Ask anyone who’s worked in a rescue or shelter, and they’ll tell you with no uncertainty – microchipping your pet can help return them if they’re ever lost, and may even save their life. Proper ID on a collar tag is important, but tags and collars can come off. A microchip is there for life, at the ready to identify your dog and provide your contact information.
There is currently no better way for someone to find you as your dog or cat’s owner than a microchip. A tiny device implanted under your pet’s skin, a microchip contains the basic identifying information about your pet, as well as your name, address and phone number. It may also include an alternate contact, which would be a great help if you are unavailable, as well as that of your veterinarian.
Should your dog or cat become lost, then have the good fortune to be found by a good soul – they’ll probably be checked for a microchip. Checking for a chip is a known standard protocol for animal control, veterinary clinics, shelters and rescue organizations. They’d like nothing better than to find that the lost pet belongs to someone they can contact, ultimately witnessing a happy reunion.
No doubt you would like to ensure that once your pet was found, you would be receiving that phone call letting you know where your best friend is and how to retrieve them. Get your pet microchipped, and be sure to register it once you do.
Is your information current?
If you’ve moved recently, perhaps it didn’t cross your mind with all the details you were managing – but it’s important to update the information with your microchip provider. You want the most current information on record, since there’s no way of knowing if/when your pet would become lost. Hopefully that will never happen – but if it does, you’ll be prepared.
Don’t know which manufacturer your microchip belongs to? The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) provides an easy-to-use website for tracking down which manufacturer your chip is managed by, should you not have that information. Simply go to AVMA’s Pet Microchip Lookup Tool.
I checked for CindyLu’s; we moved last Fall, visited a new veterinarian, and were told they would update the information for the chip. Nope, that did not happen. My old data was still registered with her chip. So don’t let anyone tell you that for a fee they’ll get your chip managed. I learned the hard way that you personally need to update the registration. Fortunately, CindyLu did not get lost during this time.
When you visit the AVMA website, you simply enter your pet’s chip number (you might find it on your veterinary visit records if you don’t know it otherwise), then you are informed which manufacturer your chip is with. Simply follow the instructions from there.
If your chip is with a company that is not participating in this program, you’ll be given a probable manufacturer, based on your number, and you’ll need to call them. This was much easier than I expected. I was able to verify the appropriate manufacturer, then enter our new details in their online database. It cost $6 for me to do this, and considering CindyLu is priceless — I’d say that’s quite a bargain!
It’s a simple procedure to implant a microchip. If you haven’t done so yet, ask your vet to chip your pet. And if your pet is microchipped, take a moment to check the chip. Chances are, your pet is as priceless as CindyLu !