mostly painless procedure.
Most vets charge around $50 but, to have your pet safely identifiable should it ever get lost, it’s priceless!
Why don’t more pet parents do it? If you are like many, you may not even think about having a microchip put in for your dog or cat, or you may put it off and end up forgetting about it.
Though it’s no guarantee, having your dog microchipped can make the difference in whether your pet will ever be returned to you should happen to become lost. There are plenty of incredible stories of pets being reunited with their owner because of a microchip.
So what are the benefits to microchipping? How does it work, and are there any drawbacks?
These are the questions we hope to answer for you today!
Question #1: What Are The Benefits of Microchipping?
We’ve all seen those little pieces of paper sticking to telephone posts or inside store windows of pet owners searching for their lost dog or cat.
Perhaps these pets roamed too far from home, only to discover that they couldn’t find their way back. The story is a sad one for any of us who have pets.
With a microchip, a dog can be found by someone across state lines, across the street, or even across the world, and can be safely returned back home!
For this reason, many pet owners are able to sleep soundly at night knowing that if something were to happen to their pet, they still might get their pet back home safely.
A microchip cannot get lost like a dog tag can, and it lasts for as long as your pet might roam around! Because of this, many owners nowadays who have lost pets are able to reunite, whereas before odds were much slimmer!
(You still do want to have a collar and tags, as the person who finds him might not know anything about microchips or where to take him to get scanned).
All-in-all, microchipping is a great way to protect your dog from being lost and without a home, and also to protect your heart from the heavier possibility of being parted from your pet prematurely!
How Does a Microchip Work?
When your pet goes in for a Microchip procedure, he will come out with a tiny little chip that can respond to a radio signal by sending off a unique signal of its own.
Each dog or cat who gets a microchip gets one that shares a unique identification signal when scanned with a microchip scanner.
The code is then submitted to the microchip registry: this organization houses the pet parent information according to a pet’s microchip ID number.
At this point, the person running the scanner would be able view your contact information and get in touch with you to notify you of finding your lost pet.
Many animal shelters today have scanners that can read the chips within pets, which is comforting to know that if your pet does end up at a local shelter, odds are that you will be notified.
There are three different radio wave frequencies that are used in Microchips, with the ISO recommended frequency of 134kHz being the most popular. (ISO stands for International Standards Organization) Most people will get this frequency as almost every Microchip scanner can read this signal.
Are There Any Drawbacks To Microchipping?
A chip has to be scanned to work — it’s not a GPS device.
There are also different device frequencies that have been used since microchipping first came out, and not all scanners that are used by animal shelters are equipped to read each type of frequency.
You should make sure your pet has the type of microchip that is recommended by the International Standards Organization, better known as the ISO. They recommend having a 134kHz chip put in. This can be read by most scanners in the U.S.
And be sure to submit your registration and keep the registered info updated if your contact info should change.
But there really is very little to worry about in regards to chip implant surgery, as it is a very simple procedure.
Ask your vet if you have any concerns about the procedure for your particular pet.
All in all, microchipping is a wonderful way that modern technology is being used. With it, many pets across the world have been returned safely home rather than living out their days in shelters or, in some cases, having their lives ended by being put down.
Take all the precautions you can to keep your pet safe!
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Best of luck to all our pet parents and pet friends this spring and summer; be safe, and be careful but also have fun!