Monday, July 2, 2012

Microchip Your Pets

Summertime - Warm weather is great and many of us take advantage of outside activities. This could mean we open and close our doors more often than usual as we go out of and into our homes more frequently. For pet owners, this could mean more opportunity for our pets to dart out of the door while it is open or slip through an open window if the screen is not well secured. State of Denial - Many pet owners are in a state of denial when it comes to being cautious about opening doors when pets are loose in the house and near enough to an open door to run out. We often hear pet owners say "My pet hates going outside and would never go out the door so I don't have to worry about him/her running outside." For many pets, they would normally stay indoors if the door was open. However, it only takes a split second for a pet's normal behavior to change. Maybe on this one instance the door was open and there was a squirrel the pet saw or a bird was near that seemed enticing to your pet. All of a sudden, their normal behavior changed - before your could react. Suddenly, the pet you love is out the door or window and is gone! What to Do Next - There are a number of things you could do next. You could run out and try to catch your pet. If that does not work, you could leave his/her favorite treats out near your door in case your pet comes back. You could alert your neighbors and the local veterinarians and shelters to be on the look out for our pet and leave them photos. You could put up flyers and run an ad in the newspaper. You could do all these things and perhaps others not mentioned to try to get your pet back. It is possible none of these will work. All of the things mentioned are things you could do after your pet is lost but what could you do before your pet is lost that may help you get him/her back later? Microchipping - We recommend when you first acquire a new pet that you take it in to see your veterinarian for a wellness check up. During this initial check up, ask your veterinarian to place a microchip in your pet. Microchips are very small and contain identifying information on them, usually a microchip number. It is placed just under your pet's skin between the shoulder blades. Once placed, your pet adjusts to it being there quickly and it does not hurt. The vet. will give you a copy of the microchip number and some paperwork to fill out with your name, address, phone number, pet's name, identifying markings, etc., to send to the microchip company along with their registration fee. Once your pet is registered with the microchip company, should your pet get lost and someone takes your pet to a shelter or the veterinarian, the shelter staff or veterinarian can use a scanner to see if the pet has a microchip in place. If the microchip is there, the scanner can read the number on the microchip and the shelter staff or veterinarian can contact the microchip registration company. The microchip registration company will be able to help contact you so you can retrieve your pet. This way, if you get a case of pet owner denial later and just know "My pet hates going outside and would never go out the door so I don't have to worry about him/her running outside." this early precaution can make the difference between never seeing your pet again and a very happy reunion.

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