Check the Chip Day is August 15th and was created by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) to remind pet owners to check and update microchip registration information. If your pet is not already microchipped, now is a good time to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian. Although pet external ID collars are important and useful, they can get lost or damaged. Microchips are the only permanent form of identification for pets and research shows that pets equipped with registered microchips are more likely to be reunited with their owners. In a study published by the Journal of the AVMA, research revealed:
- Only about 22 percent of lost dogs that entered the animal shelters were reunited with their families. However, the return-to-owner rate for microchipped dogs was over 52 percent (a 238 percent increase).
- Less than 2 percent of lost cats that entered the animal shelters were reunited with their families. The return-to-owner rate for microchipped cats was dramatically higher at over 38 percent (more than 2000 percent better).
Most shelters, animal hospitals, and veterinary clinics have microchip scanning equipment, which increases the chances of being reunited with your pet in case you are ever separated. In order for microchipping to be effective, it is crucial to make sure that your contact information is up to date. You can verify your contact information by contacting the pet microchip registry your pet is enrolled with. To check where your pet’s microchip is registered, visit the AAHA Universal Pet Microchip Lookup Tool. It’s also beneficial to ask your veterinarian to scan your pet’s microchip annually to make sure it is still functioning and can be detected.