Contrary to popular belief, cats are social animals. Dogs? That just goes without saying. The...
Should I Get My Pet Microchipped?
Imagine if you woke up one day to find that your furry friend was nowhere to be found. Terrifying, isn't it?
As much as we hate to break it to you, the chances of that happening aren't too far beyond the realm of possibility. Because over 10 million pets go missing each year, and barely 15 percent of dog dads and 2 percent of cat moms end up reuniting with their pets.
We're here to show you the ropes on how you can jack up that meager likelihood by a landslide.
What is a microchip?
A microchip is a flat piece of electronic circuit roughly the size of a grain of rice. What's unique about the one designed for pets is that it doesn't run on batteries. Once it goes underneath the skin – usually between the shoulder blades – it's bound to last for life.
How's that possible?
As opposed to actively transmitting information, which is the case for microchips designed for electronic devices, the purpose of pet microchips is to act as a storage unit. Namely, they carry a unique, scannable ID tied to the owner's contact info registered to the national pet recovery database.
The Benefits of Microchipping Your Pet: The benefits far outweigh the risks
Microchips come with a whole list of benefits.
- Quick, Easy, and Painless. Implanting a microchip is almost like getting a vaccine shot. The process takes a couple of seconds and is much less painful than having the ID number tattooed right on the fur coat.
- Long-lasting. Microchips last up to 25 years, typically exceeding a pet's lifetime. Meanwhile, ID tags or pet collars can be lost, broken off, or removed.
- Privacy and Proof of Ownership. ID tags contain your personal information that can be stolen if your pet is lost. On the contrary, it takes a dedicated agency apparatus to decipher the microchips. Microchips make up for a secure way to prove ownership.
- National Database. Microchips know no boundaries. Even if your pet crosses state lines, it can be found and returned home without hassle.
- Affordable. Microchips typically cost no more than $50.
Risks of Microchipping: Nothing is perfect
- It's Not a GPS. Though some tend to see it almost as a tracking device, a microchip doesn't come with GPS-like capabilities. It won't track down your pet for you but will help whoever finds your missing pet to track you down.
- The Chip Can Move. The chip may move from its implanted location over time. No need to fret, though. This won't affect your pet's health whatsoever. It might make the job a little harder for the person performing the scan.
- Few Chips are Not Universal. Some chips require the use of a special scanner to be read. There are universal scanners capable of decoding any microchips, but there's no guarantee that the person performing the scan has hands on the device.
- There is a Tiny Health Risk. Side effects are uncommon but not unheard of. Some pets may experience minor and temporary reactions to the injection, which usually manifest in the form of inflammation at the insertion site. The chances of inflammation snowballing into something more significant are slim to none.
Some owners may be hesitant or even disturbed by the idea of implanting an electronic device in their pets. However, it's an easy, painless, and relatively inexpensive procedure with minimal health risks that can protect your pet's life. According to AKC Reunite, pets with microchips are 20 times more likely to be reunited with their owners. So, if you haven't already done so, we recommend you strongly consider getting your pet microchipped.
* Photo on Canva