Microchips Matter: Pet Owners Urged to Microchip Animals to Reduce Lost Pets

Pet Microchips Proven to Increase Pet’s Safe Return by up to 19 Times

Warmer weather means pets are spending more time outdoors and have more opportunities to get lost or separated from their owners. While many pets wear ID tags or have tattoos, tags can be easily lost, and tattoos can fade and become hard to read over time. Calgary veterinarian Dr. Wendy McClelland, founder of Vets To Go mobile veterinary care, is urging pet owners to microchip their animals to provide them with a reliable form of permanent ID in case their pet gets lost.

“Unfortunately, the majority of pets that end up at animal shelters have no identification or their tags are missing and tattoos are illegible. Having your cat or dog microchipped significantly increases the odds of being reunited with your lost pet,” according to Vets To Go Founder, Dr. Wendy McClelland.

pet microchipA pet microchip is a glass device about the size of a grain of rice that contains a small integrated circuit connected a unique ID number that can be read by veterinary clinics and animal shelters. The chip is inserted into the loose skin between a pet’s shoulder blades, and insertion is virtually painless for pets.

In a study of more than 7,700 stray animals at animal shelters, microchipped pets were far more likely to be reunited with their owner. The study reported that 52% of dogs with microchips returned home, but only 22% of dogs without microchips were reunited with their owners. Sadly, only 2% of cats were returned home compared to 38% of cats that had microchips.

Microchips Make a Difference, But Only With Updated Contact Information

For pets that already have a microchip, Dr. McClelland reminds pet owners to make sure the contact information connected to the chip number is updated before heading outdoors this summer. “The bigger issue,” according to Dr. McClelland, “is that most pet owners who had their pets microchipped aren’t updating their contact information every time they move or change phone numbers. If a vet clinic or shelter finds your pet, but your information is outdated, your pet is far less likely to come home.”

Dr. McClelland notes, “Just last week a good Samaritan brought a Boston Terrier into our clinic who was found wandering around Crescent Heights without ID. We did a quick scan of the dog’s shoulder area, and we were able to read her microchip number instantly. Within five minutes of her arrival, we had the dog’s owner’s name and contact information – all thanks to her microchip.”

We’ve included a list of the most common microchip manufacturers in Canada below and recommend calling ASAP to verify and update your pet’s contact information.

Your pet’s chip number can usually be found on the original microchip registration form, pet adoption paperwork, or breeder records and are required to make changes to your pet’s account. 

There are a number of different microchip databases in Canada. The first 3 digits of the ID# indicate which company should have your pet’s registration info.

982/985Pethealth Inc.1 (866) 597-242424petwatch.com
956/968EIDAP Inc.1 (888) 346-8899eidap.com
952/939Microchip 4 Solutions1 (877) 738-4384microchipsolutions.com
965PetIDCo1 (800) 338-1397petidco.com
981PetLynx Corp.1 (866) 738-5969petlynx.com
967IDENT-TRAC Inc.1 (877) 906-3030identrac.ca
968aZoone Identification1 (844) 429-6663azoo.me
300Pet Key1 (866) 699-3463petkey.org
900National Animal Identification Centre1 (800) 647-6761animalidcenter.com
982 / FDX-A24 PetWatch1 (866) 597-242424petwatch.com
985Home Again1 (888) 466-3242homeagain.com


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