Did you know that a family pet is lost every two seconds?  Imagine… in the time it takes you to read this sentence, about six pets will have gone lost in the U.S., over 10 million pets each year. An even more depressing, and staggering, statistic is that only one in ten family pets will ever be found.  7.6 million of these lost pets will end up in shelters, and 2.7 million of them will be euthanized.

As if these statistics weren’t disturbing enough, it’s not just a matter of your pet jumping the fence and running away or simply wandering off… many are stolen, often right from their homes.

The good news – and thankfully, there is some – is that you can take steps to make certain that if your furry friend is ever lost that the story has a happy ending.  For starters, make sure that your pet wears a well-fitted collar with current identification information.  While collars and tags are certainly helpful, they’re really not sufficient.  Why?  Because collars and tags have a way of coming off your pet’s neck. Sometimes by accident, other times by individuals who would like to make YOUR pet their own. Once that happens, your pet is not just lost, but completely identifiable as yours… unless, you take the next step:  Microchipping.

How does microchipping work?

A microchip is about the size and shape of a grain of rice and is placed underneath your pet’s skin between the shoulder blades. Microchip implantation is completely safe, and your Boca Raton pet care specialist can perform the procedure in just a few minutes. Each microchip is unique and carries vital information about your pet—including your name, address, and contact information. When a microchip is implanted, the pet owner is given a registration form to complete. Registering the number on the microchip includes your pet in a national pet recovery database. Veterinary hospitals, animal shelters, and animal control offices across the country are equipped with special electronic scanners that can detect the microchip and read the identification number. If a lost pet is picked up by animal control or found and then presented to a veterinarian, a quick scan of the microchip reveals the identification number.  NOTE: The pet recovery database also contains other relevant information, such as any health problems your pet may have. For example, if your lost diabetic cat got picked up, her condition could be treated.

With a chip, having your beloved pet returned home is just a phone call away. A toll-free call to the pet recovery database alerts the microchip company that a lost pet has been identified.  They, in turn, notify you so that you can be reunited with your lost pet.

Finally, while the installation of the chip is simple, choosing a database provider is not.  There are several microchip brands and services on the market today… Home Again, AVID and Recovery Chip, to name just a few.  As their products can vary widely, it is wise to consult with your Boca Raton veterinarian, who has a vast amount of experience in the process and can recommend a provider to you.