While many people know that July Fourth is one of the key times pets go missing, they don’t consider Halloween, yet this spooky holiday can send pets scampering off in search of a safe place, free from trick-or-treaters, eerie sounds, and freaky costumes. As the year-end holiday season ramps up, your pet has more opportunities to go missing—when she is overwhelmed with relatives at Thanksgiving, slips out with the mounds of trashed wrapping paper at Christmas, or bolts at the sound of fireworks on New Year’s Eve.
Protect your pet from becoming another shelter statistic this holiday season by getting her microchipped. It’s one of the most important acts of preventive care you can provide, and to ensure your pet is always returned to you should she go missing, we are offering a discount on microchipping—ask us for more info.
To help clear up any misconceptions about missing pets and microchips, here are a few key facts:
- According to the ASPCA, approximately 6.5 million companion animals enter U.S. shelters each year. Of these millions of pets, only about 710,000 who enter as strays are reunited with their owners. More heartbreaking is the fact that only about 3% of cats who enter shelters (90,000 out of 3.2 million cats in shelters) find their owners. Microchipping can help change this statistic. While fewer cats visit their veterinarian because they’re considered healthy by their owners, a microchipping appointment can save their lives as much as a wellness or emergency care visit.
- Microchipping is not the same as a GPS tracking device. A GPS collar can locate your missing pet, whereas a microchip is a permanent identification device. A missing microchipped pet can be scanned at an animal shelter or veterinary hospital to get her microchip number and the corresponding registration information. However, with each move or new phone number, you must update your contact info with the microchip registration company, Home Again, to help ensure you and your pet are reunited.
- A microchip is the same size as a grain of rice, and although the chip is implanted using a larger needle than a vaccine, most pets hardly mind. The procedure does not require sedation or anesthesia, as plenty of tasty treats and ear rubs will distract your pet while her microchip is inserted.
- Many pets adopted from shelters or purchased through breeders are already microchipped, so check your paperwork if you’ve taken one of these pets into your home.
- Although microchips are an excellent form of tamper-proof identification, they do not replace collar identification tags or rabies tags, which can help provide instant contact info. Your pet must be wearing her collar when she sneaks out the door. Collars can break and fall off, as can ID tags. Engraving on tags can become worn and illegible, or have outdated information. Use multiple identification forms to ensure the best chance of finding your pet.
- Microchips require little maintenance after they’re implanted. No batteries are involved, so nothing needs replacing, and no microchip “tune-up” is necessary. The only upkeep required is updating your contact information and periodically checking the chip. The annual “Check the Chip Day,” August 15, reminds you to bring your pet to our office to ensure her microchip is still in working order.
- Microchips can be used for more than permanent identification purposes. Home Again microchips can be used with pet feeders and pet doors. A microchip pet feeder keeps cats, dogs, and children out of the wrong food, ensures the right pet eats her prescription diet, and allows you to monitor how much your pet is eating. Fitting your door with a cat or dog flap allows your microchipped pet to go in and out freely while keeping out unwanted animals. A curfew mode is also available to only allow access at certain times.
We make microchipping your pet easy. Simply schedule an appointment with one of our veterinary technicians, and you will be in and out in 10 minutes. We will also register you and your pet with the microchip company, Home Again, while you’re in our hospital. Give us a call to microchip your pet and ensure her safety.