National Microchip Month: The Benefits of Chipping Your Pets

A microchip is undoubtedly a lost pet’s ticket home. Over recent years, there have been countless stories of both dogs and cats getting lost and being found, often years later, all because of a tiny chip.

June has been designated National Microchip Month and I am happy to say that the technology in terms of scanners to read the chips has become much more user-friendly and commonplace in both shelters and vet’s offices nationwide.

A microchip is the size of a grain of rice and can be professionally inserted at the vet’s office during a routine appointment. Fortunately, veterinarians that help out in shelters routinely microchip before any pet is adopted out, too.

It is up to the pet parent to register the pet with the microchipping company to ensure that they have up-to-date contact information in their system. This, of course, should be updated every time you get a new telephone number or move. And it a really good idea to ensure that your pet also has the relevant tag on a collar as this instantly alerts anyone finding your pet to check the chip. I believe that a pet can never have too much ID. In addition to a microchip, my fur kids also have ID tags with their name and my home phone number on them.

Interestingly, microchip technology has become far more functional than simply providing pet information. The technology is being used to give a pet access to a pet door and also to customize food bowls.

I consider this a very practical and functional additional use of this technology, particularly with regard to food bowls. A company in England called Sureflap Ltd, has been working with this technology and recently introduced into the United States a food bowl for cats and small dogs that operates on the pet’s personal microchip.

This means that in a multi-pet household, no other pet can access that food. This is a big breakthrough, especially when pets are on specialized food diets for medical issues. Of course, it also solves the problem of keeping the dog out of the cat food and vice versa! Further, in hot summer weather, because the bowl is closed over with a flap until accessed, it means the food stays fresh and ants are unable to invade!

A microchip is a once-off application designed to last a pet’s lifetime. Nevertheless, it’s a really good idea to get your pet’s chip scanned from time to time to ensure it is in working order. It doesn’t happen often, but the chip has been known to move and become unreadable.

Rather be safe than sorry.

Recently, a cat owner wrote to me to say that their cat had disappeared and that they had read my tips on how to look for a lost pet by taking heed of their pet’s personality traits, which govern how and where they hide when out of their home environment. They thanked me saying that this advice had helped them find their cat. You can access that information here:

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