Based on data provided by registries, only 4.7 million, or fewer than 4%, of the 130 million dogs and cats in the United States have microchip implants.
The resistance is even more striking given that so few lost pets are reunited with their owners — only 2% of lost cats and 15.8% of lost dogs, according to the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy, a consortium of humane societies and animal control groups. Pet experts agree that return rates can be significantly higher if a pet has a microchip — it could be at least four times as high.
Unfortunately the poor attitude of the majority pet owners does not help matters. Many see a microchip as an unnecessary expense for a pet that isn’t a pedigreed animal, a view that regards pets as both worthless and disposable if they came from a shelter. A great argument for licencing pet owners — if they’re unwilling to take the responsibility and expense of owning a pet seriously, they shouldn’t be allowed to own one.
And as for the excuse that micro chipping is too expensive, why not get it done next time the pet is at the vet. It’s worth looking around and comparing prices. There are services in Australia that will come to you, there are also free
chip your pet days run by local councils.
The real thing to be aware of is vets who try to gouge owners by demanding that an anaesthetic is used. The anaesthetic hurts more than the microchip needle. These also tend to be the places that hit you for premium prices for everything.
Many show dog owners fear the risk of infection or scarring. Another pointless argument when compared to the tattooing of dogs ears.
An interesting factoid on microchips. If your dog has a thick coat, like many of the Arctic breeds, the chips can sometimes go AWOL and won’t read only to mysteriously reappear at a later date. A scary prospect when the guy at the local pound is just going to wave a scanner over the dog and not try searching for 15 minutes. For this reason dogs should always wear collars when they are outside or home alone; with an ID tag and a microchip tag. They jingle a lot, but if they get lost, you know you’ve done your best to make sure your pet finds it’s way home.