May is National Chip Your Pet Month. You’ve heard about microchipping, but maybe you’re not sure what it entails, if it’s safe, or even if it’s affordable. Is microchipping really the way to go, or is somebody just trying to sell you something you don’t need? We’ll tell you the facts — and dispel the myths — so you can microchip your pet with the knowledge that it’s the wise and responsible move.
10. One out of every three pets gets lost at some point.
You may think you’re careful enough to be “immune” to losing your pet, but think again. According to LA Weekly, one third of all pets become lost at least once in their lifetime. That’s a lot of lost animals — too many to be explained simply by blaming irresponsibility of owners in all cases. Even if you’re a responsible, vigilant pet parent, a freak accident or careless mistake could mean losing your pet. (LA Weekly)
9. In only 10 percent of cases do owners find their unidentified pets.
If your pet does becomes lost and bears no ID, the chances of your ever finding it are statistically grim. “Without proper identification, 90 percent of those [lost] pets are never returned home,” said Brenda Barnette, general manager of the Department of Animal Services in Los Angeles, Calif. (Found Animals)
8. It gives you control and peace of mind.
If your pet gets lost, it’s natural that you would panic to some degree. You can lessen that anxiety knowing that, no matter what, your microchipped pet can be identified if found. But microchipping puts more power in your hands than just that. You can go online and issue immediate, widespread alerts about your lost pet using your microchip registration info, like an Amber Alert for pets. (HomeAgain)
7. It’s quick.
Microchipping an animal is a simple procedure, like giving an injection. It only takes seconds, so you won’t have to leave your pet alone at the vet or worry that he or she will endure distress. (WebMD)
6. It’s relatively painless.
Microchipping is not a complicated surgery, or a surgery at all, in fact. The tiny microchip is applied just like a regular vaccination or other shot. The teeny-tiny device is loaded in a sterile, syringe-like applicator that is used to insert the microchip under the skin between your pet’s shoulders. The whole process is no more painful to your pet than any other shot would be and, of course, you can be there the whole time to provide comfort. (Petfinder)
5. It’s relatively inexpensive.
If you’ve been putting off microchipping your pet because you’re worried about the cost, you can stop worrying. Microchipping isn’t free, but it certainly won’t break the bank either. Depending on your vet’s fees and what additional services you may choose to go along with your pet’s microchip, the whole deal should cost you around $25 to $50. (Cesar’s Way)
4. It’s permanent.
Yes, there are other ways to identify your pet. The traditional pet ID is a name tag or a license attached to a collar. But if your pet gets lost, it’s not unlikely that he or she will lose his or her collar and the identification along with it. A microchip is implanted under your pet’s skin, so it can’t get lost and it won’t wear out over time. Even if you move, you won’t have to replace the chip; you can simply update its information. Isn’t technology wonderful? (Village Veterinary Clinic)
3. It could keep your lost pet alive.
We all know that shelters, for all the good work they may do, don’t have enough room for all the homeless and lost pets in the world. If a lost pet is picked up and put in a shelter, the clock starts ticking and when that animal’s time is up, it could be euthanized. In fact, the majority of animals that enter shelters end up euthanized. If your cat or dog gets lost and finds itself in a shelter, a microchip could save its life. The staff will scan your pet for a microchip, and if they find one, they’ll find you. (Animal Planet)
2. It proves you are your pet’s owner.
We don’t mean to fill your head with horror stories, but imagine the nightmare of losing your pet and then having it found by someone who refuses to return him or her to you, or even believe that you are his or her owner. Even a shelter may doubt you for some reason. A microchip leaves no room for doubt. (Animal Planet)
Next: 20 Tips to Find a Lost Pet
1. It works.
–“Long Island Cat Missing for 2 Years Found in Times Square”
–“Missing Cat Reunited With Owners After 13 Years”
–“Missing Cat Returns After 14 Years”
These are only three stories of lost pets who were reunited with their owners after long periods. Guess what they all have in common. If you said, “All the pets were microchipped,” give yourself a pat on the back. And stories like these happen every day. These are more remarkable perhaps because the lengths of time the cats were missing were so long, but that only serves to show the reliability and permanence of microchips. There’s plenty of evidence right there in your newspaper (and here on PawNation) that microchips work. The facts are all the proof you need.