Have You Checked the Chip?

By: Elianna Brook, WHVC technician

During the peak of vacation season and fun in the sun, we often forget the anxieties these joyous times bring our furry friends. Whether your pets travel with you, are kenneled, or watched after by trusted friends or family, the chances of them getting away are very high during these times. You may say your dog would never run away or your cat never leaves the house, but stressful times may change these habits in your pets.

If you were to (heaven forbid) get into a car accident while your cat or dog was traveling somewhere with you, during which time they escaped from your vehicle and didn’t know where they were, the best way to maximize their chance of returning home safely is having them microchipped and following up with registering that chip to you. The first thing most animal shelters, veterinary clinics, and police do upon finding a “stray” or lost pet, is to scan for a microchip. These tiny chips are placed just under the skin, typically between the shoulder blades or in that general area. The procedure is often done in correlation with a young pet’s spay or neuter surgery while they’re under anesthesia, but the implants are also placed while animals are awake. It’s a quick procedure that takes just about as long as a regular vaccine administration. These chips may migrate through time, so having your chipped pet scanned at routine veterinary appointments is not frowned upon.

Each year in the United States, about 7,600,000 cats and dogs enter animal shelters. Of those 7.6 million, only about 649,000 are returned home safely to their owners. Imagine how many more pets would find their way home if everyone had their companions microchipped.

Any time of change can be scary for your little (or not so little) ones, so ensuring their ability to find their way home is important. Travel, fireworks, and the hustle and bustle of company or workers in and out of your home are just a few things that could spook a cat or dog into running away. Though microchips aid in the reuniting of many pets with their families, they are not GPS devices so you can’t track your critters if they go missing.

National Check the Chip Day is August 15. If you haven’t had your pets microchipped and are interested in doing so or have more questions, don’t hesitate to contact your favorite veterinarian, technician, receptionist, or other member of the Winding Hill team for more information.

Tech Elianna scanning Kevin, an adorable dog adopted by our practice manager, Tena. He was adopted through Furry Friends Network.
Tech Elianna scanning Kevin, an adorable dog adopted by our practice manager, Tena. He was adopted through Furry Friends Network.