Nobody wants to think about the beloved dog wandering around the city lost and unable to find its way home. But, while you may not want to think about it, your dog could accidentally get out of your home or your yard for a variety of reasons. A door could get left open, a gate could get broken, or in a more extreme but possible scenario – there could be a house fire, flood or other natural disaster where your pet could get out and be separated from you. Everyone thinks it won’t happen to them but WebMD provides some startling statistics about how many pets are lost each year, “Up to 8 million animals end up in shelters every year. Unfortunately, only 15-20% of dogs and less than 2% of cats are ever reclaimed by their owners.” One of the ways to increase the chances of finding your lost pet is having it microchipped. Many pet owners are opting to get their dogs microchipped but others remain skeptical of whether or not it is worth it.
A microchip is simply a glass bead that is roughly the size of a grain of rice. It is typically implanted between a dog’s shoulder blades and contains a transmitter as well as a computer chip with a code. The microchip can be scanned to get a pet’s information should your dog be found alone. This means that even if your pet has no identifying tags on, his chip can be scanned and your contact information can be accessed so that you can be reunited. It is important to note that a microchip is different than GPS. Your dog’s location cannot be tracked with a microchip. However, there are GPS pet trackers also available that can be attached to your pet’s collar but they cannot be implanted in your dog like a microchip. The cost to microchip is often very inexpensive, typically between $35-$100. Getting your dog microchipped is a very easy, relatively painless procedure. It is just like receiving a vaccination – the microchip is inserted with a simple injection and neither you nor your pet will be able to feel the microchip once it is placed. What it comes down to is this – a microchip is a simple, inexpensive procedure that will only provide information about your dog if it is scanned and cannot be otherwise tracked. But the real bottom line is that a microchip just may save you and your dog from the heartbreak of being separated and not being able to be reunited.