Protect your pet, enroll in free microchip registry
SoulPup.com offers quick, easy ideas to help reduce the number of shelter dogs in your community. Here’s the latest SoulPup Solution.
Did you know that more pets go missing around the Fourth of July than any other holiday? If your pet gets skittish around loud noises, avoid overexposing it to crowds, friends and bombs bursting in air on our loudest of holiday. Lulu tried quite a few products designed to calm anxious pets. (Check out our review of the Thundershirt.)
If your pet does get away from you on the Fourth or any other day, there are new tools that may increase your chance for a reunion.
Dogs need an ID collar and updated tags at all times
Take a minute to check your dog’s ID tags. All that jingling can actually wear away the engraved information. Make a point of checking the tag every few months. That’s where the calendar tool on your smartphone comes in handy. Also, dogs should wear their collars anytime they are outside. It only takes one loud noise or an open fence to create an opportunity for them to get away. Last week, my fiance hosted a 75-pound pit bull that had been found wandering around Clayton County here in metro Atlanta. He got along well with my Lulu, had fun around the kids and made full use of the nearest toilet when he needed a refreshing beverage. It was clear the dog had been well-loved, except for the absence of a collar — or a microchip.
Fortunately, signs posted around the area led to a happy reunion. The owner said her kids accidentally left the fence gate open. Her pooch gets away quite often, which is not surprising since unaltered males tend to roam for a girlfriend. Asked if she wanted a microchip, she declined. Unfortunately, I fear that sweet pooch will be lost again in the future.
Invest in a microchip
Microchips are an inexpensive form of insurance in case your pet ever gets away. No bigger than a grain of rice, the chip is implanted under the dog’s skin and typically stays in place for years. Each chip has an ID number — consider it a doggie Social Security number — that can be read with a scanner. If your dog is lost, veterinary clinics and animal shelters can scan for a chip and use the number to locate your contact information. Now that the weather is warm, start looking for a pet festival in your area. Many offer shot clinics or low-cost microchips. I’ve found chips for as low as $10 and as much as $75.
Here’s the challenge: Most people neglect to register their information or or fail to provide updates when they move. Without that updated information, your dog may languish at a shelter … or worse.
How you can help
Ask your vet to scan your microchip. As long as they have a universal scanner, vets will be able to detect the ID number from various manufactured microchip models. Armed with that ID, you can register your pet with the Found Animals Microchip Registry. If your pet ever gets lost, shelters can use the Found Animals Microchip Registry to send alerts via phone, text and email. That’s where up-to-date info is vital. Even if you move or the give to dog to someone else, the information can be updated at any time…and it’s FREE!
Help homeless pets: Start by registering your dog’s chip on the website. Then, spread the word. Please share this info with anyone who had a pet. It could help them recover lost animals faster, making space for pets that truly need help in our local shelters.
Together, we can pay it forward for pets.