Microchipping: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

So your dog is microchipped? Great!! We’re glad you made that decision but honestly, is that chip really going to work in reuniting Fido with you if he gets lost?

We’d like to think so BUT there’s a huge problem (rather, many problems) with the whole microchipping issue and there are some pockets getting fat while pets remain lost. Don’t get us wrong, we encourage people to microchip their pets because it’s another preventative measure, but we know the system has flaws and needs a-changing.

Here what we see:

  • Numerous microchipping companies producing their OWN brand of microcchips–no universal company. The most popular companies include: resQ, 24PetWatch, HomeAgain, AKC, Avid and Datamars.
  • Each company has their own phone number, website and own numbering system–not good if time is of the essence.
  • Three different chip frequencies which results in scanners unable to read all the chips.
  • Numerous types of scanners that pick up one to three chip frequencies.
  • No universal database where the chip numbers are registered.
  • People passing scanners only one way on the pet (sometimes chips only show up on scanner if the gun is ran vertically or horizontally).
  • People using old batteries in scanners which can result in unreliable and inaccurate information
  • Owners failing to register or update registration with new address or phone numbers.
  • No universal numbering system. Some companies use 9, 10, 15 numbers.

You see, much needs to be improved.

In most cases, time is important. If a lost pet is brought into a vet’s office or shelter and a chip is detected, wouldn’t it be nice just to plug in that number on ONE universal website? Having to wait on hold to speak to someone or navigate around a website just to type in the numbers is too time consuming.

Numbers can be put in wrong or transposed accidentally. And many pets aren’t reunited because, plain and simple, people don’t have the time to look.

People using the scanners need to make sure the scanner is reading as many frequencies as possible and be educated on the proper way to use the apparatus.

Vets, shelters and rescue organizations can help this microchipping dilemna by making a habit of running the scanning gun vertically and horizontally on each and every pet that comes in their doors.
On a positive note, millions of pets HAVE been reunited with the owners because of chips and if you’ve lost a pet and been reunited you can identify that awesome, heartwarming feeling.

Here’s a video from the HomeAgain website.

Regardless of the problems with microchipping, we suggest do it. Call or email the company to update your information if it ever needs changing. And check the information yearly! With computer hacks and systems crashing, it’s a good idea to contact your microchipping company yearly. It could save your pets’ life!

Also, here’s some other tips for pet owners:

~Have a special collar made for your dog or cat that has your phone number and name embroidered on it.

~Keep updated identification tags on your pet as well.

Overkill? Maybe. We’d rather be safe than sorry when it comes to our furry friends.

Have you had a reunion with a lost, microchipped pet? Share your story with us.

What are some solutions you can think of in regards to this microchipping issue?

Helping you to keep your pets safe,

Kelley Stewart, CEO|Pet Sitter
sit-stay-play In-home pet sitting & more.LLC
“Your pet sitting, dog walking, poop scooping specialists!”

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