What is Microchipping?

Microchipping is a safe and simple procedure that helps protect the bond you have with your pet. The chip gives you solid proof that you own your pet and increases the chances of finding them if they go missing. It’s not something you ever want to think about as a pet owner, but sadly it happens, only a few split seconds with an open gate or door could lead to the unthinkable. According to the Ontario SPCA and Humane Society, over 10 million pets are lost each year in North America, and more than three-quarters of them are separated from their homes for good. 

While Microchipping isn’t a definite ticket home for your pets, a 2009 study of over 7,700 stray animals at the ASPCA revealed significant differences in reunion rates. Dogs without microchips were returned to their owners 2.2% of the time, compared to 52.2% for microchipped dogs. For cats, the rates were 1.8% without microchips and 38.5% with microchips.

large white dog being scanned for microchip

How does Microchipping work?

Your veterinarian will implant a tiny, rice-sized chip under your pet’s skin, usually between their shoulder blades. It’s as painless as a regular vaccine shot. While microchipping doesn’t track your pet’s location, each chip contains a unique identification number that can be scanned to connect to your contact information, which is stored in a secure database. This makes it easy for animal shelters, veterinary clinics, and animal control officers to fast track a reunion. 

If you move address or change phone numbers make sure to keep your contact information up-to-date in the database. The main reason microchipped animals sometimes aren’t reunited with their owners is because of incorrect or disconnected phone numbers. 

Even after getting microchipped, it’s important for your pet to wear a collar and tags. If someone finds your pet without any identification, they might decide to keep them or find them a new home.

Why is Microchipping an important step in pet ownership?

Microchipping is important for several reasons. It provides a permanent form of identification for your pet, unlike collars and tags that can easily get lost or removed. It offers peace of mind, knowing that even if your pet becomes separated from you, their microchip can serve as their ticket back home. It’s also a crucial step in responsible pet ownership. It helps combat pet theft and illegal breeding practices. If a lost or stolen pet is found, scanning their microchip can quickly prevent ownership disputes. 

Check the Chip Day

August 15 is Check the Chip Day, a reminder for pet owners to prioritize their pet’s safety and security. Take the opportunity to ensure your pet’s microchip information is up to date, and consider making an appointment with your veterinarian to scan the chip, ensuring it’s functioning properly. If your pet isn’t microchipped, take this opportunity to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian to learn more. 

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