Microchipping Your Pet

One of the worst things many pet owners can imagine is having your pet become lost. Most of us are careful to do things to prevent our pet from getting out unsupervised, but accidents happen; gates can be left open, leashes break and dogs and cats can make a quick dash out the front door as you’re getting your pizza delivery. Hopefully your pet will have a collar with your phone number or other contact information on it. If you own a dog, he should also have his county dog license as well. But what if your pet doesn’t have a collar on?

This is where microchips can save the day. Not every pet, especially cats, wear a collar all the time. Microchips are small implants, about the size of a grain of rice, that are implanted in the loose skin between your pet’s shoulder blades. They are with your pet 24/7 and since they don’t require a power source will stay with your pet for life. When you get your pet microchipped, you are given a form to send in to register your pet and its microchip number. That number can be read by a handheld scanner and the registry contacted to get the owner’s contact information for their lost pet.

Almost all animal shelters and humane societies have scanners that they use to look for and read the chip number, if present, in a lost pet. In January there was a news story of a cat that was lost in Florida and found in Colorado. The kitty apparently snuck out a hole in a dryer vent. Luckily, the person who found him in Colorado took him to a local shelter where he was scanned and found to have a microchip which enabled them to contact his owner in Florida. How he got to Colorado is anyone’s guess.

While most of our pets won’t take cross country trips, it’s good to know there’s a way we can help them find their way home, even if it’s just from across town.

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