No one wants to lose their dog or cat, but unfortunately it happens from time to time. Almost everyone has had their pet get out and run away, even if it is only as far as a neighbor’s house. If your pet is lost, stolen or runs away, the two most important items that will get him back to you are identification tags on a collar and a microchip. The tags will help the person who finds your pet contact you immediately, but if the tags are lost, or the pet was stolen, the microchip will be the main means of getting your pet back.
Microchips are very small, about the size of a grain of rice. They are inserted between the pet’s shoulder blades, which is a painless procedure. The microchip not only provides your information for your pet, but it can be the only means that you have to prove that the pet is yours. Often a photo of the pet is not enough to identify the pet as your pet. For example, to the untrained eye, all Golden retrievers could look alike. How would you prove a particular dog is yours?
The main pitfall with a microchip is that the information must be kept up-to-date. This means that if any of your contact information changes, you must contact the organization that you registered the microchip with and update your information.
Microchips do not have any power themselves. They are a radio frequency identification device (RFID) activated by a handheld reader. The pet’s ID number is then entered into a data base where the pet’s information is stored. If you do not update the data base, the person who finds your pet and searches for your contact information will not be able to find you.
The beauty of microchips is that once they are injected into the pet, they cannot be removed or altered. It is an inexpensive way to protect your pet and help get him home if he gets lost.