(Welcome to the weekly pet column of Pet Connection Programs Inc. of Marilla, N.Y. A new article is posted each week, so be sure to check back on a regular basis!)
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) recognized National Check the Chip Day on Aug. 15 by encouraging pet owners to check their pets’ microchip information to make sure it is up to date and accurate. The day also offers an opportunity for veterinarians to encourage their clients to microchip their pets if they aren’t already.
“Microchipping your pet is vital,” said Dr. Mike Topper, president of the AVMA. “But that’s only the first step. If your pet’s registration information isn’t up to date, the microchip is all but useless. It takes less than two minutes to check and update your contact information, and this small act can make all the difference in the chance of a lost pet being reunited with its family.”
Microchips are embedded under the skin using a hypodermic needle, similar to those used for vaccinations. No surgery or anesthesia is required – a microchip can be implanted during a routine veterinary office visit. After pets have been microchipped, contact information for the pet’s owner is registered to the microchip’s serial number in a database that veterinary or animal rescue staff can use to locate an animal’s owner should the pet become lost.
To check and update your registration information, you’ll need to log onto the database maintained by your microchip manufacturer. If you don’t remember the brand of your pet’s microchip, contact the veterinarian who implanted it, or you can use the AAHA’s Universal Pet Microchip Lookup Tool to do a quick search based on your pet’s microchip number.
According to HomeAgain, a supporter of National Check the Chip Day, 90 percent of lost pets without identification never make it back home. Microchipping your pet and keeping your registry information current is an important step in protecting your animal. The company recently celebrated its two millionth microchip reunion in March when it reunited a 1-year-old American Staffordshire terrier with her family after being apart for 17 days.
The AVMA offers members a Check the Chip Day Toolkit, a suite of resources for veterinarians to educate their clients about the benefits of microchipping and updating their pet’s registry information.
The AVMA, founded in 1863, is one of the oldest and largest veterinary medical organizations in the world, with more than 89,000 member veterinarians worldwide engaged in a wide variety of professional activities and dedicated to the art and science of veterinary medicine. Visit www.avma.org for more information.
(For more information on pets and animal adoption, please visit www.petconnectionprogramsinc.com. Or, visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/PetConnectionProgramsinc. Located in Marilla, N.Y., Pet Connection Programs Inc. is a nonprofit maternity and special care shelter founded in 1984.)