Last week several lost animals were brought into the clinic, so I thought I would re-run this article on animal identification. It can be difficult to reunite lost pets with their owners especially with lack of identification. Less than 50% of lost dogs and 20% of lost cats had any identification when they went missing. Only 4% of lost cats and 14% of lost dogs are reunited with their owners. Whereas, approximately 38% of lost cats and 52% of lost dogs with microchips are reunited with their owners.
Three Types of animal identification:
- A Physical identification tag with your pet’s name along with your name and phone number is probably the fastest and easiest way for your pet to be identified and returned. Unfortunately, some animals lose their collars and tags, so it’s good to have a backup.
- Tattoos are permanent identification, but many times are not linked to a registry to help reunite with their owners. However, it can help the owner make a positive identification of their pet.
- Microchips are permanent ways to identify your beloved pet. Unfortunately, without proper registration, these two forms of identification will not return a pet home but could help the owner make a positive identification.
In my opinion, I would recommend a collar and tag along with a microchip for your animal identification. It’s important to understand what a microchip is and how it works.
A microchip is about the size of a grain of rice that is injected with a needle under the animal’s skin usually over the shoulder blades. This small chip holds a unique code that is permanent. They require no battery and are designed to last the lifetime of your pet. It is pertinent to register with the company’s database. Without your data in the database, there is no way to be reunited with your pet.
There are multiple manufacturers of microchips, and there are some major differences that I would like to discuss. Due to cost, most veterinarians only carry one type of microchip so you will need to do some research ahead of time.
- Cost of the microchip and the registration fee will vary between companies. There is at least one company that has an annual registration fee versus a one-time fee.
- It’s very important to make sure you implant an ISO microchip because they are designed to be ‘universal.’
- Each company also produces a scanner that will read the unique number that is located on the microchip. Some scanners will only read their microchips while others are universal and can read all microchips. Most animal shelters and veterinary clinics have universal scanners and scan all pets with questionable ownership.
During May, Guthrie Pet Hospital is offering $10.00 off of microchipping. Contact us today for an appointment.