This is it… your worst nightmare. You get home and Bella your bulldog is gone. You search the house and the garden and check with the neighbours but there is no sign of her. What do you do now?
Call all the vets in your area
Call the SPCA and any other animal welfare organisations
Call friends and family in the area and ask them to keep a lookout
Put up posters in your area
The statistics are scary, one in three pets will go missing at some time and up to 90% of those that do not have some form of identification will not be recovered. At the very least, we STRONGLY recommend that all pets have an identification tag on their collar. That way, if someone does see them running down the road, they can easily be picked up and you can be contacted. Keep in mind, that tags can fall off!
THERE IS A BETTER OPTION THOUGH!
Microchipping your pet is the most effective way of guaranteeing that they find their way back into your arms, should they get lost.
Microchipping is a very simple procedure that can be done during a normal consultation at Hillside Veterinary Clinic. Dr Duncan injects a microchip into the skin between the shoulder blades. The microchip is about the same size as a grain of rice (just 12mm!) and no anaesthetic is required. The microchip lasts for the entire life of your pet as it has no internal energy source and is read by simply passing a microchip scanner over your pet’s shoulders, the scanner emits a low radio frequency and this allows for the transmission of the microchips unique cat or dog ID code which allows us to then identify your pet.
So, if Bella goes missing and is taken to any shelter/vet in South Africa, the first thing they will do is check for a microchip in the hope that there is one!
The Pros of Microchipping:
Implantation is quick and easy with very little pain.
Microchips can last up to 25 years!
Microchips are a permanent form of identification and can’t ‘fall off’
The Cons of Microchipping:
Microchips can (very rarely) migrate under the skin to other areas of the body and can thus be ‘missed’ when scanning the shoulder region – thus always keep a tag on your creature too!
A microchip is not a GPS device. You cannot follow your pet with it.
The implantation can be a little painful for some sensitive creatures.
Some Frequently Asked Questions
Some handy info from Virbac on their BackHome microchipping system: