5 Common Pet Microchipping Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Are you part of the 68% of American households that own a pet? If so, you have your cat or dog microchipped, right?

Well…maybe not.

Experts estimate there are 90 million dogs and 94 million cats in the US. Unfortunately, there’s not much reliable data on the percentage of these pets that are microchipped. It might surprise you to find out that in 2012, the estimate was that only 4% of dogs (and 1% of cats) arriving at a shelter had a chip.

Clearly, there’s a lot of room for improvement when it comes to keeping track of our furry family members. So how can you avoid pet microchipping mistakes and improve the chances you’ll be reunited if your pet gets lost or stolen?

Keep reading to find out!

Don’t Make These Pet Microchipping Mistakes

There are certain things in life we can’t do over. When it comes to losing a valued member of the family, like a pet, the first few minutes are the most important. As time goes on, it becomes less and less likely you’ll find your pet.

These risks go down, of course, when they have a microchip installed. Sometimes, though, things don’t go as planned. Here are some common mistakes you’ll want to avoid.

1. Not Getting A Microchip At All

A surprising number of people don’t microchip their pets at all, as we have already discussed. Between cats and dogs, cats get ignored the most—probably because they are perceived as more independent animals.

However, ignoring your cat’s microchipping and registration is a mistake we just aren’t allowed to make as their human guardians. This is especially true if your cat is allowed to roam freely outside.

A lot of people with puppies easily add on the microchipping and registry as part of the vaccination process. However, older rescues and adoptions often get overlooked—especially when you take them home and wait to see if it’s a good fit between you first.

Make sure you microchip your pets before you bring them home and get informed about how it works.

2. Choosing the Wrong Brand

Another mistake is branding. Chip ID brands can be more or less common by region. If you get a registry and chip brand that most vets in the area don’t use, shelters won’t expect to look for that brand’s ID as carefully.

Each brand has a different frequency and belongs to a different registry. Making sure the chip is AAHA searchable is a huge deal! The American Animal Hospital Association, AAHA, keeps a database of where your microchip is registered.

In that case, you’ll need the microchip number, which is another thing people forget to write down and keep in a safe place.

3. A Veterinarian Didn’t Implant It

When it comes to your iPhone or car, most people don’t do their own work to fix it. They go to a professional. Workers in a shelter are great people doing great work, but they don’t always have the qualifications to implant a microchip safely or effectively.

The biggest problem is implant migration. However, this problem becomes drastically less common if performed by a professional. According to the AVMA, migration of the implanted microchip has an incidence of only 0.6% of cases.

You wouldn’t want an amateur to use a hypodermic needle on you, right? You don’t want one to use a needle on your family pet, either.

4. Not Updating the Registration

Moving is a pain, it’s true. But moving and not registering your pet is an even bigger pain when your dog tries to find their way “home” if they get lost.

Recently a dog ran 50 miles from where the family currently lives in Kansas, back to Missouri to try and find its way home!

Even worse is when your dog goes missing and is found, but you’ve changed your address and phone number and the rescuers can’t reach you. Some registrations have a one time fee, while others have a monthly subscription.

Either way, making sure it is up to date (and you’re currently subscribed) is essential.

5. Relying Only on the Chip

Another huge problem to avoid is not using other forms of ID. Owners who don’t use a physical ID collar are less able to find their pet quickly or prove the pet is theirs.

In addition, if the scanner being used doesn’t pick up the brand or frequency of your RFID chip, you may never get the call. A collar is a quick and easy way to ID your pet and is a reliable source of protection.

If collars aren’t your thing, a pet harness is a great alternative. Some feel it’s more gentle (and less cruel) in controlling and restraining your pet if they get agitated. We understand a guardian’s stand against collars on pets, but there are alternatives that can help keep them safe and easily identifiable.

Pet Microchipping Mistakes to Avoid: Now You Know

Pet microchipping is a bit controversial, but the benefits are clear. People rightly want to make sure that a chip won’t harm their furry and fuzzy family members.

Fortunately, microchips are incredibly safe and even help to protect your pet.

Don’t make the mistakes in this article! Make sure to get a microchip. Get it registered and keep that registry up to date. Make sure that the brand and company you choose for the microchip technology is trusted and respected.

If you can avoid making these pet microchipping mistakes, you’re already ahead of the pack!

Interested in registering your pet? Get in touch now and let’s make it happen.