The future has arrived! Bionic (or at least technologically enhanced) pets walk among us!

Microchipping is a new means of permanent identification for our cats and dogs that has quickly become a common practice in the veterinary field for some important reasons:

  • A microchipped pet is a protected pet. It gives us the security of a permanent means of ID that does not detach like a collar, or fade like a tattoo. Runaways have a better chance of being reunited with a permanent ID and since microchips are secured through a separate
    database, pet snatchers are more likely to be caught at the vet office.
  • The microchips implant is a tiny injectable, the size of a rice grain that can be inserted using a needle that is not much larger than a regular shot. Since no anaesthesia is required, it can be a part of a routine check-up with any veterinarian.
  • The unique serial number associated with each chip is registered in a database with the owner’s contact information. For a lost animal to be reunited to their owner, any shelter or vet clinic is equipped with a scanner to read their microchip and then they can simply look up the owner’s info online. This makes a reunion possible at any hour of any day, even spanning international borders (as long as the chip is an international standard).
  • On a similar note, international import and export regulators have noted the benefits of microchip ID’s in recent years and now many countries require chip implants for any travelling cats or dogs. This includes pets travelling from Canada to all of the EU, Australia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, India, South Korea and MANY other countries.

All this rationale aside, we cannot help but feel more strongly than usual about microchips this week, since a happy-go-lucky Shiba Inu was brought to our clinic as a runaway. Our hearts sank when a scan around the neck and shoulders of this fine fellow did not divulge any microchip. After searching for his owner in our neighbourhood we had to call for the SPCA to take him in for the night.

We are so very fortunate that an organization as kind and capable as the BC SPCA is available to us, but that dog could have been going home after a phone call to his owner within minutes of being found.

Consider microchipping to save yourself some possible heartache, ease the burden on shelters like the SPCA and above all, get your pet home safe and sound.

Molly Willoughby