4 Reasons To Microchip Your Indoor Pets
Basing this post on my personal experience as the mother to a herd of indoor fur babies (all cats), I can tell you that the decision to microchip or not to microchip was a difficult one. After much thought and deliberation, I have decided on 4 reasons to microchip your indoor pets.
Before I begin, I have to be the first to admit that when this issue first came up it was because of a very scary incident that could have been avoided, but was not. None of my cats is the “indoor/outdoor” kind. I love them dearly, but they just are not well-equipped to be outdoors for any extended amount of time. Everyone has come into my home and their pampered lifestyle as kittens. While most cats are predisposed to be independent, our fur babies are just not good outside.
Some years back, I allowed my niece to move in with me to “get on her feet”. Her husband at the time moved in with us also in order to get jobs and get established in a new town. They had a seriously dysfunctional relationship, and despite all of my warnings about not letting the cats sneak out, during one of their fights, one of them was not paying attention to the door. Simba escaped.
I was beyond livid.
We looked high and low for him. It was winter. Having been indoors for most of it, I was scared that he wasn’t prepared to be outside without his winter coat. What was he going to eat? Was he safe? Was he warm? Did he have access to fresh water? (I’m sure anyone who has lost a pet can empathize with the turmoil I experienced.)
He was gone for what seemed like an eternity. My niece had already moved out, but finally about 4 months later, as we were sitting watching television one night, we heard crying at the back door. There on the step sat a very emaciated looking little gray tiger cat… my Simba. I was so happy to have him home! I was so relieved that he found his way back safely.
He still thinks about going out to explore.
But there have been no more prison breaks yet.
With that story being told, here are 4 reasons to microchip your indoor pets.
It’s itty bitty.
When you think about microchipping, do you think that it could hurt your fur baby? Think again. The microchip is smaller than a single grain of rice. Inserting the microchip hurts them no more than when they go for their shots. Trusted veterinarians are very skilled at doing their very best to calm and keep your fur babies discomfort levels to a minimum. If you are putting off the procedure out of fear, remember that you are probably more scared than your pet is. Calm yourself too before going to the vet’s office. Your pet can sense and smell your fear, so they will be upset because you are.
It takes less than a minute to insert the microchip. Think of it as just a routine visit to get vaccinations. The microchip is inserted via a needle into your pets loose skin up around their shoulder blades. It’s pretty much in the same location as where you apply their flea medication each month. One swift injection and you have some piece of mind. It’s the same reason that we do everything for our pets. We want them safe, happy and loved.
Little risk of complications.
Because of the location and method of insertion (needle), the risk of infection or other side effect is minimal. Your fur baby won’t realize that anything other than a simple pinch has been inflicted upon them. There should be no swelling, burning, or other irritation to your pet as it is placed deep enough to not inflame the skin tissue.
High value for low cost
The average cost of having the microchip placed into your pet is around $50. Some veterinarian’s offices or clinics have Microchip Events when they offer it for even lower. The cost to keep your pet’s microchip active is $19.99 annually and comes with a host of features to make sure that your pet is protected. When your lost pet is found and rescued, a local shelter or rescue center can scan your pet to identify who they are. Scanning will show two important numbers- your pet’s microchip serial number and the phone number of the company with whom the chip is registered. They can then contact you so that you know that your fur baby is safe and sound and ready to return home.
I recommend Home Again to keep your pet safe.
Membership includes (but is not limited to):
24/7 on-call support with trained Lost Pet Specialists
A nationwide network of over 1,000,000 volunteer PetRescuers
A National Pet Recovery Database that assures their contact information remains current
Lost Pet Medical Insurance that provides up to $3,000 worth of coverage* should dogs and cats become sick or injured while lost
Travel Assistance that covers the cost of flying a lost dog or cat home, up to $500, when found more than 500 miles away
24/7 Emergency Medical Hotline that provides access to a licensed ASPCA veterinarian when pets are sick or injured while traveling or when your clinic is closed
I think everyone should seriously think about getting their precious pet microchipped in case of a simple case of curiosity. Animals love the outdoors, and accidents happen. Having the piece of mind to know that if they wander too far the odds of reunification are higher for those with microchips is priceless.
Remember that even with a microchip, your pet needs to wear her collar and tag. Microchips are great for shelters and other registered rescue workers with the ability to scan your pet, but most of your neighbors do not have access to this technology. The best way for them to be able to identify your animal is by the simple tag around their neck. Make sure you do not skip having them wear these also.
4 Reasons To Microchip Your Indoor Pets