Although no one wants or expects to lose a pet, separations do happen. Pets can be stolen, they can dig under fences, and they can get frightened and run away. Every year, more than 10 million cats and dogs are lost or stolen in the United States, and 1/3 of pets will be lost at least once in their lifetime.
According to the American Human Association, only two percent of lost cats and 15% of lost dogs are successfully reunited with their owners. Additional studies show that 22% of dogs without microchips that are turned in to animal shelters are returned to their owners, while 52% of dogs with microchips are successfully reunited.
At Wesson Animal Clinic, we highly recommend microchipping all cats and dogs, as it greatly increases the chances of locating pets should they become lost.
What Are Pet Microchips?
A pet microchip is a safe, pain-free, surgery-free permanent form of identification for pets. An identifying microchip, about the size of a grain of rice, is inserted with a needle between your pet’s shoulder blades. Our veterinarian can insert a microchip in the office during a regular appointment without the use of anesthesia. At most, your pet might experience a brief pinching sensation.
How Do Microchips Work?
A pet microchip houses a unique identification number, which can be read with a special scanner. Your pet’s identification number is stored in a national database along with your pet’s information and your contact information. If a pet becomes lost and is turned into a veterinary office, animal shelter, or animal control, the cat or dog will be scanned for a microchip. The pet’s identification number will then be searched on the database in order to find the owner’s contact information.
If you move or change your phone number, you can easily log in to your pet’s profile on the database to update your information. If you need assistance with changes, our veterinary staff can help you, too.
Why You Can't Rely on ID Tags Alone
Unlike microchips, your pet’s ID tags are not reliable. Tags easily break away from collars, and pets often lose their collars altogether. Tags also become quickly weathered and unreadable. Information stored in your pet’s microchip, however, is permanent and will never get lost.
Pet Microchipping at Wesson Animal Clinic
If your pets are not yet microchipped, we recommend scheduling an appointment right away. If your pet becomes lost, a microchip is his or her best chance of coming home. To learn more or schedule an appointment, contact our office today.