May is “Chip Your Pets” month, which is a good reminder for pet owners to consider microchipping their feline and canine companions if they haven’t already. Microchipping can help you find your pet if they were to wander away from you in a crowd or get lost during your vacation. If you’re not sure whether to microchip your pet or not, here are a few facts that can help you make the right decision.
What is Microchipping?
Microchips are tiny chips (roughly the size of a grain of rice) implanted under your pet’s skin to help identify them if they were to get lost. Each chip contains an I.D. number that can be traced to your contact information through a pet microchip database. If your pet is found and taken to a shelter, the shelter will scan them for a microchip, access the database to get your information and contact you that they have been found.
Microchipping alone won’t protect your pet. You need to register your contact information in a pet microchip database so they can trace your pet’s number to you once they are found. Registering in several of the following databases increases your chances of being reunited with a cat or pup that’s lost:
- Pet Chip Registry USA
- Found Animals Registry
- National Animal Identification Center
- Pet Key
Be sure to keep your contact information up to date at all times so there’s no problem locating you when your pet is found.
Benefits of Microchipping a Pet
Naturally, the greatest benefit of microchipping is being reunited with a beloved pet that has gone astray. Microchipping is an easy and affordable means of finding a pet that has been stolen or lost. The process is safe, relatively painless and can be done by a qualified vet.
Your vet will use a hypodermic needle to implant the chip under your pet’s skin where it can’t fall out or break. As microchips don’t use batteries, they won’t wear out. A quality chip could easily last the lifetime of your pet. Your vet can scan the chip annually during your pet’s health checkup to verify it’s working as it should. Microchipping doesn’t replace your pet’s tag or collar for identification. It does, however, provide an extra layer of protection for your pet in case they get lost.
Do Microchips Work Like GPS Trackers?
No, they do not. GPS trackers are designed to transmit the location of your pet should they become separated from you. If your pet becomes lost in a crowd, you can track their whereabouts instantly using his GPS collar.
In contrast, microchips help you find a lost pet by having someone scan the chip number and match it to your contact information listed on a pet microchip registry. The process may take much longer. If your pet were to lose their tags or collar, however, microchipping could be a lifesaver in helping them get back home safely.
To protect your pet with a microchip, call us at Park Hills Animal Hospital at 859-581-5200 today.