August 15 is an important day for you and your furry family members. It’s National Check the Chip Day. On this day each year, we are reminded to check our pet’s microchips to make sure they are still functioning properly. It’s also a great day to remember to microchip your pets so they can be returned to you if they’re lost.
How Did August 15 Become Check the Chip Day?
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA®) with the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA®) combined efforts to provide resources for veterinarians to help educate pet owners about the importance of microchipping.
While the veterinarians at Leon Valley Veterinary Hospital are always working to educate our clients, national holidays like this help to spread the word about the importance of microchipping.
What Is a Microchip?
Microchips are tiny integrated circuits that contain identifying information about your pet. If pets are lost and lose their collars, they can still find their way home.
Your veterinarian will implant the microchip between your cat or dog’s shoulder blades. It’s no different than getting a shot, and it’s over in a flash.
How Does a Microchip Help To Recover My Lost Pet?
Once the chip is implanted, the next step is up to you. You’ll be given a unique identifying number and information on how to access a national pet recovery database. Register the microchip with the database and add all pertinent contact information, including:
- Pet name
- Description of pet
- Photo of pet
- Owner name(s)
- Phone numbers, both landline and cell phones
- Each microchip maker may ask for additional information
Only veterinarians and animal shelters have a microchip scanner and can access your information. The pet recovery databases are not public. If you find a lost animal, take them to a veterinarian or shelter for identification. They will contact the owners.
Microchips are not tracking devices and do not have GPS capability.
Why Does My Pet Need a Microchip?
If something should happen to you while you’re away from home with your pet, your veterinarian will be notified. If you are injured or worse and are not carrying I.D., the veterinarian will have the information needed to contact your family.
Microchips are also helpful if someone steals your pet. You can update the information on the microchip database. Your pet will be scanned at every vet visit, and the vet will know that the animal was stolen.
Does My Pet Have a Microchip?
If you adopt a rescued pet, it’s likely the animal will be chipped as part of the adoption fee. If you take in a lost pet, take it to your veterinarian to scan. If the animal has a chip, the owner can be located. It is recommended that new pets brought into the family be microchipped at their first wellness visit.
Why Do I Have To Check the Chip?
Sometimes, although not often, the microchip can move out of the space between the shoulder blades. It’s a good idea to have your veterinarian scan your pet at annual wellness visits to locate the chip.
Update Your Pet’s Information on Check the Chip Day
August 15, Check the Chip Day, is a good day to update any contact information that has changed for your pet. Maybe they have a new owner. Maybe you’ve moved and forgot to change your location. Whatever the reason, be sure to check the chip in the microchip database.
Call us at (210) 681‑1391 to make an appointment to answer your questions and concerns about microchipping and other pet care issues. Leon Valley Veterinary Hospital staff is here for you and our furry pet patients.