Once a cat or dog is adopted, I highly recommend microchipping them before leaving the shelter. A common question people often ask after making this recommendation is, "What is microchipping and what are the benefits?"
Microchipping is the process of inserting a small, inert chip about the size of a large grain of rice beneath your pet's skin with a syringe. It feels like a small shot - your pet may experience slight discomfort for a moment or two, then feel perfectly fine. The chip will contain your contact information, once you've registered it in the microchip database. Microchipping your pet is a quick, easy and typically inexpensive process. When I had my small kitten microchipped, she seemed look at me, wondering what was happening, but barely made even a small sound while the insertion process was going on.
But why is it important to get your pet microchipped? Once a cat or dog is adopted, they don't immediately know what their new home looks like. So, if they happen to get loose somehow (dart out the door, escape their leash, etc.), they will not know which house is their home to return to. I have a friend who wished so badly that he had gotten his new puppy microchipped - he only had him for a week when the dog decided to explore the neighborhood. After hours of calling his name, the neighbor found the pup sitting near the edge of their lawn. As in my friend's instance, keeping your pet secure will help ensure its safety, especially during the first few weeks. But microchipping can offer added peace of mind that your lost pet will be reunited with you no matter what unexpected event might occur.
One fact that many pet owners aren't aware of: when a dog wanders away from home, they are often social and go up to people for help. Cats, however, will be more likely to cower in a corner - probably behind some bushes or under a deck - and can go unseen for days, until it's too late. Keeping your eyes and ears peeled for a scared, whimpering kitty will be helpful in their survival.
If your pet does scurry off and is found far away from home, a local shelter can perform a simple scan to retrieve your contact information. Important: Your contact information is only available once your pet's microchip has been registered in the database. This should be done almost immediately after the chip has been inserted. If your phone number or address changes at any point, it is important to update the information as soon as possible to ensure that if your pet is ever lost, it can be easily reunited with you.
If you're interested in learning more about microchipping and helping lost pets find their way home, visit the lost pet website today!
For more information, registering your pet and more visit our lost pet website.