There was a time when a fleeing pup could be found by way of “Lost Dog” signs hung up around the neighborhood. Those were the good ol’ days, but unless you live in an “everyone-knows-each-other” kind of town, those times have passed. Many great organizations and rescue shelters dedicate their lives to reuniting lost dogs with their owners, but they can’t do it without your help. That is why two of the most important things you can do for your pets are to have them tagged and micro chipped.
Just yesterday I saw a flyer at a local store including the words “CHILD HEARTBROKEN” regarding their missing cat. Not only will your family be heartbroken…think about your animals and the potential stress they will be dealing with!
Isn’t a collar and tag enough?
While you should definitely put a collar and tag on your dog or cat, it is still necessary to micro-chip. If your pet should slip out of his collar (outdoor cats should always have a breakaway collar to prevent them from getting caught on branches while climbing), the microchip will help him find his way home. Don’t forget that there are still animal lovers out there who will help a lost dog or cat find his way back to you. However, they most likely will not have a microchip scanner on hand. A tag with your pet’s name and your current phone number will allow them to get in contact with you much easier. Another good idea is to put your rabies tag and identification on two separate rings, just in case one gets lost. With one still remaining, you have a better chance of recovery. At Wisconsin Pet Care llc, we provide each new customer a 1-800-Help 4 Pets tag at our meet and greet.
But my cat stays indoors, is a collar and tag really necessary (especially if they are already microchipped)?
Yes. Cats like going outside. That “dart at the door” game they play while you have your hands full isn’t just for fun. They are on a mission. The possibility exists that your indoor cat could get outside. Therefore, they should always wear a collar with an updated tag. Yes, we know that the little fur ball hates to have it around their neck, however, the chances of return are slim without identification
How does the microchip know who the dog or cat belongs to?
If the microchip isn’t registered, there is no way to know. If you received your dog or cat from a rescue shelter, and they’ve already been micro chipped, it is important to ask your vet the microchip manufacturer (they can scan it at your dog’s first check-up). You will then want to register your pup’s microchip immediately. If your vet is the one inserting the microchip, they will keep the number on file. However, it is still important to register directly with the manufacturer and to update the information if you move or change your phone number. Each year you must keep your payments up to date or its moot!
Do the microchips ever stop working?
No. However, they can move. If they would migrate to another part of the body, an unskilled scanner may miss your pet’s microchip if ever they ever get lost. It is important to incorporate scanning your dog’s microchip into his vet checkups. This is the best way to verify that it is scanning properly and that the microchip is located where it should be (on his back between his shoulder blades).
But do these microchips really work?
In short: Yes. Chris Bucci (one of Wisconsin Pet Care’s highly-skilled Pet Sitters) had this to say about a recent lost dog experience of her own:
Here is my lost dog story. While eating lunch I spotted a dog running through our yard that I have never seen before. Long story short I was able to get the dog into our garage with tips we used from “Lost Dogs” (when a lost dog is found, how to “capture it”). When I had the dog, and after I felt it was ok to touch the dog, she was very friendly. She had a pink collar on with no tags. I called HAWS, the local police and the sheriff, but no lost husky was reported… after my sits I took the dog to North Lake Vet who scanned the dog. It was micro-chipped!!!
They called the micro-chip number in and the owner was found. I left the dog at the vet and the owner came later to pick the dog up. The vet clinic said they are always surprised by how many people have collars on dogs/cats with no tags. I wonder how many of these pets are micro-chipped and their information is up to date if they are lost without tags. People think their dog will never run away, but things do happen.
Our vet now scans all pets that come in to check their micro-chip, but it only shows the chip’s number, not the owner’s name. You need to call the company for that.
Thanks for reading my “short” email,
At Wisconsin Pet Care llc we hope that you will consider doing the best for your pets-always. Be ready for emergencies-of any kind!