Today, August 15th, is Check the Chip Day. Microchips, that is. I am a HUGE believer in microchips. Mauja and Atka are both chipped and while I’m thankful they have never been necessary, you can never be too safe.
Approximately 1 in 3 dogs will be lost at some point in their life. That is a scary number! Even worse, only 27% of dogs that enter shelters as strays are returned to their owners. That number increases to 52% if the dog is microchipped.
Why is the number still so low?
Only 58% of microchips have accurate owner information. Either the owner’s phone number or address has changed, which makes them unable to be reached.
So, what exactly is a microchip? A microchip is a tiny (about the size of a grain of rice) electronic device that is inserted under the skin with that needle. Some people prefer to get their pets chipped when they get spayed/neutered so they are under anesthesia, but you don’t have to wait. Atka didn’t even flinch when he got his chip.
The microchip emits radio-frequencies and can be detected by a special scanner. The scanner identifies the microchip number, which can be searched in a database with all of the pet owner information.
There are a few problems that seem to lower the effectiveness of a microchip. In a study of 2,632 pets, 11 microchips failed. Some failed due to improper scanning, matted fur, or excess body fat that made it difficult for the scanner to pick up on the chip. Another issue is that over the years, different scanners have been used to detect microchips. The scanners are only able to read chips at a certain frequency. Thankfully, newer universal scanners are being used that detect all frequencies of microchips.
How can you make sure the microchip helps your pet make it home?
- Check your chip. Take you dog to a local shelter or vet and have them scan the chip to ensure that it works. It’s also a great way to make sure the scanners in your area are universal and can detect your chip.
- Contact your microchip company. Way too many dogs are chipped without owner information. It’s a great idea to contact the microchip company to make sure all of your information is up to date.
I’ll be taking the pups to the vet later today to check their chips. Will you be checking your dog’s chip today?
Click here for more information regarding microchips.