Having your pet go missing is one of the biggest fears for any pet owner. This is why it is so important to do everything we can to prevent it. Getting personalized name tags has been the go-to for any responsible pet owner. Unfortunately, tags might not be enough to guarantee you would reunite with your pet, should they ever get lost. However, microchipping your pet could increase your chances of finding them and getting them back.
Thankfully, microchipping your pet is starting to become the new norm for responsible pet ownership. This practice can bring many benefits, not only for pet owners but for thousands of lost dogs and cats hoping to reunite with their families. Before deciding that microchipping your pet is the best for you, we need to understand how it works. Also, learning about the benefits and possible alternatives to microchips will help us make a fully informed decision.
How Does Microchipping Your Pet Work?
Nowadays, many vets and animal shelters have the equipment to implant a microchip for an affordable fee. Most of the time, they will implant this chip just under the skin, and between the shoulder blades of your pet. This chip will display a unique ID number and information of the chip´s company. We must remember that the microchip itself will not immediately show any of your contact info. We need to register our pet with the microchip company before.
Pet microchips work as a back-up to name tags and are not meant to replace them. If your missing pet ended up at a shelter, or if an animal control officer found them, they would be able to contact you. This is because they all have chip scanners at hand and can scan your pet without a problem. However, chances are a neighbor, or a regular citizen will find your pet first. The information on your pet’s name tag will help them get in touch with you and return your pet.
What Are the Benefits of Microchipping Your Pet?
There are many benefits that come from microchipping your pet. To begin with, microchips are a simple, inexpensive, and non-invasive way to identify your pet. They serve as proof of ownership and will help you reunite with your pet sooner. In addition, microchips are permanent and can’t be removed, unlike name tags and collars, which might wear out, break, or fall off.
Several studies show that pets with microchips are 2.4 times more likely to reunite with their owners than pets without chips. However, in order to improve the effectiveness of our pet’s microchip, we need to make sure our information remains up to date. If we move, change our phone number, or our legal name, we must contact the microchip company. This way, you will be easily contacted in case someone happened to find your pet.
Are There Alternatives to Pet Microchips?
As we mentioned before, pet microchips shouldn’t replace name tags. As a pet owner, it is your responsibility to make sure your pet remains identifiable as soon as you get them. Nevertheless, there are other options you might want to consider that can increase your chances of finding a lost pet.
For example, collars with built-in GPS trackers can give you the exact location of your pet any time. This can be an excellent back up to microchips and name tags, but again, shouldn´t replace tags. Another great alternative is facial recognition technology.
An app called Finding Rover created a digital community on which pet owners can upload photos and details of their furry friends. If your dog goes missing, you can mark it as “lost”, and if you happened to find a pet, you can upload the profile and mark it as “found”. The app uses facial recognition technology to try and find a match with your missing pet.