Have you ever wondered what would happen if you got lost? As a person you know your name, address, phone number, and your parent’s name. You can also tell someone like a police officer, firefighter, or other adult this information so that they can help you because you can talk. For me, as a dog, it’s a lot more difficult because even if I do talk, not many people speak German Shepherd. So what can I do to be ready in case I get lost?
In my last article, Collars, I mentioned that one of the nice things about collars was that it was a place to keep my tags and that those tags could help me get back to my family in case I got lost. But what if I lose my collar? It could get stuck in a fence, or tree, or otherwise fall off. In that case, I have a microchip. What’s a microchip? Well, let me tell you, it is a neat little thing that will help me get back to my family. How?
The microchip is small, about the size of a grain of rice. The vet or vet’s assistant puts the microchip into a needle and then ever so gently puts it right beneath my skin, just between my two front shoulder blades. It doesn’t hurt at all and it’s like getting a little shot when they put it in. My caregivers are given a website and password so that they can keep their information up to date so if I ever do get lost and found, those that found me can use that information to contact them and get us back together. When someone wants to “read” the microchip, they simply pass a special scanner over the area where the microchip is. The scanner picks up the unique code of the microchip that has been assigned to me. Because the microchip is under my skin it is mine forever.
Today many animal welfare groups and animal control departments use microchip scanners as part of their everyday work. They scan all the animals that they get in hopes of that animal having been microchipped. When they read that microchip number, they log into the website, enter the animal code and get the information to contact the animal’s caregiver. This helps get families back together and helps keep the animals from having to stay in the shelter.
My siblings and I all have our microchips and we recommend that all of our pet friends get one too. You never know what may happen and there is always a chance that our collar could get stuck on something and pull off. Our microchips are always going to be with us and will always be there to help us get back to the family. Think about getting one for your furry family member as well.