by Barbara Rivers
Barbara is a fellow pet blogger. We found each other through a site called Blogpaws and I asked her to share a guest article with us. She is the blogger behind K9sOverCoffee.com.
Mark your calendars for National Check the Chip Day on August 15th!
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) along with the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) created this event in order to remind pet owners to keep their chip information up-to-date and to inform the public about the benefits of microchipping.
What IS a microchip?
A microchip is a device the size of a grain of rice that has a unique number stored on it. This number is linked to the animal’s owner’s information in a huge national database.
The chip itself is implanted under the skin of an animal between her shoulder blades. It only takes seconds to implant the chip with a needle and isn’t any more painful than a typical shot.
Video of AVMA explanation of microchips:
Benefits of microchipping
The one huge benefit associated with microchipping is the increased chance of getting your pet back in case they got lost or stolen. However, this method is only effective if the information linked to the unique microchip number of your pet is accurate!
Therefore, your pet’s microchip needs to be registered right away, and the owner’s contact information needs to be kept current. It’s helpful to set reminders to update your address after a move, and/or to update a new phone number.
Also remember to update your hotel/camping ground addresses regularly when traveling with your pet for extended periods of time.
How effective is a microchip?
Studies have found that dogs are 2.5 times more likely to be reunited with owners if they have a microchip (rate is even higher in cats).
Combine a visual tag ID with a microchip for the best chances of your pet being returned home!
Are there any risks?
According to Dr. Linda Lord, associate professor at the Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine who has conducted studies about lost & reunited pets, risks associated with microchipping are anecdotal.
How do I go about getting my pet microchipped?
Contact your vet to get your four legged (or winged!) best friend microchipped. It is a quick, painless, and cost-effective procedure.
My pet was lost ~ how exactly does her microchip get her back home?
Once your lost pet gets to a shelter, rescue, animal services or veterinarian, she is checked for a microchip with a universal microchip scanner. The scanner reads your pet’s unique number, which is then looked up in the national microchip database. Once looked up, your contact information will be used to safely return your best friend home!
Missing or incomplete contact information, however, will make it that much harder, if not impossible, to return your pet!
Side note: Microchips are not GPS devices and don’t track your pet’s geographical location.
Microchipping Our Pups Missy & Buzz: Easy peasy!
You probably guess it by now ~ of course our pups Missy & Buzz are microchipped! Our vet combined the procedure with their respective neuter and spaying surgeries back in 2012, and implanted the chips while the pups were under anesthesia.
The total, one-time cost for each microchip was $61.26 (after a $10 discount for combining the placement with the sterilization surgeries).
Both pups are now registered with PetLink.net and have unique resQ ID numbers.
We received their unique resQ ID numbers from our veterinarian immediately after the microchips were implanted. All that was left to do was go online, register the IDs by creating an account with PetLink.net, and enter our contact information.
We were also able to enter specific information regarding Missy & Buzz’s breed, sex, weight, height, coat length, vet information, and specific characteristics (such as (un)cropped ears, (un)docked tails, sterilization status, etc.).
We also received a fridge magnet reminding us to keep the pups’ information current; respective resQ tags for the pups’ collars; and key chain cards with the pups’ unique resQ IDs and PetLink’s 24/7 hotline number. We keep the key chain cards on a key chain in our car at all times.
Check out more pet stories and articles in our Pet Perspective section. Advertise in KRL and 10% of your advertising fees can go to Fresno Bully Rescue.