Did you know that, sadly, only 21.9% of lost dogs and a mere 1.8% of lost cats ever make it back to their owners? But a lost pet with a microchip has a much better chance of making it back home. In fact, placement of a microchip means that 52.2% of lost dogs and 38.5% of lost cats are reunited with their families after being lost (Lord et al, JAVMA, July 15, 2009). So, in case the worst happens, give your pet the best chance of coming home by having it microchipped at Riverview Animal Hospital!
What is a microchip?
A microchip is a small electronic chip with a unique ID number that can be inserted just under your pet’s skin. When a scanner is moved over the chip, the ID number is displayed on the scanner and the number, which is stored in a nationwide database, can track your pet directly back to your doorstep.
But my cat is strictly indoors and my dog never leaves home if it isn’t on a leash. Do these pets really need to be microchipped?
Yes! In spite of our best efforts, cats occasionally escape from homes and dogs can slip off of leashes. Often these pets are the most likely to get lost because they may be more frightened in this ‘unprotected’ situation which is highly unusual for them. These pets are highly likely to run away or to hide even when the owners are in close proximity, and both of these scenarios can make it very difficult to find the lost pets.
What is the microchip process?
The process is very simple. The microchip is inserted through a large needle that is placed under the skin between the shoulder blades. The best time to microchip your pet is when it is spayed or neutered and will be asleep for the needle placement. However, microchipping is routinely done in patients when they are awake and they experience no more than minor discomfort from the needle. After placement of the chip, the scanner is moved over the chip to verify placement and ID number. The pet owner then files the ID number with the nationwide data base.
For a lot more information on microchips and microchipping, contact us at Riverview Animal Clinic (509-758-5022), and visit the American Veterinary Medical Association at https://www.avma.org/KB/Resources/FAQs/Pages/Microchipping-of-animals-FAQ.aspx