You have all probably heard stories of pets reunited with their original owners after years of separation because of microchips. But how many lost pets have microchips and are not reunited with their original owners? These stories do not make the headlines and they may outnumber the happy endings. Why?
Microchips are not like the “lo-jacks” that can pinpoint the location of your stolen car. Lost pets must first be found by individuals or the pound and then scanned. Presently the only GPS locators for pets are in collars. Although this is superior to microchips, GPS collars can be removed or pets can escape them so they are somewhat unreliable. Until we have GPS devices that can be placed under the skin many lost pets cannot be immediately located.
Should you microchip your pet?
What is your comfort level with the present alternatives? Microchips are certainly better than nothing until we develop more sophisticated injectable technology. My preference is the GPS collar with cell phone apps that alert owners that their dog is no longer in a specified area. This Consumer Reports evaluation of 3 GPS products may help if you are not sure you want to microchip your dog.