No one wants to imagine their beloved pet getting lost. What a complete nightmare! The unfortunate reality is that roughly 10 million pets get lost each year. How can be increase the chances of us being reunited with our pets if this were to happen?  

Microchips

Don’t get us wrong! You should still have ID tags on your pets at all times, but those can get caught or torn off if your pet were to get loose, and a microchip is the best way to implement a backup system. 

What is a microchip? What does a microchip do? Does my pet NEED one?  

A microchip is a form of identification that is roughly the size of a grain of rice. It is implanted under your pet’s skin (usually in the area between the shoulder blades) by way of a needle and feels like a typical vaccine would to your pet.  

Many pet owners who are unsure of how microchips work think they are some sort of GPS tracking device, which is not the case. While such things exist, you often run into radius issues, and they are not nearly as reliable as a microchip.  

After your pet’s microchip is implanted, you will receive information from the veterinarian or clinic about registering your pet’s chip. There are different companies that manufacture microchips, so the registration process will vary, but the information collected will likely be the same. They’ll ask for things like:  

  • Your name and contact information.  
  • Your pet’s veterinarian.
  • A backup point of contact for your pet. 
  • A photo of your pet.

There may be a fee to register your pet’s microchip, and you may need to update payment annually, so be sure to place appropriate reminders in place! You can also look into a lifetime membership payment, but should still check regularly to make sure your information is up to date. The ability to be reunited with your pet in the event of an emergency is priceless!  

All kinds of pets can be microchipped, but the most common ones are dogs and cats. Don’t rule out reptiles, birds, and other small animals! Just ask your veterinarian.  

Your pet’s microchip will have an identification number associated with it. If your pet gets lost, and a kind soul takes your pet to a shelter or a veterinary office with a universal microchip scanner, the scan will show that ID number. Once they contact the company with the ID number, it will trace back to your contact information, and VOILA! They can call you to be reunited with your pet.  

Microchips are an inexpensive way to give you some peace of mind thinking about your pets ever getting lost. We can all take proper precautions, but the reality is that accidents happen!  

Bonus Tips: 

  • Order an embroidered collar for your pet with the words “I’m Microchipped!” on it! Even if their tags fall off, this may be a good reminder to someone finding your pet to go have them scanned.  
  • Microchips can sometimes slide around under your pet’s skin over time. Each time you go into see the veterinarian, have them do a scan and make sure it’s still in place!  
  • Set a reminder on your calendar each year to check your pet’s microchip information and make sure payment is up to date.