For many pet lovers, losing a furry friend can almost be as devastating as a death in the family.
And according to the American Humane Association, nearly 10 million dogs and cats are lost or stolen in the United States every year.
Even worse, less than 23 percent are reunited with their owners.
Pet owners can help reduce these alarming odds by having their animals properly microchipped by a licensed veterinarian. Thieves can easily remove pet collars, but it’s much more difficult to remove a microchip without the aid of a veterinarian.
To help remind everyone about the importance of microchipping their pets, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) have joined forces to promote “National Check the Chip Day” which is celebrated annually on Aug. 15.
“Check the Chip Day” is meant to educate and encourage families to get their pets microchipped and ensure all contact information–such as phone numbers, vaccinations and addresses–is up to date. Having accurate registration information increases the chances of a lost pet being found. If it’s brought to an animal shelter or veterinarian office and the chip is scanned, it will show the current information which makes it much easier to reunite the pet to its rightful owner.
Here are some additional tips and information about the benefits of microchipping from the American Veterinarian Medical Association.
DON’T DELAY, GET YOUR PET MICROCHIPPED TODAY: Having your pet microchipped is one of the most responsible things you can do as a pet owner. It’s a preventative measure that can help keep your pet safe. Make an appointment with your veterinarian. The process is quick and it’s easy and will bring you peace of mind.
HOW MICROCHIPPING WORKS: According to the Veterinarian Medical Association, microchips are embedded under the pet’s skin using a hypodermic needle by a veterinarian like those used for vaccinations. No surgery or anesthesia is required and the microchip can be implanted during a routine veterinary office visit. After pets have been microchipped, contact information for the pet’s owner is registered to the microchip’s serial number in a database.
HOW TO CHECK AND UPDATE CHIP REGISTRATION: To update your pet’s registration information, you’ll need to log onto the database maintained by your microchip manufacturer. If you don’t remember the brand of your pet’s microchip, contact the veterinarian who implanted it, or you can use the American Animal Hospital Association’s Universal Pet Microchip Lookup Tool to do a quick search based on your pet’s microchip number.
Remember, if you’re planning to microchip your pets, take them to a licensed veterinarian. It’s also a good idea to always keep a personal file on hand of your pet’s immunizations. To verify the license of a veterinarian, visit the Department of Consumer Affairs’ License Verification page (https://search.dca.ca.gov/) or the Veterinary Medical Board’s website at firstname.lastname@example.org.