Microchips, Collars and How to Find a Lost Pet

When you hear the word microchip you may picture an electronic device that tracks your pet’s every movement.   While this is not the case, microchipping helps your pet make it back home to you if the unthinkable happens and they get lost.

Microchips are quite tiny, about the size of a grain of rice and implanting them in the loose skin near your pet’s shoulder blades only takes a few seconds.  Microchips contain a unique ID number with your contact information.  If your pet does get separated from you and ends up at a veterinary clinic or shelter, scanning them for a chip is a quick and easy process.  Keep your contact information current with your microchip company and reuniting with your pet is a breeze.

Other Pet Safety tips:

Microchips are one way to keep pets safe, but there are other simple steps you can take to avoid the stress of a missing pet.  Properly fitting collars and harnesses are key.  Harnesses should be snug without pressing into their skin.  Collars fit best when there is just enough room to stick one or two fingers between the collar and your dog’s neck.   Even with a proper fit, though, a truly panicked dog can still slip out of most collars, so we recommend looking into martingales.  These collars are designed to tighten just enough that they can’t slip over the dog’s head as they pull backwards, yet do not put too much pressure on the trachea.  Using a martingale collar in conjunction with a harness and connecting both to a leash is a great option for anxious dogs.  It gives you double the control, with the harness taking the bulk of the pressure as the dog pulls.

What to do if your dog does get away:

If your dog does get away from you, chasing them can make the situation worse.   Running after them can be threatening, or seem like a game.  Either way, it could cause them to keep running away from you.

So, what should you do instead?  This is where training becomes important.  Teaching your dog the “Come” and “Stay” commands ahead of time can make all the difference here and lead them back to you with a simple, calmly spoken command.

How to find a missing pet:

The first thing to do is leave an item or two with their scent right near your door, and leave your door open if possible.  Look in all the nooks around your home, cats, especially, tend stay close by and seek shelter under cars, behind trash cans, under porches, stairs or bushes.  Calmly call their name and open a can of their favorite food or treats.  Alert your neighbors to be on the lookout as well.

Calling your microchip company is the next step.   Let them know your pet is missing and make sure they have all your correct contact information.  After that alert your local animal shelter and veterinary clinics.  Finally, spread the word.  Create a flyer with 2-3 clear pictures of your pet.  Include a description with any distinctive details like the markings on their fur, the color of their collar, and their name.   Be sure to include the time and location your pet was last seen as well as the best way to get in contact with you.  Plaster your neighborhood and channel the power of social media and Paw Boost Alerts.

Finally, stay positive and don’t give up.  We’ve heard so many stories of pets making it back home after being on the run for weeks or even months.