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This past weekend Hurricane Irene caused chaos up and down the East Coast of the United States. Houses were destroyed and many families were displaced in the storm. I was lucky enough to escape the wrath of Irene with minimal damage, but others were not so fortunate. People were forced to flee their own homes as they crumbled around them or flood waters washed them away. Many dogs and cats were lost in the midst of the pandemonium of survival.

As I read these stories, I look down at my own dog, Hayley, and wonder if we were separated in the storm would we find each other? That’s a hard question to ponder and no one likes to think about the worst case scenario but if you’re prepared and the worst happens, you will be glad you made the appropriate preparations.

Forget something as catastrophic as a hurricane, what if your dog just ran from the house or slipped his collar and took off. How would you be able to get him back? What precautions do you have in place in case the worst happens? Without any way to identify your dog, how would anyone know he was yours?

That’s where microchipping comes in. Although microchipping in pets is nothing new, many owners are still unsure of what it really is and if they should really bother.

How it works

Microchips are injected into the animal just under the skin, usually between the shoulder blades. It doesn’t hurt the dog (it feels like a typical injection) and has no real side effects. Each microchip is identified by a separate and unique number that can be read by a scanner when it’s hovered over the dog. Almost all vets and shelters have these scanners are able to quickly read the microchip that has been placed in a dog.

If your dog is ever separated from you and picked up by the local shelter the first thing they will do is scan him to see if he’s been chipped. Then they can look up your information in the microchip database to get your contact info and reunite you with your furry best friend.

It’s kind of like an insurance policy in that you will most likely never need it, but if you do it will prove to invaluable. However, unlike insurance polices microchipping will only cost you about $50. Well worth it, in my opinion.

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