National Check the Chip Day – August 15

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) have come together to create “Check the Chip Day” on August 15th. Check the Chip Day serves as reminders to pet owners to not only have their pet microchipped, but to keep the registration information up-to-date as well.

What exactly is a microchip? A microchip is a small, electronic chip enclosed in a glass cylinder. It is not battery operated, but activated by radiowaves from a scanner that is passed over the area in which the chip is located. Once activated, the chip can then transmit its identification number to the scanner.

What’s the importance of microchipping your pet? 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 the registration information is accurate, hence, Check the Chip Day!

When an animal is found and taken to a shelter or veterinary clinic, one of the very first things they do is scan for a microchip. According to the AVMA, a study of more than 7,700 stray animals at animal shelters showed that dogs without microchips were returned to their owners 21.9% of the time, whereas microchipped dogs were returned 52.2% of the time. Similarly, cats without microchips were returned to their owners only 1.8% of the time, whereas microchipped cats were returned 38.5% of the time. For those pets that were microchipped and not returned, most of the time it was due to incorrect information in the microchip registry database.

So, what should you do on the 15th? First, if your pet isn’t already microchipped, make an appointment at IVC for microchipping and make sure the chip is immediately registered prior to your visit. If your pet is already microchipped, check the registration information in the microchip manufacturer’s database and make sure it’s up-to-date. By taking the time to get your pet microchipped and/or check your pet’s microchip registration, you are taking the precautionary steps to protect and locate your pet should it get lost.

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