Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Keep them safe

From Adri Rossouw of True Vets

We’ve watched Homeward Bound and heard stories of pets crossing mountains and deserts to get back home. But not all pets are made equal, says Adri Rossouw of True Vets.

We tend to have great faith in our pets’ navigational abilities. The sad reality is that this is more the exception than the rule. Most pets have the same sense of direction that we have, without the help of Google maps … they get completely lost!

Adri Rossouw of True Vets

This is the reason why veterinarians strongly advise you to have your pets microchipped and to do so when they come in for their puppy or kitten vaccinations. Most lost pets will eventually be found but if they do not have a microchip, they cannot be uniquely identified and returned to their loving homes. Beware, collars are not a fail proof way of identifying your pet as they can easily get separated from your pet. Animal shelters are sadly filled with pets that have lost their way and their collars!

A microchip is about the size of a rice kernel and contains a unique barcode that gets registered on a public database. It gets injected under the skin over the shoulder area. It does not give your pet superpowers or access to bank safes. It is also not a tracking device, but it does provide lifelong identification.

If you are also interested in tracking the exact whereabouts of your pet, you can invest in an Airtag that can be fastened to their collar. These nifty devices not only assist you in finding your lost luggage at a busy airport, but it can also help you track your dog in the park. It must be mentioned that although handy, an Airtag cannot replace a microchip though as it gets attached to the collar or harness and can easily fall off.

The take home message is that all cats and dogs should have a microchip to ensure that they can find their way home.

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