How to Use Technology to Keep Your Pet Safe
Thanks to technology, we have microchips for pets!
So what you might say…“my pet wears a collar with tags” or “my cat is an indoor cat and never goes outside”.
If this is the case, why microchip your pets?
Because the very thing you think won’t happen does…collars and tags have been known to break or fall off and tattoos fade over time…or by accident a worker or guest lets your “feline escape artist” out…because things happen - that’s why.
Mom says that thousands of pets show up in shelters all over the US, and cannot be reunited with their owners because they cannot be identified.
Microchipping is the only permanent form of identification.
Currently microchipping your pet is its best chance of being returned to you if it gets lost or displaced in some sort of natural disaster – 38% of lost pets with microchips are reunited with their owners verses only 2% who did not have a microchip.
Mom considers a pet microchip to be a “must have” today – and is worth the stretch financially. She describes it as a “one time” insurance payment that essentially lasts a lifetime. My microchip in 2015 cost $85. Today the costs are more in the $50 range and some vets offer a package deal with other “necessary services” so the cost can be lower in the end.
Some rescue groups who arrange for low-cost spay/neuter days in their communities, will also have microchipping for a very low price or even for free. Do your research locally and see what is available particularly when cost is a factor in deciding “to chip or not to chip”.
For the pet, it is quick and relatively painless – similar to a vaccination.
The microchip will be placed in between the shoulder blades, under the “scruff” of the neck area. It can also be done at any time when the pet is having anesthesia for spay/neuter, dental cleanings, etc…and at any age.
Once implanted, be sure to keep your information up to date with your vet and your profile in the microchip company‘s database. It will not be of help, if once scanned, no one can locate you via phone or email that your pet has been found.
Have your vet scan your pet for the chip once a year at its wellness check-up. The recent protocol has been to SCAN THE ENTIRE BODY of your pet, as the microchips have been found to “drift” in some animals – having been found as far away from the injection site as down a back paw! Make sure they scan your pet all over its body and legs.
GPS Tracking For Pets
The biggest question or issue for microchips has always been – does it have GPS? The answer is a definite NO for a variety of reasons starting with the insert would be too big and it would need a battery change from time to time.
However, the good news is that GPS for pets is here – mom said she saw several companies at the Global Pet Expo offering collars and harnesses with trackable devices in them. There is the cost of the apparatus and a monthly service fee for the satellite tracking, etc…be sure to check with your local pet store and/or research the internet for pet products companies offering GPS tracking for pets.
This is a big deal for all dogs as they must go outside, and for cat owners who insist on allowing their cats to free-roam. It will be a game changer for all pet parents who have animals who are indoors/outdoors, as there is almost nothing worse than having a lost pet. The pain and the stress of not knowing if you will ever find your pet is a horrible feeling – who wouldn’t want to have their pet wear a tracking device?!
So always microchip your pets as nothing replaces that form of permanent identification. And for those dogs and cats who go outside, it would be worth it to invest additionally in a GPS tracking collar/harness for peace of mind that now they can be found if lost outside!