Why microchip a dog or cat

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Microchipping is the right choice
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Why microchip a a dog or cat? It may be your lost pet's only ticket home!

If you've ever lost a dog or cat, you know how painful that is. There's the uncertainty, the worry, the fear that even if someone finds them, they might not know where they live. And as hours stretch into days or even weeks, it's hard to keep up hope that your pet will come home again. 

Before your pet is lost, there is something you can do. The choice to microchip a dog or cat is the best way to protect your beloved furry family member. Still not convinced? 

Here are some common excuses for not getting a pet microchipped...and the reasons why relying on any of them could end with your pet lost for good. 

My dog (or cat) is an indoor pet

Some people claim that their pet doesn't need a microchip because it's an indoor cat or dog. But almost every pet will escape at some time. It could be a door left open by a child, or a garage opened by a workman. A screen could slip or form a hole large enough for a cat or pup to slip through. There are dozens of possibilities, but in every case, your indoor pet is now outside. 

And for an animal who isn't used to the outdoors, it could be terrifying -- or thrilling. They might run and hide somewhere nearby, or they could take off to explore with no idea how to get back home. 

A microchipped pet has a chance of being reunited with it's owner, even if it wanders far away. 

My yard is fenced, so my dog can't get out

No matter how secure you think your fence is, a dog who wants to find a way out will. Some tunnel under, some chew holes, some climb and some jump. Some are masters at releasing latches.  
And even with the best of fences, there's always the chance that someone could leave the gate open. It only takes once, and your pet is gone.

But once again, that microchip could bring them home.

My dog or cat wears a collar and tag

Collars and tags are great for all pets. Some who finds your dog or cat can look at the tag, and make a call to let you know Fido or Fiffy is safe and waiting for you. I can't say enough good things about name tags on pets!

But...collars can get caught on branch or fences and come off. Tags can fall off their rings, or become damaged.  And sad to say, there are even some bad people out there who think it's funny to take a dog or cat's collar and leave them running around lost and unnamed. 

Of course, not everyone has a microchip reader, so a tag should still be a requirement. But a stray pet can be taken to any vet or shelter and scanned (at no charge) in seconds. That could lead to a call telling you your pet has been found, sometimes even before you realized he had escaped!

My dog only leaves the house on a leash

Aside from all the escape routes already described, even a pet on a leash can get away. Leashes can break, slip out of your hand, or a dog can back out of a collar (or even a harness...I have seen my dog do it!) 

Like collars and tags, leashes are great. But when a dog gets away, that leash in your hand won't bring her home. 

A microchip might. 

What's your reason? 

If you haven't microchipped your dog or cat, what's your reason? If it's cost, many state and local agencies offer low cost or even free microchipping for low income residents. If you're worried about hurting your pet, know that microchipping is about as painful as their annual shots -- but it usually only needs to be done once instead of every year or so. 

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