Have you staged an emergency drill to test your pet’s microchip? We never hope to need to rely on the microchip to be reunited with our beloved pet, but in the unfortunate event that you would need to rely on the chip, it will be well worth the time it takes to practice walking through the steps.
Microchips can be a lifesaver for our pet, literally, but if the information that was recorded by the chip company is not accurate, or your contact information has changed and wasn’t updated with the chip company, your pet’s safety and the chances of being reunited with your pal is significantly reduced.
Most of the time microchips work as they are supposed to. Once in a while an error or malfunction renders the microchip useless. In two cases of which I’m personally aware (both turned out fine in the end!), when the guardian of the missing pet called the chip company to report their pet missing, there was a problem. One resulted in a completely different family and different dog – different breed, age, all the vital information – on record. The other realized, after the dog had been found through other means, that the number on the chip was one digit off from the number of record. The rescuing family went through the proper steps but the microchip was no help in reuniting the dog with his family since the chip company had no record of the number that matched the chip. Errors can happen, and we can take responsibility to limit the consequences of the error by simply running our own emergency drill periodically.
- Next time you have your microchipped pet in for their well-check exam, ask the veterinarian or vet tech to scan the chip
- Match the chip number to the number you have in your file at home
- Call the chip company and confirm the number is properly associated with your contact information
- Update your contact information if necessary. Is your mobile phone number included? Is the secondary contact person still the appropriate person of record? Has the guardianship of the pet changed through divorce or death, or is the primary residence of the pet with a different family member? Confirm and/or update your contact information every year or so.