Responsible pet owners know that microchipping a pet is essential to finding the pet if it gets lost. However, the chip is only useful if the owner remembers to register it and provide thorough contact information. Here are some tips to keep your chip up to date for your pet!
Choose a Chip Frequency
Microchips are available in different frequencies. A couple of these are extremely common and can be read by most chip readers in most vet offices. Another is newer and not that widespread yet, a vet may have a scanner that can read the chip, but it’s not guaranteed. If you plan to travel internationally with your pet, that could also dictate which frequency you need to get. Set up a time to talk to your vet about the frequencies and which one would be better given your situation.
Remember to Register the Chip
Microchips are not always registered when you get them. Some vets include a lifetime membership or subscription cost to a registry in the cost of the microchip. Others include a cheaper one-year fee, which you have to supplement. Yet other vets include no registration fees, meaning you have to seek out a registry and have the chip added yourself. Don’t be put off by the mention of lifetime subscriptions or fees; they’re actually very reasonable. However, you must ensure that the chip ends up with a lifetime registration.
It is always frustrating for vets to find a pet that’s chipped but that has no registration. It slows down the effort to find the pet’s owner, and it increases the chances of the pet ending up in a shelter or rescue rather than back at home.
Keep the Chip Updated
In addition to getting the registration in place, you must provide contact information, and keep that information updated. Don’t assume that if you make an address change with your vet’s office that the vet will contact the registry for you. Contact the registry right after you move, change phone numbers, or change other contact information. Leaving the pet’s chip with outdated information is just as bad as never registering the chip at all, especially if you have a common name. Veterinary offices don’t have time to call several people with the same name to find out if they are the owner of the pet.
Take Pictures as the Pet Grows
Also, take clear pictures of the pet as it gets larger. You’re definitely going to have pictures of the pet – you’d be a rare pet owner if you didn’t – but many of these might be blurry or show the pet in shadows or other situations that would make it hard to identify. Every few months, take pictures of the pet’s face, sides, tail, and any unique markings. That way, if the pet gets lost, you’ll have up-to-date pictures that clearly show what the pet looks like.
Do you need to get a pet microchipped, or do you have questions about frequencies, registration, and preventing the animal from getting lost? If so, contact Sunny Hills Veterinary Hospital. Keep your pet safe from the start.