Lost and Found – National Pet ID Week

dog with id tags on collar

Did you celebrate National Clean Off Your Desk Day in January or National Cereal Day in March? Of all the national days of observance that folks enjoy promoting online, one of the most important causes near and dear to our hearts here at Dugan’s Veterinary Hospital begins on April 17 with National Pet ID Week. 

If your pet has ever gone missing, you know the worry and fear that are so overwhelming during that time. While not every story has a happy ending, statistics show that having both a microchip and collar tag in place substantially increases your chances of a happy reunion with your pet.

No bigger than a grain of rice, a microchip is a small, electronic chip enclosed in a glass cylinder. It is implanted using a hypodermic needle, similar to getting a regular vaccine. It can be done without anesthesia during a routine office visit, but it is often paired with other procedures, such as spaying or neutering. 

Microchips do not have a battery but are activated when read by a scanner, which is usually available at local vet clinics and pet shelters. When lost pets are brought into our clinic, we can quickly scan for a microchip and provide the identifying information at no cost. It’s our pleasure to be able to provide this service to our community. 

The second step of the process is equally important – registering your pet’s microchip and updating it when your contact information changes. Using your pet’s unique microchip number, you can create or update your account with the chip manufacturer. If you can’t find the number for an existing chip, the veterinary office who administered the chip should have a record of it. National Pet ID Week is a great time to check up on your registration and make sure your phone, email and address are correct.

Keeping a collar ID tag on your pet is crucial for their safety as well. Chances are that if they get lost, they will be found by a neighbor who will check first for a collar tag with a phone number. Make sure yours is correct and hasn’t been worn or scratched off over time. New technology options, such as smart collars that provide GPS tracking (and monitor your pet’s daily exercise levels!) are entering the market all the time, so look for those options when you’re ready to upgrade your capabilities.

Whether you have a hairy Houdini at your house who escapes all the time, or your dog or cat is a homebody who prefers the couch, protect them just the same with a microchip and up-to-date collar identification. If the day comes when you need to find them in a hurry, you will be so glad you took this important precaution in honor of National Pet ID Week.