It’s every pet parent’s worst nightmare: somehow, your beloved pooch or pussycat has managed to escape and is out fending for herself. Will you ever see her again? Each year, 1 in 3 pets goes missing. Those with microchips greatly improve their chances of seeing their families again. Even if your pet has an identifying collar and tags, these may be lost and whoever finds her has no way of knowing she’s yours-unless she’s microchipped.
What Exactly is Microchipping?
It is, first of all, NOT a GPS that tracks your pet’s location. It is a grain-of-rice-sized device that’s injected between your pet’s shoulder blades and has a unique identifying number that is linked to your pet. It will last his entire lifetime and cannot be removed or altered. Should he become lost and taken to a shelter or vet clinic, he will be scanned with a small reader that will identify his number. That number is linked to your contact information in the microchip company database. You’ll be notified that your pet has been found and can make arrangements for a happy reunion!
Paying the annual registration fee covers many added services that can help your lost pet come home sooner. As soon as she goes missing, you can access support specialists who will provide assistance. Lost Pet Alerts go out to all shelters, vet clinics and volunteer rescuers in a 25 mile radius of where she went missing. You can upload photos and create posters to distribute, letting people know that the “stray” they may see belongs to you. Even if you take Fido on vacation and he decides to wander off, up to $500 in airfare costs to bring him home may be covered.
But Wait, There’s More!
Microchip benefits go beyond helping reunite lost pets with their families. Emergency calls to ASPCA veterinarians and poison control are included, which can be lifesaving, especially after regular business hours. Pet doors and food bowls are also available that work with the microchip. The doors allow your pet to come and go but keep neighbor pets and wildlife out; the bowls are great if your pets eat different foods or tend to finish each other’s meals.
Oak Tree Veterinary Hospital can microchip your cat or dog at her next preventive care appointment or you can schedule a technician visit. The $105 cost includes the technician fee, microchip and first year’s registration, which you must keep updated. Current contact information guarantees that you can be reached if your pet is found so that you can arrange to bring him home. Kind people frequently bring in dogs and cats they’ve found for microchip scanning and sadly, most have no identification. The ones that do get to see their famiies again; make sure your furry family members have a happy ending if they decide to go on an adventure.