Pet Identification: Microchipping
One of the biggest problems following a natural disaster is reunification. Pets can become startled by the noise and chaos of a storm and run off or be displaced when their home is damaged and no longer provides a safe confined space for them. Proper animal identification is critical to providing a quick reunification of pets with their owners. Multiple methods should be used in case one fails. A combination of ID collars and microchips will provide the best protection against lost or displaced pets. Collars can have animal and owner information embroidered on them or be fitted with an ID tag. While collars provide a convenient and easy way to identify animals, they can easily get lost, so microchipping is recommended as one of the best methods in preventing lost pets. A microchip is a tiny implant (about the size of a grain of rice) inserted under your pet’s skin that contains a unique identification number. Your veterinarian can easily and quickly insert an implant in your animal. Most veterinary hospitals and animal shelters will have microchip readers, also known as scanners. When a pet is found, it is routine to check them for a microchip. The microchips do not contain any personally identifiable information about your pet, so it is important that your microchip is registered with the provider and matched with your pet.
For more information on pet microchipping, visit the American Veterinary Medical Association’s website at https://www.avma.org/resources-tools/pet-owners/petcare/microchips-reunite-pets-families.