Pet owners take note: Aug. 15 is National Check the Chip Day

The summer season will likely have many wanting to spend more time outdoors soaking up the sun.

For pets, being outside for longer periods of time can increase their chances of escaping a leash or slipping through an open gate.

To that end, microchipping is one of the most effective ways in reuniting pets with their families if they are lost. But microchips only work if the registration information is accurate.

To remind pet owners to have their dogs and cats microchipped and to keep the registration information up-to-date, the American Veterinary Medical Foundation and the American Animal Hospital Association joined together to create the “Check the Chip Day,” observed annually on Aug. 15.

According to the AVMF, one in three family pets will get lost, but only about six out of 10 microchips are registered. The AVMA also notes that when a microchipped pet isn’t returned home, it’s usually due to incorrect or missing owner information in the microchip registry.

What is a microchip exactly? It is an electronic chip enclosed in a glass cylinder, approximately the size and shape of a grain of rice, which is injected beneath the skin. Each microchip has a specific set of identification numbers which is unique to each pet.

Pet owners are encouraged to participate in “Check the Chip Day” by making an appointment with their veterinarians for microchipping if their furry friends are not already microchipped, or checking their already-microchipped pet’s registration information to make sure it’s up-to-date.

While microchips don’t replace a tag and collar, they can make all the difference when it comes to getting your pet back, according to the AVMF.

For additional information about Check the Chip Day, visit the AVMA website.

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