To MicroChip or Not to MicroChip?
A Look Into Microchipping Your Pet
September is travel safety and microchip awareness month at Fairgrounds Animal Hospital, so let’s start by talking microchips! We know you might be wondering what a microchip is, and why you would want one for your pet. Microchips are essentially an ID tag that can never fall off or be taken away if your pet is ever lost or kidnapped—unlike the tags on his or her collar. It is not a tracking device, but it can still dramatically increase the odds that a lost or kidnapped pet will make it back home! A microchip can be scanned at any vet clinic or animal shelter, and the staff makes sure to scan every pet that is new to them during the first visit. A microchip implanted on your pet will be registered under your name, and as long as you update the associated company with changes in your phone number and address, it will have your current contact information attached. Many, many lost or kidnapped pets have been returned home safely because they had a registered microchip in place!
What if your pet never goes outside?
It is true that the risk of being lost or kidnapped decreases if your pet only leaves the house to go potty while on a leash and in a fenced yard. However, not too many pet owners would want to stick to such a strict regimen, nor would their pets. Some folks like to let their cats go outside, and our dogs love to go out for walks—it’s good for everybody’s health! It only takes one time for your dog to get out of a car or leash and run out of your sight, to get through a hole in the back fence, or for your indoor cat to slip out of an open door. Why take that chance?
Microchipping is only as painful as a vaccine, takes less than 15 minutes, and is relatively inexpensive. Here, there is a one-time cost of about $55 for implantation, and it comes with 12 months worth of registration and benefits with HomeAgain.
- access to the 24 hour hotline with Lost Pet Specialists, a nationwide network that goes on alert as soon as a pet is reported lost,
- annual reminders to update contact information,
- free flight home for any pet found more than 500 miles away (they have been found over 1,000 miles away before!), and
- free access to a 24/7 emergency veterinary hotline, where you can speak with licensed veterinarians during a pet health emergency.
For a small annual fee after the 12 months are up you can renew your benefits with HomeAgain via their website, but your microchip implant will always be attached to your contact information. The emotional cost of losing your best friend is far greater than the small financial cost and brief visit needed to get your pet set up with a microchip ID. Microchipping is a convenient and intelligent option that we at Fairgrounds Animal Hospital highly recommend to help keep you and your furry family together for life!