According to HomeAgain, one in three pets will become lost at some point in their life. A lost pet can be a scary thing for a family. Its something no one wants to think about when they first bring their furry friend home. But there are several things you can do to prevent some of the stress that may come with a lost pet. The most effective is getting them microchipped.
My husband and I actually learned about microchipping when we were looking into taking pets to Hawaii. We are moving there later this year. Hawaii is very strict about letting pets on the island. Other than the several vaccines every pet has to have, they also have to be microchipped. More and more communities are making microchips mandatory. But there are a lot more benefits to microchipping than the ease of travel.
What is microchipping?
A microchip is an implant under your pet’s skin that is used as a means of identification. Each microchip has a unique identification number that can be scanned if they are lost.
How is microchipping different from identification tags?
A lot of families purchase identification tags that have the pet’s name on the front and an emergency phone number or address on the back. These are cheap and can be found at most pet stores. Most tags are usually customizable and can be very cute. They are placed on a pet’s collar in the hopes that, if found, someone will call the number or take the pet to the address provided. There are a few flaws with only using these tags:
- A pet could lose his/her collar or tags when lost.
- Having your phone number or address where anyone has access to them, could be dangerous.
- If your pet is stolen, the thief could simply remove the tags.
A microchip could solve all of these problems. The microchip is implanted into your pet’s skin, so it can’t be lost or removed. If you ever find yourself in the unfortunate situation where someone claims your pet is theirs, you can prove the pet is yours by simply providing the unique identification number. Lastly, your personal information can only be accessed by scanning the pet.
How do you get your pet microchipped?
We got our pets microchipped at their vet. In my opinion, that is the easiest way to get it done. It can be done during a normal vet visit and only takes a few minutes. A lot of pet store clinics and SPCA locations also offer microchipping services. The best way to find out if any locations nears offer these services, is to call and ask.
Once your pet has been microchipped, your work still isn’t done. A microchip is useless until it has been registered. There are several microchip registration companies to choose from. Some of the most popular include: PetLink, HomeAgain, PetKey, AKC Unite, and SmartTag Microchip.
Our pets are registered with PetLink. They are the company our vet prefers. We paid for the microchip at vet and were given stickers with the identification number on them to place in our pets’ vet books. We were also given a PetLink tag with the ID number on it, to add to their collars if we chose to. Registering your pet through PetLink never costs more than $19.99, but prices range on the type of animal. When we got home we registered each pet on PetLink.net in a few short minutes. It was so simple.
No matter what company you choose, I recommend microchipping all your furry loved ones. Just the satisfaction of knowing I have a way to find my beloved pets if they ever get lost, makes it completely worth it.