Ask any pet parent who has lost their dog or cat, and they will tell you it is a tragic and traumatic experience. That’s why many dog and cat parents make sure their pet wears a collar with identification tags on it. Unfortunately, it is all too easy for a collar to break off when a pet runs loose, and a thief can quickly remove a pet’s collar. Almost 10 million pets are lost every year, and nearly 2 million are stolen yearly. Sadly, only 15 percent of dogs and 2 percent of cats without microchips or ID tags are reunited with their pet parents. The most efficient way to increase the chances of reuniting with a lost or stolen pet is through microchipping. Here’s what microchips are all about and the top reasons why you should microchip your pet today.
What is a microchip?
A microchip is a tiny, implantable computer chip that is roughly the size of a rice grain. That small little chip contains your pet’s unique identification number. The microchip is inserted under your pet’s loose skin between the shoulder blades with a syringe and needle; it is painless and takes as much time as a typical vaccine jab.
The microchip works by receiving a radio signal from a scanner used by shelter volunteers and veterinarians. It then transmits your pet’s encoded identification number back to the scanner. Then, you need to register your pet’s microchip with a national pet recovery database that can access multiple microchips types and technology. Be sure to enter your pet’s information and your name, address, and contact information correctly into the system. Always keep your information up to date in case you move or change phone numbers.
Should your microchipped pet become lost, anyone in a shelter or veterinarian clinic with a scanner can check for it, find your pet’s information via her identification number, and contact you to reunite you with your furkid. Here are the reasons you should get your pet microchipped.
Microchips last a lifetime.
Microchips are permanent once they are placed under your pet’s skin and will remain there for the rest of your pet’s life. Recent studies show that dogs with microchips are 20 times more likely to find their pet parents, and cats’ odds are 2.5 times higher. For a small fee, your pet can have a permanent microchip that forever marks her as your dog or cat. While pet collars should always have ID tags, they can be broken or fall off. With a microchip, your pet’s computer identification will always be there.
In 2019, a microchip helped return Sasha, a cat, to her owner after she went missing for five years. A dog named Dutchess was lost in 2004 only to be identified by her microchip at a shelter in Pittsburgh twelve years later! The shelter contacted Dutchess’ owner, and the woman and her dog were reunited. Many other microchip reunion stories prove the durability and longevity of this idetification tool.
Microchips protect against pet theft.
Aside from pets running away or getting lost, theft is another reason why some pet parents become separated from their cat or dog. Unfortunately, theft, particularly of purebred dogs, is on the rise due to the economic challenges caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Many thieves flip purebred dogs for quick cash or use them for breeding in puppy mill scenarios.
If your pet is microchipped, any question about proof of ownership can’t be challenged by the purported thief. February 14th is Pet Theft Awareness Day, and an excellent day to make an appointment to have your pet microchipped.
Microchips are inexpensive and provide peace of mind.
Microchips are not expensive for pet parents to purchase. The average price of a microchip is $45, and that amount typically includes implantation by the veterinarian and registration into the national pet recovery database. The cost of a microchip is well worth the years of peace of mind you’ll have as a pet parent. You know your dog or cat’s identity and information is in that chip, and they will be returned to you if found..
Microchips save pet lives.
Sadly, many lost pets end up in the shelter system. Over 6.5 million pets end up in shelters each year, and 1.5 million pets (860,000 cats and 670,000 dogs) are euthanized often due to lack of space. Microchipped pets have the chance to be reunited with their pet parents because shelters will have the appropriate information to contact owners to let them know where their pet is located. Without a microchip, lost pets may be adopted out to someone else or euthanized. Microchips can help prevent lost pets from needlessly losing their lives.
Get your dog and cat chipped today.
A microchip is an easy and inexpensive way to identify your pet should they get lost or stolen. If you have a pet insurance policy that includes wellness features, your policy may cover your pet’s microchip.
Interested in finding the right insurance policy for your pet? Let Pet Insurance Review help you find the deal that works best for your pet and budget. Get a free quote today, and make sure your pet has full protection no matter what happens in their lives.
- American Humane. (2019). “Every Day is Tag Day” --- Is Your Pet Protected? Retrieved from https://www.americanhumane.org/blog/every-day-is-tag-day-is-your-pet-protected/
- Pet Partners. (2020). 4 Reasons to Microchip Your Pet. Retrieved from https://www.petpartners.com/blog/pet-health-and-safety/4-reasons-to-microchip-your-pet
- National Pet Microchip Registration. (2016). Pet Microchip National Database Search. Retrieved from https://petmicrochipregistration.com/national-database/
- Ohio State University. (2009). Microchips Result in Higher Rate of Return of Shelter Animals to Owners. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091013185154.htm
- Robinson. K. (2019). How Sasha the lost cat found his way home after 5 years and 1,300 miles. Retrieved from https://www.azcentral.com/story/entertainment/pets/2019/11/21/lost-portland-cat-sasha-found-in-new-mexico-reunited-with-owner/4253162002/
- Bote, J. (2019). A Florida dog went missing. 12 years later, she is reunited with her owner in Pittsburgh. Retrieved from https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/10/14/florida-woman-reunites-dog-missing-12-years-pittsburgh/3974633002/
- American Kennel Club. (n.d.). Pet Reunion Stories. Retrieved from https://www.akcreunite.org/reunions/
- Lopez, J. (2020). Puppy shortage amid COVID leads to steep rise in animal thefts. Retrieved from https://www.radio.com/wben/news/puppy-shortage-amid-covid-leads-to-uptick-in-animal-thefts
- Houghton. J. (2020). Pet Theft Awareness Day. Retrieved from https://www.floofinsandco.com/pet-safety/pet-theft-awareness-day/
- Petfinder. (2021). Pet Microchip FAQs. Retrieved from https://www.petfinder.com/dogs/lost-and-found-dogs/microchip-faqs/
- ASPCA. (2021). Pet Statistics. Retrieved from https://www.aspca.org/animal-homelessness/shelter-intake-and-surrender/pet-statistics