When you are a pet owner, your pet is part of the family. You make it a point to see to it that Sassy or Spot has food and water, a place to play, a comfortable place to sleep, and a myriad of other creature comforts all designed to add to your pet’s quality of life. You do this in return for the unconditional love, loyal friendship, the smile he brings you and perhaps even their protection and guidance-should it be a service animal. As such, you take measures to ensure your pet’s safety, as well.
Perhaps one of the best things you can do to keep Sassy or Spot safe, in addition to staying current on vet visits, is through microchipping. This process is described as the only permanent method of identifying your pet and linking the animal back to you, the owner. Yes, there are other actions such as collar tags and tattooing, but if you want to use the best protection available, microchipping is the answer. (However, combining microchipping with a collar is highly recommended.)
Not sure about microchipping, then consider these reasons for microchipping your pet:
• It is the best possible chance of having your pet returned when found.
• It is a quick and relatively painless procedure.
• It lasts for your pet’s lifetime.
• It can be used for both cats and dogs. It can also be used for most mammals as well.
In addition, consider these numbers from the ASPCA:
• Nearly 8 million pets end up in shelters each year.
• Only 15-20% of dogs and less than 2% if cats are ever reclaimed.
• Of the millions of pets euthanized in shelters each year, an estimated 30% of them are lost and their owners cannot be found.
• To date 142,000 pets have been reunited with their families or 1 reunion every 32 minutes, using the AVID microchip.
• There have been 34,000 reunions for pets with the HomeAgain microchip.
So, what is keeping you from getting your pet(s) microchipped? Perhaps, you still have some questions. If so, then here are some answers to FAQs regarding microchipping.
1. How long does it take and can it be done by a veterinarian? Ideally, you should have a vet do the microchipping. The procedure takes about as much time as it does to give your pet a shot. It actually takes longer to do the paperwork for the procedure than for the procedure itself.
2. Does it hurt for the pet to be microchipped? No more than it does in giving them a shot. It is a large needle as the microchip is about the size of a grain of rice. Often, pet owners choose to have their pet microchipped during a routine visit when shots are already being given.
3. How much it cost to have a microchip inserted? Average cost is around $50; however, if you have it done as part of a regular visit, the cost is often less. In addition, shelters will sometimes do the procedure for a lower rate.
4. Do all pet shelters scan for microchips when a pet is brought in ? Yes. This is a common practice at shelters around the country. Of course, you can always call your local shelter(s) and find out what their policy is.
5. Is it dangerous for a pet to be given a microchip? While there have been reports of tumors occurring when the chips were used in mice in laboratory testing, the chances of a problem with microchipping in your pet are rare.
6. If my pet has a microchip, is a collar tag need as well? By all means, the better you can protect and identify your pet, the greater the likelihood of having your pet returned.
7. What is the best brand of microchip? For the most part, they are all the same. However, some vets/shelters prefer one brand to another. Talk to your vet to find out what type they recommend.
These are but a few of the common questions regarding microchipping. You may have others, which your vet will be happy to answer for you. You can also ask us, we are here to help. Microchipping is but another way you can protect your pet and ensure that in the event that they get lost, you will get your pet back. Take the steps necessary to see that your dog(s) or cat(s) will be returned to you.