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National Pet ID Week

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Every year many pets are lost, with only a very small percentage (15% of dogs and 2% of cats) being reunited with their families.  To dramatically increase the chances of finding your pet if they get lost, pet identification is a must.  National Pet ID Week, April 18-24, brings focus to the importance of identification for your pet.

Microchipping has become a popular form of pet identification in recent years.  Statistics have shown that chances of finding a lost pet are six times greater if they’re microchipped.  Microchips are small, about the size of a grain of rice, and are embedded under the skin.  Each pet is assigned a unique identification that can be read by universal microchip readers at vet offices and many emergency pet care clinics or shelters.

Many animal shelters provide microchipping for pets they have available for adoption.  If you have a pet that has not been microchipped, many shelters offer specials on microchipping at their facility, or at community events.

If worried about adverse effects of microchipping your pet, read “Microchipping of Animals” at the American Veterinary Medical Association website, . Studies tracked reported adverse effects for nearly a decade, and found that the majority of complaints involved chips migrating from their implantation site. There were very few other problems.

On the other hand, dogs have been recovered by owners from hundreds of miles away, or years after they disappeared, when a scanner was finally applied to the dog.

The new AKC mixed breed program automatically enrolls registered mixed breeds in the AKC Companion Animal Recovery (AKC CAR) system. The 2006 National Animal Disaster Summit post hurricanes Katrina and Rita advised that all animals rescued during a disaster should be microchipped, as chips facilitated the identification of rescued animals.

Other identification methods include ensuring your pet has a collar with up-to-date license, rabies tag and contact information either on the collar itself or on a separate tag attached to the collar.

Even the most responsible pet owner can become separated from their pet unexpectedly, so be sure your pet has identification in the event it happens to you.

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