Did you know that May is national microchip your pet month? As an Abington pet sitter, I give a lot of thought to keeping every pet in my care safe on a daily basis, but natural disasters like the recent tornados in Oklahoma remind us all that life is fragile and things happen that are out of our control. My heart goes out to those whose pets are lost and my hope is that all lost pets and their people will be reunited.
Getting your pet microchipped can increase the chances that you and your pet will be reunited if ever they were to get lost. This is a simple process that can be done for dogs, cats, ferrets and other mammals. A microchip the size of a grain of rice is injected by needle under your pet’s skin between the shoulder blades. It costs about $50 and can be done safely by your veterinarian. The microchip has a unique number on it that can be read by a scanner. You register your contact information, so be sure to inform the microchip company if your information changes.
This is something that has been done for years in Europe and I recently read that in Ireland it will be mandatory to microchip your pet by 2016. There are new products coming onto the market that can work with your pet’s microchip, like a cool new pet door that is activated by your pet’s scanner, so only your pet can get access, but they don’t have to wear an additional collar.
The only downside is that there are two types of microships being used currently in the U.S. and they transmit two different radio frequencies. Therefore, there are two different scanners, but not every shelter in the U.S. has both scanners due to a variety of issues, not the least of which being funding. There are now universal scanners, but I have heard mixed reviews about their accuracy. Your best bet may be to use the type that your local shelter uses.
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