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Pet Bucket Blog

Should I microchip my pet?

 by lucy on 23 Feb 2017 |
1 Comment(s)
The American Humane Association estimates that more than 10 million cats and dogs are lost or stolen in the United States each year. Collars and tags can help reunite lost pets with their families, but even tagged animals can slip their collars or have tags too worn to read. More and more owners are turning to microchipping, then, to help locate lost pets.
 
A microchip is a small, glass cylinder injected just below a pet’s skin, often between the shoulder blades. The procedure takes just seconds and equips your four-legged friend with a chip the size of a grain of rice. Each chip holds a radio transmitter and tiny electronic device, which contain an animal’s unique ID number. When a lost pet is taken into a shelter, a scan reveals this chip, which allows workers to identify the animal and use a database to contact his owners.  At an average cost of just $45 from your local veterinarian, a microchip is an investment that will last your pet’s lifetime and greatly increases your chances of being reunited with a lost pet. A study of 53 animal shelters by the American Veterinary Medical Association found that only 22 percent of dogs entering the shelters were reunited with their owners— a number that jumped to 52 percent for microchipped dogs. Less than 2 percent of cats entering the shelters were reunited with their owners, but that number increased to more than 38 percent for microchipped felines.
 
Though microchipping saves many animals’ lives each year, there are a few risks associated with the chips. In very rare cases, veterinarians have inserted the chip in the wrong place or the chip migrated after it was implanted. While this is generally harmless, a few instances have caused infections or abscesses. There have also been rare cases where tumors developed near microchips, though it is unclear whether they were caused by the chips or not. Given the millions of animals that have had microchips inserted without incidence, the risk is extremely low. However, owners should weigh these risks against what could happen—including not being able to find their pets and potential euthanization in shelters—when deciding whether or not to microchip their pets.
 
While a microchip will last your pet’s lifetime, a chip is only as good as its registration. After equipping Fido or Kitty with a microchip, it’s important to submit your registration and keep your contact information up-to-date. This includes updating your address and telephone number any time they change so rescue workers can reach you. Discuss microchipping with your veterinarian to find out which chips are most commonly use in your area. Different companies sell different chips, so finding out which chips local shelters can scan—and which are most universally read—can increase your chances of being reunited with a lost pet. Keep traditional identification tags on pets with microchips, too, in case a scanner misses the chip or an individual without access to a microchip scanner finds your pet.

Comment(s)1

Coral - Comment
Coral24 Feb 2017Reply
It's a worthwhile investment when the call comes in t say they have found your best buddy and they are safe...Go get them :)

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