Pet Microchipping
How Does it Work?

Pet microchipping gives a much better chance of your animals being reunited with you safely if they ever become lost.

Each year, more than 10 million pets are missing. It can easily come about, no matter how much we all try to anticipate it. When your pet is missing and if they do not have a collar or their collar gets lost, it can be extremely hard for them to discover their way home.

According to the American Humane Association, only about 17% of strayed dogs and 2% of lost cats ever find their owners. Almost 20 million pets are euthanized each year because their owners cannot be found. If pet microchipping has been invested in, there is a much greater chance that they will return to you safely. Pet microchipping is a safeguard that will last for your pet's lifetime as there are no moving parts and nothing to replace.

A microchip is a tiny computer chip that has an identification number programmed into it. It is small enough to fit into a hypodermic needle. Once injected, the I.D. number cannot be altered or removed. Once the chip is implanted, a layer of connective tissue forms around the chip stopping it from moving about.

Some people are uncertain of pet microchipping because they are afraid it will hurt them. The method is simple, routine, and harmless, and it doesn't need any anesthesia. Your pet merely gets an injection just beneath the loose skin between the shoulder blades; it's a lot like being vaccinated. The majority of animals don't react at all. Long term studies have shown that pet microchipping is extremely safe for your animals.

The chip contains an identification code that is unique to your pet. Most veterinarians and animal shelters have scanners that can read that recognition code. Most use universal scanners that will read all brands of microchips.

There are two important ways of pet microchipping. One of the most popular is the AVID (American Veterinary Identification Devices) microchip. When you get an AVID microchip implanted in your dog, you will record your information with PETrac. Your veterinarian will have the application report to send in to PETrac. If you do not get this information, or if your information such as address, phone number, or veterinarian changes, you may call PETrac directly at (800) 336-2843 to make the suitable changes.

Your dog will also be given a tag for his collar with his AVID microchip number prominently displayed. When your missing pet is found, they will be scanned and the data will be called in to PETrac. Their database will bring up your information and you will be notified instantly.

Another approved way of pet microchipping is with the Schering-Plough HomeAgain microchip. Once your dog is microchipped with the Schering-Plough HomeAgain microchip, you will record your information with the American Kennel Club (AKC) Companion Animal Recovery (CAR) program. This program maintains a nationwide database and is accessible 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Just as with AVID's PETrac system, when your missing pet is found, it will be scanned, the number will be called into the AKC-CAR (1-800-252-7894) and you will be notified at once.

Pet microchipping provides permanent identification unlike tags alone. When you register, you supply information to the AKC-CAR - your contact information, your veterinarian's information and an alternate contact. The program personnel will call the other numbers if you cannot be reached. Remember to contact the AKC-CAR if any of the above information changes.

The pet microchipping system works! More than 1 million pets are enrolled in the AKC Companion Animal Recovery program and 97% have HomeAgain microchips. 126,034 missing pets have been reunited with their owners thanks to this program which has a 100% success rate. Every found pet in its system has been identified.

The American Society for the prevention of cruelty to animals (ASPCA) also supports the use of pet microchipping for animal identification. They feel that it is the most dependable system for the recovery of lost pets.

Ideally, leashes, fences, and doors would be sufficient to keep your pet safe at home, but in the actual world, accidents take place, and your pet depends on you to safeguard him or her against the things that could go wrong. Pet microchipping can be a big move towards ensuring that your pet will be with you in the future.

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