cat trying to hunt birds in a apple treeUnfortunately, over 4 million dogs and cats enter shelters each year due to lack of microchipping. Of these, many are pets who became lost or missing. Sadly, only about 20% of dogs and 2-3% of cats are ever reunited with their owners.

The holidays are an especially worrisome time of year for reports of missing pets. In part, this is due to all the parties and gatherings that can leave a pet vulnerable to anxiety, stress, or simple human error (accidentally leaving a door or gate open). That’s why maintaining your pet’s ID tags and microchipping your cat or dog is so important.

Pet Microchipping: Simple & Effective

A microchip is a tiny, integrated circuit encoded with a unique number. These chips can be scanned by a corresponding reader or wand. About the size of a grain of rice, the microchip is implanted just under the skin, generally between the shoulder blades.

Minimally invasive, this procedure does not require anesthesia and is comparable to getting a vaccination. It’s also very affordable; most pets who are adopted will have this included in their adoption fee.

Once implanted, owners receive the information required to register their pets in a secure database. Registration can be done via mail or online. From there, a pet’s identification number will remain with him or her for life. Should your pet become lost, most shelters and veterinary clinics have scanners so you and your companion can be reunited quickly with minimal effort.

The Benefits of Microchipping and ID Tags

Along with microchipping, the team at True Care Veterinary Hospital also recommends the use of up-to-date ID tags. This is beneficial for 3 reasons:

  1. Tags distinguish your companion as a family pet and not a feral animal or stray.
  2. Tags are an easy way to convey your pet’s name, your name, and your contact information.
  3. Tags often include your pet’s registered license number with the city, which is an easy way for others to link your pet directly to you.

The following are other advantages of using both microchipping and ID tags:

  • Tags provide more information to the average person who might find your dog or cat (someone without a scanner).
  • Microchips are an effective, more permanent solution to ensuring the safety of your pet (tags can become detached or removed).
  • Microchipped pets are more than twice as likely to be reunited with their owners than those who are not.
  • Cats often do not wear collars or tags, so microchipping is a great alternative (especially for outdoor kitties).
  • Maintaining pet information through microchipping and ID tags helps reduce the animal shelter population worldwide.

Microchipping is a safe and accessible way to ensure the safe return of a missing or lost pet. It’s truly one of the best methods at your disposal to protect your companion. Please contact us with additional questions about microchipping and its many benefits.