If you’re a pet owner, congratulations. You’ve assumed the responsibility of being the caregiver and provider for an animal companion. Beyond feeding, vaccinating and exercising your pet, another way to keep them safe is to get them a microchip.

A microchip is a small computer chip – about the size of a grain of rice – that’s inserted into your pet’s skin. You’ll provide your contact information, and it will be synced with your pet’s microchip. That chip can be scanned by a veterinarian or humane society and can give the people who found your lost pet the contact information they need to reunite you two.

If you’re on the fence about getting your pet a microchip, here are four reasons to do it.

1. You never know when you’ll need a microchip, like when the leash breaks or the gate is accidentally left open.

For some people, their dogs are their best friends and they treat them very well. Regardless of how well you treat your dog, or how closely you watch over them, they’re still animals and could take advantage of being free of a leash or a gated yard.

Maybe you’re on a walk and your dog’s leash breaks or their collar comes off. Maybe the worker from the cable company left the back gate open. Once your dog is out, they can be quick to run and hard to catch. You may even have competing priorities, such as needing to take care of a child or getting to work on time. A microchip helps ensure that whether your dog ends up with your neighbor three houses up or an animal service 20 miles away, your pet can be back safe in your home as soon as possible.

Microchipping your pet is a quick, easy and painless process.

2.   Or they jet as soon as the door opens.

Every pet has their own personality, and many factors could scare them or compel them to run out the door as soon as you open it. Dogs are commonly frightened by thunderstorms or other loud noises. Cats have a natural inclination to go outdoors, even if they’re “indoor” pets. Birds fly; it’s what they do.

A microchip helps increase the chances that you will see your pet again. According to the American Humane Association, 33 percent of pets will become lost in their lifetime. Only about 2 percent of lost cats and 17 percent of lost dogs find their way back to their owners.

For birds, it’s arguably even harder to ensure a safe return without a microchip. Because birds are hard to individually identify, lost birds are often kept or even sold by the “finders.”

Contact us today to discover how we can help with microchipping your pet.

3. If you’re on vacation with your pet, how can you expect them to know their way around?

It’s becoming increasingly common and easy to travel with a pet. Airports provide special services and regulations that allow your pet on an airplane. Roadside stops often feature a grassy area where you can walk a pet. Some bus companies even allow pets up to a certain size and in a carrier to travel.

So if you’re traveling or on vacation with your pet and they get lost or run away, it’s probably a very confusing environment for them. Few landmarks will look familiar, and there may be very few traceable scents for them to use to find home.

If you’ve gotten a microchip for your pet, your contact information will be available very shortly after the chip is scanned. The American Animal Hospital Association developed a national database and process to ensure that regardless of the microchip brand in your pet, your contact information can be found.

The microchip lookup process is simple. When the chip is scanned, if the manufacturer is part of the AAHA national database, your contact information will show up on a computer. If it’s not, the manufacturer brand will be revealed and that organization will be contacted and should be able to produce your contact information.

4. You know your pet well, but it’s possible that you may have trouble identifying them.

Difficulty identifying your lost pet can happen for two reasons:

  1. Your pet has been outside and had trouble accessing basic necessities.

    Depending on your pet’s personality and natural instincts, changes to their physical appearance can be minimal or drastic. If you have a timid cat that’s been outside for two weeks, they may be thin, dehydrated and stressed with matted fur. They’re your pet, but they may look nothing like themselves.

  2. Someone has found an animal that looks very similar to your pet.

    This is especially common if your pet is a purebred. If you’ve lost a Yorkshire terrier or collie, for example, and you post your dog’s photos on Facebook, printed fliers and lost pets forums, it’s possible that another dog of the same breed is missing and someone spots it. Unless your dog is microchipped or has a distinct trait – such as a bump or a color spot – it may be very difficult to determine if that is your pet.

Microchipping is easy and painless for your pet and a one-time cost for you. We offer the quick microchip procedure to all pets in Raleigh, Wake Forest and all areas in and around the Triangle. With convenient locations, you can find a time to bring your pet in and get them microchipped when it fits in your schedule.