Sunday, October 25, 2009

Getting un-lost

Microchips are a good idea and they really do the job when it comes to getting your pup un-lost. Linda Lord of Ohio State University decided to study just how effective microchips are in keeping your pet out of the shelter. The good news is that your dog is 2.5 times more likely to find his way home from the shelter.

If you aren't familiar with microchips, this is how they work: During a regular visit at the vet, you can have a microchip implanted into your pup's back. It is as quick as a vaccination, but your person has to do a little homework. It is very important that your person register your microchip with the company. My person did it really quick online--just filled out all my info into a form, and has to remember to update it if we move. If I get lost, she calls the microchip company and they fax my fact sheet and picture to all the shelters in a 25 mile radius. Plus, if I showed up at the shelter they would scan me for my microchip and look up all my contact info. Thats why microchipped pups are more likely to find their way home!

Microchips aren't perfect...some of them might move around in your body, or the detectors don't always work. Catherine Lord's study is helping shelters improve the effectiveness, including making sure they scan multiple times. She also found that out of date contact information was the main reason that a microchipped pet did not find his home. She recommends that the industry make a better connection between chipping and registration--like having vets ask all owners during annual exams if their chip information has been updated.

Is your chip registration up to date?

[Image courtesy of HowStuffWorks]

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