The aftermath of Harvey and Irma (among other hurricanes and worldwide flooding) have been on our hearts and minds over the past few months. Whether we or someone we know have been impacted, these losses have been deeply felt by most of us in the wake of the storms. Among these tragedies are the many pets who are missing or abandoned.
In such a disaster, pets and other animals are frequently lost, abandoned, or displaced when families must evacuate. Many of the pets find their way to shelters, or other rescues, which aim to reunite them with their owners. Tragedies like a missing pet, however, can often be prevented through emergency planning and effective preventive measures, like the microchip.
Implementing a pet emergency plan can help protect vulnerable furry friends, but through microchipping you have a much better chance of finding your pet, should the two of you become separated.
Because of these recent events, Leon Valley Veterinary Hospital wants to remind all pet owners why microchipping is the best way to bring a missing pet back home.
Microchipping: The Basics
A microchip is a very small radio-frequency transponder that contains a unique number assigned to your pet. Unlike GPS or other tracking devices, microchips do not track your pet’s whereabouts and can only be read by a corresponding microchip scanner. When a lost pet is brought into a veterinarian or shelter, this wand or scanner only identifies the number and the registry to contact. From there, the registry contacts you directly and gives you the location of your missing pet.
The microchip is surrounded by a biocompatible capsule (no bigger than a grain of rice) and is implanted between the shoulders, near the neck. It is very safe, cannot get “lost” within the body, and remains in effect for the life of your pet.
Implanting the microchip does not require anesthesia, can be done during an appointment, and any discomfort is equivalent to a regular vaccine (many pets do not even notice). Microchips are an inexpensive and easy way to ensure the best possible outcome for a pet who goes missing.
The Important Details
After your pet’s microchip is implanted, one of the most important steps you need to take is registering your pet. If the microchip remains unregistered, the microchip will not be effective. Remember to…
- Register your pet immediately – The first thing to do when you get home from the vet (no stalling!) is to register your pet online (with the brochure provided by us). Be certain to include all pertinent contact information, including email and cell, as well as veterinarian and preferred emergency clinic information.
- Reminders are essential – The second step is to put a reminder in your calendar to check on your current contact status in the registry every few months. In the case of moving to a new home or switching cells, it is easy to forget to update your pet’s microchip and ID tags. By setting up a monthly or bimonthly reminder, the registry or ID won’t go unnoticed.
- Include more than one contact – Whenever possible, include a few phone numbers or a phone and email address on the registry and ID tags (when space will allow). You can also include another family member’s cell as backup.
The Good News
Did you know that dogs who have microchips are returned to their owners more than twice than those who do not have a microchip? That’s right! And the number of missing cats with microchips are reunited twenty-one times more often than those who are without.
These statistics truly make the case for having your pet microchipped!
We would love to tell you more about this miraculous and simple device that can keep your pet safe at home, with you and your loved ones. Contact us for more information or to schedule your pet’s visit.