The Paws Spot: National Check the Chip Day

August 15, 2018
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The Paws Spot, Traci Wilkerson Steckel, Traci’s Paws.

Guess what today is? It’s Check the Chip Day! And not Fritos, Cheetos or Pringles either, we’re talking microchips for your pets and this is serious business.

According to the ASPCA, approximately 6.5 million companion animals enter U.S. animal shelters nationwide every year and of those animals, approximately 1.5 million are euthanized. Only an average 710,000 animals who enter shelters as strays are returned to their owners and we need to take action to bring this number up and make sure that more families are reunited with their lost pets.

The most common way for a lost pet to be reunited with its owner is by identification. While it is important to make sure that your pet wears a collar with updated contact information, it is possible for a collar to break away or even slip over your pet’s head. The next best and proven way to keep your contact information with your pet is by getting him microchipped.  Many rescues and shelters will already have this done when you adopt but always ask because not all shelters have funding for microchips. If your pet has one, make sure that your contact information is updated and associated with the microchip company. Be sure to fill out your paperwork and send it in to the microchip company immediately! There isn’t anything more discouraging than when a lost pet comes in with a microchip that has not been updated by its new owner who just adopted him, or his owner who just moved or changed their phone number.

The American Veterinary Medical Association recognizes that microchips greatly increase the chances that pets will be reunited with their families if they are lost or stolen…but a microchip only works if its registration information is accurate.  Since this is such a huge way to keep your pet safer when lost, this is what they suggest to you on this “Check Your Chip Day”:

1) Make an appointment with your veterinarian for microchipping if your pet isn’t already microchipped (then make sure that your pet’s chip is immediately registered).

2) Check your already-microchipped pet’s registration information in the microchip manufacturer’s database, and make sure it’s up-to-date.

Since there are so many databases that allow you to register your pet’s microchip, there is one that counts the most – the one that animal shelters and veterinarians will search – is the database maintained by the manufacturer of your pet’s microchip. There is a great tool that the American Animal Hospital Association uses, which is the Universal Pet Microchip Lookup Tool (link to this: http://www.petmicrochiplookup.org/) which is linked to the registries of the majority of microchip manufacturers and allows a quick database search of any microchip made by these manufacturers.

If you are unsure how to access the site, you can watch this YouTube video (please link to https://youtu.be/jthjs8NngrU) to walk you through the process.

So while some people may be out trying to find the best chips to eat with their guac today, you will be in the know, out taking action to help keep your pet safe, and returned back to you if ever lost. Check the Chip.