Why do we love our pets? It could be because their love and loyalty is so unconditional. Whether we have had a good day or bad, they are always there offering support. In return, they trust in us to provide for them. Pet identification is part of that protection and pet owners should know why they should microchip their pet.
Obviously, pets need to be fed, exercised and directed. They also need to be identified should they become separated from you. An open door, a hole under a fence, a simple distraction is all it can take for your pet to wander. As many as 80% of unidentifiable pets are never reunited with their owners should they get lost.
Additionally, if you are planning a move or international travel, your pet should be microchipped. Most of the world’s countries require this form of pet identification.
MIcrochipping your pet
A pet microchip is the most permanent form of pet identification available today. About the size of a grain of rice, it is inserted painlessly by your veterinarian between your pet’s shoulder blades. There are several different types of microchips on the market in the United States. The 15 digit ISO pet microchip is the world standard. Many countries require this type of pet microchip for entry. Even if you don’t plan to travel with your pet, animal control agencies in cities and towns all over the United States have microchip scanners that can read a microchip, and that is the first thing they will do when capturing a lost pet.
Register your pet’s microchip
After microchipping your pet, the next step is registration. All manufacturers have their own database with owner contact information associated with every microchip number. Some manufacturers charge pet owners for registering, but some don’t. Datamars is a manufacturer of the ISO pet microchip. Their database can be accessed at PetLink.net and provide pet owners with free registration and unlimited changes to their contact information.
Every time you take your pet to your veterinarian, have them scan your pet’s microchip to make sure it is functioning properly and has not migrated. These are uncommon occurances but they do happen.
Remember to keep your information up to date
Set a reminder to check your pet’s identification information whenever you relocate or travel. Entering your cell phone number is essential as this will likely not change when you move. If you are traveling overseas and your cell phone will not be functioning, contact the administrator of the database and ask that a note be put in your pet’s file with a temporary phone or email address.
The concept of pet identification is quite simple but often misunderstood. It is the pet owner’s responsibility to be sure that their pet can be identified if they get lost. You must stay current on microchip registration information. If you plan to more or switch phone numbers, update your pet’s registration information with your cell phone number.
Other useful tips
- Keep rabies tags on your pet
- Keep a collar ID tag on your pet with your current address and phone number
- Keep the pet microchip manufacturer’s tag on your pet if they have one
- Always keep a picture of your pet handy (better yet, one of you and your pet) in the case that identification is necessary.
Pet identification is a simple thing. Ask your veterinarian about implanting a microchip for your dog or cat. Most importantly, don’t forget to register!
Why is it important to microchip your pet? Simply put, microchipping your pet could mean the difference between finding your pet or not if it is lost or stolen. This is a small, painless step toward keeping your pet safe at home or on the road.