Did you know that 1 in every 3 pets go missing during their lifetime? That’s a pretty scary statistic. Pets run away for all sorts of reasons – scary sounds, uncovering escape routes, chasing other animals, etc. – it’s difficult to account for. But, as responsible pet parents, we can take measures to help prepare for the worst. Clearly collars and ID tags with up-to-date contact information are the easiest way to identify your pet to a stranger. But pets can lose their collars, with no real way of distinguishing them from other lost animals.
That’s where microchips come in and there are several scientific studies that show dogs and cats with microchips are more likely to be reunited with their families than those without.
What is a Microchip?
Microchips are small transponders (the size of a grain of rice) permanently inserted beneath your pet’s skin via an injection. They’re not GPS devices; chips are encoded with unique information that help identify your pet should they go missing. And, since they’re permanently attached to your pet (usually between the shoulder blades on cats and dogs) they’re always identifiable with the use of a scanner. Microchips are passive which means they stay inactive until scanned. The chip then emits a radio signal that transmits your pet’s unique identification number within a few seconds. Different microchips have different frequencies, depending on the manufacturer, though most scanners are equipped to read different frequencies.
What Happens When a Pet Goes Missing?
With a little luck a lost animal will promptly be picked up and taken to a local veterinarian or animal shelter. There the animal will be examined, cared for, and crucially, scanned for their microchip data. Using the information gleaned from the chip – assuming the animal has one – the owner will then be contacted to coordinate a pick up.
If the pet isn’t microchipped or if the owner’s contact information is out of date, the situation becomes more complex. It could mean the animal is eventually adopted to a new owner or in a small number of cases, euthanized. So, given how easy it is to microchip your pet as well as all the potential benefits, it really is a sensible thing for them to have.
How to Register or Update Your Pet’s Microchip
All veterinary clinics offer simple, cost-effective microchipping procedures for pets. Once the chip is inserted, they will provide its unique tracking information. Then it’s over to you. Depending on the chip manufacturer, go to their website and input your contact information into the registry so that it’s all on record. That way, the animal is always identifiable as yours, and you are easily reachable. If you change your phone number, move or relocate to another city, it’s very important that you update your contact on the same registry.
If you adopted your pet, they may well already be microchipped. If you’re unsure, book an appointment with your vet who can swiftly perform a scan. And, depending on the outcome, they can either arrange an insertion or provide you with the necessary information to register online.
Registering Your Pet’s Microchip Online is Critical
As a good example, HomeAgain is a company that specializes in pet microchipping and associated reunion services. If your pet goes missing, HomeAgain offers its members a 24-hour hotline with specialists who send rapid lost pet alerts to a large, nationwide network of volunteer veterinarians, shelters and PetRescuers. They have assisted in over 2 million pet/owner reunions here in the US.
How can Activ4Pets Help?
Maybe you recently moved or got a new phone number and need to update your contact details on the online microchip registry. Activ4Pets stores your pet’s complete health profile in the cloud for quick, easy reference without the hassle of paperwork. This information includes their microchip data, vaccines records, medications, allergies and much more.
If your pet does go missing it is always a good idea to promptly put together posters publicizing their photos, name and your contact information. Activ4Pets enables you to store an unlimited number of pictures online so you’re always well prepared with a selection of pet images.
Check out the infographic below for more information on microchipping and lost pets.