Did you know that one in three pets will become lost at some point during their life? Losing a pet can be heartbreaking, and the thought of never seeing our pet again is unbearable. One way to help ensure your pet’s safety is to microchip them. May is National Chip Your Pet Month, so we thought it was the perfect time to share more about microchipping and the many benefits of microchipping your pet!

What Is a Microchip?

A microchip is a radio-frequency identification transponder that is about the size of a grain of rice. It is usually injected under the loose skin between an animal’s shoulder blades. Each microchip contains a unique identification number. When the microchip is scanned by either a veterinarian or a shelter, the scanner sends a low-frequency radio signal to the chip and transmits the unique code to the scanner. Then the microchip ID number can be traced through a computer database, allowing the vet or shelter to identify the animal and its owner. Finally, you and your pet will be reunited, and it’s a happy ending for all!

But wait, there’s one more crucial step: registering the microchip.

Registration Is Essential!

A microchip is only effective if it has been registered and contains up-to-date contact information in a pet recovery database. Unfortunately, registering a microchip is often a forgotten step. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, only 58.1% of microchipped animals had been registered when animal shelters attempted to locate the animal’s owner. In addition, the main reason animal shelters are unable to locate animal owners is incorrect owner information.

After your pet is microchipped, be sure to register the chip right away! It’s also a good idea to update your contact information on a yearly basis. If you’re afraid you’ll forget, put a reminder on your calendar to check it at least once a year.

What Are the Benefits of Microchipping?

  • Microchipping provides a reliable and permanent form of identification for the animals that we love. You may be thinking to yourself, “My pet has a collar with identification tags that contain my contact information. Why would I need to microchip him?” Great question! Collars can be easily removed, so they aren’t nearly as reliable as a microchip. Plus, when it comes to your pet’s safety, the extra safeguard of microchipping is so worth it!
  • The main benefit of microchipping your pet is the increased likelihood that you will be reunited with your pet. The American Veterinary Medical Association confirmed that there is a high rate of return of microchipped dogs and cats to their families. The study found that the detection of a microchip by an animal shelter resulted in a 74.1% rate of return to owners, compared to a previous study in which owners were only successful 13% of the time in recovering their pet. That is a huge difference!
  • Although we hate to think about it, pets are sometimes stolen or a stranger may try to claim that your pet is their own. A microchip provides proof of ownership, which can be very helpful in these types of situations.
  • Microchipping your pet is simple, inexpensive, and permanent. Once implanted, you shouldn’t have to worry about it again.

Different Systems & Frequencies

There are a variety of different systems to choose from when it comes to microchips, including HomeAgain, AKC Reunite, AVID, and more. Different systems come with various perks, services, and technology. It’s also important to note that chips are available in different frequencies (ISO and non-ISO), which means that not all scanners can read all microchips. The International Standards Organization (ISO) recommends a global standard for microchips with a frequency of 134.2 kHz to help create a consistent identification system. However, many chips in the United States are non-ISO, so they use a frequency of 125 kHz or 128 kHz. If you’re traveling abroad with your pet, we highly recommend an ISO microchip as there’s a much better chance an ISO standard scanner will be used when checking for a microchip.

There are many ways you can change your pet’s life, and microchipping is one of them! If you’re considering microchipping your pet, why not take the leap to help ensure your pet’s safety? There are so many benefits! And if it means being reunited with your pet, it’s worth every penny.