Check the Chip Day: Have You Checked Your Pet’s Microchip?

stray cat in streetIt’s getting closer to the first day of school in the Rocky Mount area, but while you’re getting school supplies ready, there’s another thing you’ll want to add to your to-do list for the month: updating your pet’s microchip information.

August 15th is National Check the Chip Day. Founded by the American Animal Hospital Association and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), this day is designated to raise awareness about the benefits of microchipping and the need for checking the accuracy of your pet’s microchip registry information.

Obviously, the main reason you might opt to microchip your pet is to add a layer of protection if he or she gets lost. If the animal is found and taken to a veterinary clinic or shelter, the microchip can be scanned to obtain its unique identification number. That number can then be used to get the the owner’s registered contact details.

According to the AVMA, microchipped cats are more than 20 times more likely to be returned to their owners, while dogs with a microchip are more than twice as likely to get returned to their human families.

That sounds great, but one of the main issues is that owners don’t complete or update the registry information for the chips. In fact, the AVMA reports that roughly 40% of microchips aren’t even registered!

If your dog or cat is microchipped, the annual Check the Chip Day is a perfect time to check the registration information. You can make an appointment with your pet’s veterinarian and have the chip scanned. Make sure your name, home address, phone number(s), and email address are provided and accurate. And, if you change phone numbers, home addresses, or email accounts at any time during the year, you’ll want to make sure you have that information updated as soon as possible.

For more information about microchipping, check out this FAQ from the AVMA and, of course, talk with your pet’s veterinarian.

Erin McCoy is a freelance writer specializing in health, pet care, and education. Learn more about her work at elmccoy.com or check out her blog at A Pie in the Window.

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