It's Time to Check the Chip!

 

Pet owners have long understood the importance of microchipping their pets. After all, microchipping helps to raise the chances of a reunion with your pet should he or she ever be lost, and the process of insertion is quick, simple, and incredibly cost effective. 
 
However, there is a potential “catch-22” when it comes to microchipping: the information that the chip contains. The fact is - without the right information, a pet microchip is next to useless. 
 
How microchips work 
 
Microchips are programmed with a unique reference number, which is connected to a computerized file. This file contains the customer contact information. So if a lost pet is found, a shelter or veterinarian can scan the microchip, locate the owner’s contact details, and then contact the pet owner to inform them that their pet is safe and sound. Our preferred microchip provider, AVID ID, in combination with PETrac, reunites thousands of pets each week!
 
However, a microchip is only as useful as the information on the computerized file that it connects to. If this information is out of date, then the microchip is essentially worthless. It is vital that all owners of pets with microchips continually update their personal information with their microchip manufacturer.
 
“Check The Chip” Day 
 
Unfortunately, it’s easy to forget to update the computerized file that is linked to your pet’s microchip. In the 21st century, relocating is incredibly common. The average person will move 11.4 times in their lifetime!  Moving is an incredibly stressful process, and the chances of remembering to update your pet’s microchip with every move are slim - understandably so, given that there’s so much else happening, but still a problem should your pet ever be lost.
 
In an effort to rectify this issue, August 15th has been designated Check The Chip Day - a day dedicated to raising awareness to keep the registration information of microchips up-to-date. Lake Elmo residents are encouraged to use this day as a reminder to contact their microchip manufacturer and check they have the accurate information stored for each pet - and if not, update it. If you're unsure of the manufacturer, please use the AAHA Pet Microchip Lookup tool: http://www.petmicrochiplookup.org.
 
What if your pet isn’t microchipped?
 
Check The Chip Day focuses primarily on updating microchip information, but it can also serve as a handy reminder of the importance of microchipping. When it comes to the efficacy of chipping, the statistics tell the story… 
 
  • Only 22% of all lost dogs in animal shelters will be reunited with their owners. 
  • However, 52% of microchipped dogs will be reunited with their owners. 
  • Fewer than 2% of all cats in animal shelters will be reunited with their owners… 
  • … but a staggering 38% of microchipped cats will be reunited with their families.
 
As these statistics show, microchipping makes a genuinely major difference to the chances of reunion with a lost pet. If your pet does not currently have a microchip, why not use Check The Chip Day as the inspiration to make an appointment with one of our veterinarians for your pet to have a microchip injected? With a single appointment, you can provide yourself with invaluable peace of mind, and increase your chances of reunion with your furry friend should they ever go astray. 
 
Infographic: Microchip Your Pet
 
Sources:
"August 15th is Check the Chip Day" AVMA, www.avma.org/Events/pethealth/Pages/Check-the-Chip-Day.aspx.
MonaChalabi. “How Many Times Does The Average Person Move?” FiveThirtyEight, FiveThirtyEight, 29 Jan. 2015, fivethirtyeight.com/features/how-many-times-the-average-person-moves/.
“Why Microchip Your Pet?” Petfinder, www.petfinder.com/dogs/lost-and-found-dogs/why-microchip/.
Image Credit: Capuski / iStock Photo / Getty Images Plus

After-Hours Emergencies

After Hours Veterinary Care
1014 Dale Street North
St. Paul, MN 55117
(Inside Como Park Animal Hospital just north of downtown St. Paul)
24-hour care for multiple species
651-487-1941

Animal Emergency & Referral Center of MN
1163 Helmo Avenue N
Oakdale, MN 55128
651-501-3766

 

Animal Emergency & Referral Center of MN
1542 7th St. W.
St. Paul, MN 55012
(located 2 blocks east of 35E)
651-293-1800