Check the Chip

Why I tell all my clients to check the chip!

By Dr. Carolyn Thorne, DVM

Having a pet runaway or go missing is one of the worst feelings and a very scary time. 

All the staff at Veterinary Services of Westwood (VSW) have pets of our own and when we see a lost cat or dog poster or post on Facebook, our hearts go out to the pet owners.  We know the sad fact that less than 20% of lost dogs and fewer than 5% of cats ever make their way back home. 

August 15 was National Check the Chip Day. While it is a good yearly reminder, I encourage everyone at anytime to check their pet's microchip. 

What are two of the best ways to protect your pet—especially if they are likely to runaway or wander?

  1. Get a microchip
  2. Keep the registration information up-to-date

While a collar and name or license tag are valuable, they can come loose and break or wear out and become difficult to read.

A microchip, on the other hand, stays with your pet for life.  The tiny microchip is injected into your pet’s skin between the shoulder blades where it bonds with your pet’s tissue.  The majority of shelters, animal hospitals and veterinary clinics now have microchip scanning equipment and can quickly scan a found pet for a chip.

Each chip has a registration code which will appear during a scan and link a pet back to his or her family.  Keeping your registration information up-to-date so a shelter or clinic can reach you to let you know they found your pet is just as important as getting your pet microchipped in the first place.

Many moving reunions of pets with their overjoyed families have happened, all thanks to a microchip!

Not sure if your pet has a microchip?  We are happy to check during your pet’s next wellness exam or make an appointment now.

To remember to Check the Chip, download helpful information from the American Veterinary Association.