Written by guest blogger, Guadalupe Pantaleon
The month of June is associated with summer, which makes us think of swimming pools, barbecues and fireworks. But did you know that summer also means more lost pets at animal shelters? That’s why the month of June is National Microchipping Month, and all pet owners are encouraged to microchip their pets if they haven’t done so already.
Of the millions of dogs and cats that enter US animal shelters every year, only about 20% of dogs, and less than 2% of cats, are reunited with their owners. By microchipping your pet, you can greatly increase your chances of being reunited with your furry friend in the event that it becomes lost.
So how does a microchip work exactly? A microchip is about the size of a grain of white rice. The electronic chip is enclosed in a glass bead and becomes activated when a scanner passes over it. The scanner reads the microchip’s radio frequency, which then transmits a unique identification number that’s nine, ten or 15 digits long.
The microchip is implanted into the skin between the shoulder blades with a needle. It only takes a minute, and after a quick scan of the chip your furry friend will be ready to go.
It is important to note that the microchip has an identification number that you have to register online (you can do so for free at Found.org), and it not a GPS that will allow you to track and locate your pet if it gets lost. Additionally, the microchip does not store your pet’s medical information.
Still on the fence about microchipping your pet? Here are a few FAQs that might sway you over.
How does a microchip help a lost pet reunite with its owner?
A found pet that is taken to a shelter or animal clinic will be scanned for a microchip. If a microchip is found and the chip contains up-to-date contact information, the shelter or animal clinic would then be able to contact the owner.
Will a microchip really help me get my pet back if it is lost?
A study conducted by the American Veterinary Medical Association, found that dogs are 2.5 times more likely while cats are 21.4 times more likely to be returned to their home from a shelter if they have a registered microchip.
Does a microchip replace identification tags and rabies tags?
No, your pet should still wear a collar with up-to-date identification tags, even if you it is microchipped. If your pet has a tag when it is found, it will be identified as an owned pet instead of a stray, and the person who found your pet can contact you right away. However, if your pet were to lose its collar and tag, the person who found your pet could have its microchip scanned to try and locate the owner.
I want to get my pet microchipped. Where do I go?
The Animal Foundation’s low-cost clinic offers microchips for just $20, and that cost includes the microchip itself, implanting the microchip, and its lifetime registration.
Ready to get your pet microchipped? Click here for The Animal Foundation clinic hours.