When we think about our beloved pets, the worst thought we can fathom is that one day, they will pass on. However, the fact is, the chances of your pet getting lost are a lot more likely than you think! And unless you are prepared, chances of finding your pet, or having them returned are slim. However, providing your dog or cat with a collar and ID, AND having them microchipped are your best chances of your pet being found and returned to you! Nevertheless, many pet owners still view microchipping their pets as an option, rather than a necessity. Let’s explore the myths that continue to lead more and more animals in shelters, and debunk them with facts!
Myth: “But all my pet needs is a pet ID tag attached to his collar, and my pet is bound to be returned!”
Fact: Collars come off, can be taken off, and most cat collars are designed to breakaway for safety. No collar, means no identification. And no identification is your pet’s reservation to a bed at an animal shelter. Microchipping provides for a permanent back up plan to retrieving your pet’s identification because your pet carries the chip on their body for it to be easily scanned.
Myth: "Getting a microchip is life threatening surgical procedure that is excruciating for pets!"
Fact: Getting a microchip for your pet is not a surgical procedure. Although it is often performed by vets, it can also be performed by a trained animal professional. A needle is used to insert the grain of rice sized microchip (yep, it is as big as a single grain of rice!) under your pet’s skin, usually between the shoulder blades. The procedure is quick and painless, and very similar to a human getting a simple injection. While the pinch may feel annoying, it’s over in seconds. That’s it! The implanted microchip has a unique set of numbers that can be picked up and read by a scanner. The owner can then register their information with the microchip company with their pet’s number. After that, when your pet is scanned for a microchip, the owner’s information can be retrieved through the microchip company.
Myth: "Microchips cause cancer!"
Fact: There are a small number of dogs that have developed tumors at the location of the microchip. These incidents are very rare, and pale in comparison to the millions of animals that have had chips injected safely with no side effects. As a pet owner you must weigh what is more important to you: the small statistic of a microchip causing cancer, vs, the higher likelihood that your pet may get lost someday, and the life-saving benefit that microchipping offers you to have your pet returned home.
Myth: "The microchip travels along my pet’s body so it can get lost somewhere for no scanner to find it, or it will just stop working."
Fact: HomeAgain microchips, which are the most commonly used by pet professionals and pet owners, have a “patented anti-migration feature to help ensure that the microchip will stay in place so that it may be easily located and scanned.” Also, the microchip is a permanent ID that will the last life of your pet, or up to 25 years. So your pet’s microchip won’t be hitchhiking around his body for kicks anytime soon.
Myth: "If my pet is lost, even with a microchip, he can end up in an animal shelter and shelters don’t care!"
Fact: All shelters carry scanners, and most carry universal scanners that can read any type of microchip. It is standard practice that when an animal is impounded, the first step is to pull out the scanner and scan your pet. Once they retrieve the microchip number, they call the company that manufacturers the chip, and the company releases the owners information. If there is a registered owner on the chip, they are contacted immediately. The reality is, shelters would rather have them back home with you, than adding to their overcrowded system. Also, veterinarians have scanners, so in the event that a person picks up your dog and does not want to take him to a shelter, vets have the same resources to help track down a lost pet owner with their microchip information.
Myth: "Microchips are expensive!"
Fact: Getting your pet microchipped is as low as $15.00. Most veterinarians, and animal shelters offer microchipping at a very low cost. Registering your chip with your microchip company may require additional minimal fees because they offer you the opportunity to set up an membership account, keep your information up to date, add additional contacts, and the ability to add photos, and descriptions of your pet.
Myth: "Ok, my pet has a microchip. No need for a collar now!"
Fact: A collar with an ID and microchips work best together. If your pet is lost, the average person who finds your pet will not own a microchip scanner. If your pet has a collar with an ID, they can contact you directly, and your pet can return home immediately. Without an ID or collar, that same person would have to take your pet to a vet or animal shelter for your pet to be scanned for a microchip. While your pet may be returned through information on their microchip, having no collar with an ID on your pet may cause a delay in getting them home safe.
The facts remain: microchipping is inexpensive, easy and painless to your pet, and the most effective tool in recovering our precious animal relatives. Recent statistics regarding lost pets suggest that 1 out of 3 pets will get lost in their lifetime, and 90% of lost pets will never return home. By providing your dog or cat with a collar and ID, AND a microchip, it increases their chances of being found by 50%; you can beat the odds of your pet becoming a new resident at an animal shelter! And by doing so, you are doing your part to help control the pet population in the animal shelter system.
For more information about microchipping, visit : HomeAgain