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Minnesota Veterinary Hospital Blog

A Microchip Can Save Your Lost Pet's Life

2015-08-12

It's heartbreaking to lose a beloved pet because he got away from you and couldn't find his way back home. Unfortunately, it's also very common. The American Animal Humane Society estimates that one in three pets will get lost at some point in their lifetime. Every year, approximately 10 million pets are lost or stolen. Without a microchip, only about 22 percent of dogs and a dismal two percent of cats entering animal shelters are reunited with their owners. When a microchip is present, these statistics increase by 238 percent for dogs and over 2,000 percent for cats.

Microchipping Myths

A lot of misconceptions persist about microchips, which can lead some pet owners to avoid them or to rely on them too heavily. One of these inaccuracies is that a microchip is the same thing as a global positioning system (GPS) for pets. This can cause pet owners to become careless about their safety because they assume that the microchip can track the exact location of their dog or cat.
A microchip actually contains only a number. When a lost pet arrives at an animal shelter or veterinary clinic, the staff first determines if she has a microchip and then looks up the number in a lost pet database system. This is the only way to retrieve your contact information. It's essential to make sure you update your contact details each time you move. In fact, Check the Chip Day coming up on August 15 exists for this very reason.

Another common error is the assumption that placing a collar with identification tags on their pet is all that is necessary. While collars and tags are helpful, they can break, get hung up on something and fall off, or the information on the tags can become hard to read after a while. That's why the best course of action is to ensure that your pet has a collar, identification tags, and a microchip.

Microchips Allow You to Reunite with Your Best Friend and Save Her Life at the Same Time

No pet ever sets out to get lost. Your dog or cat may slip out the door when there's a lot of commotion going on or run off in response to a loud noise that startled them. Dogs can get so excited about something they see outdoors that they break free from their chains and run after it. Being away from home puts your pet at risk for all kinds of dangers, such as getting hit by a car or attacked by a larger animal. A microchip gives you the assurance that your pet has a higher likelihood of reuniting with you and avoiding these dangers altogether.

Please contact us at Minnesota Veterinary Hospital with additional questions or to schedule an appointment for your pet to receive a microchip.