No loving and dedicated owner likes to think about the possibility of their precious pet becoming lost. Nevertheless, a shocking number of companion animals are lost or stolen each year. In fact, the American Humane Association estimates that over 10 million dogs and cats are separated from their owners each year through theft or because they have become lost. Unfortunately, not all of those beloved pets will make it home. Something which could improve their chances of being reunited with their owner is pet microchipping.
Pet microchipping isn’t a new concept, but a surprising number of owners are yet to take advantage of this highly successful method of identification for pets. In the past, collars and tags were considered to be the best way of attaching your personal information to your pet so that you can be contacted if she becomes lost and is recovered. However, today, pet microchipping has proven to be a superior solution. This is because studies have shown that without a doubt, registered microchips that are kept up to date with the owners’ details give lost pets the best chance of returning home. Exact statistics vary, but on average, microchipped pets are as much as 50% more likely to be returned to their owners than those without a microchip.
What is pet microchipping?
Pet microchipping is a process that involves placing a tiny RFID device, about the size of a grain of rice, into the soft tissue of your pet. This microchip lies dormant until it comes close to an RFID scanner. When it does, it transmits a unique reference number to the scanner, along with details of the microchip provider. This reference number relates to a database entry that contains your personal information so that you can be contacted in the event that your pet is found.
Only approved professionals can obtain this information, and only if you have given permission for the microchip provider to share it. In some cases, the microchip provider will contact you directly to let you know that your pet has been found. It is important that you keep this information up to date and contact your microchip provider if you move home or transfer ownership of your pet.
Key benefits of pet microchipping
- Increased likelihood that you will be reunited with your pet
- A form of identification that is tamper-proof and cannot fall off
- A biocompatible microchip, meaning that your pet’s body will not reject it
- No need to replace the microchip, it should last the duration of your pet’s lifetime
- Security of your personal information
- Enables owners of lost/stolen pets that do not survive to still be contacted to obtain closure
Should I still put a collar and tag on my pet?
While many owners still use collars and tags, and they most certainly still have a place as an effective form of identification, there are two key issues associated with them. Firstly, they can fall off. This is particularly true of the identification tag which is likely to be the element that contains your contact information. Secondly, they can be tampered with or removed should someone so wish.
A collar and tag can be useful for locally rediscovered pets as they enable the finder to contact you without needing to visit a veterinarian in Mokena, IL or shelter that has access to a microchip scanner. However, experts recommend that a collar and tag is supplied in addition to a microchip.
If you would like more information about the success rate of pet microchipping, or if you have any questions about the process, please don’t hesitate to speak to our experienced vets in Mokena, IL at 708-479-2811.