Pets frequently become lost. Tracking them down can be difficult, and many times they lose their collars while they’re out and about. Never fear, microchips are available! These chips are small devices that your veterinarian implants under your pet’s skin to serve as a permanent identification device.
There are several different brands of microchips on the market. Our hospital offers the HomeAgain microchip identification system. The microchip is implanted by a subcutaneous injection at the dorsal midline between the animal’s shoulder blades. The microchip is then scanned for verification using a hand held scanner; this scanner is the same type used by most veterinarians and animal shelters across the United States.
Each microchip contains a unique 15-digit number that is exclusive to your pet. We register the chip number for you with HomeAgain’s database. Your pet’s information and your contact information remain in this database for the life of your pet, but it is vital that you remember to keep your information up to date: if you move, get a new phone number, or change email addresses, be sure to notify HomeAgain asap!!
According to the Nebraska Humane Society in 2003, there were 4008 pets found as strays between April 1st and June 30th. Of these animals, the return-to-owner rate for dogs was 78% on microchipped dogs and 56% on non-microchipped dogs. Cats are alarmingly less-likely to be reunited with their owners if they have no microchip: the NHS reported that cats with chips had a return rate of 53%, versus a reunion rate of just 3% for cats that had no microchip! It is also important to note that if you plan to move or vacation overseas with your pet, Hawaii, Guam, and most foreign countries include a microchip as a prerequisite to travel; oftentimes, the microchip must be done prior to vaccinations or required blood tests, so it’s an excellent idea to chip any pet that may become a jet-setter!
Ask our doctors or support staff about microchips and whether they would be right for you and your pet. To learn more about microchipping and the benefits of having your pet “chipped,” please check out the HomeAgain website for a wealth of information!