Pets get loose all the time, despite our best efforts to keep them safe.  A gardener forgets to close a gate, a burglar cuts a hole in a fence, an earthquake or flood takes down a wall.  It can happen to anyone. It can happen to you.

According to the ASPCA, approximately 3.3 million dogs enter U.S. animal shelters nationwide every year.  Of those, only around 620,000 are returned to their families.  Your dog has a 1 in 3 chance of being lost at some point during its life.

How can you increase your odds of getting your best friend home safely?  

Consider microchipping your pet.

What is it & how does it work?

A tiny microchip (about the size of a grain of rice), containing contact information for your pet is implanted between it’s shoulder blades.  

Done by your vet or local shelter, the procedure is minimally invasive and is done by injecting the chip with a syringe, not unlike shots your dog probably already gets from the vet.  It will generally cost around 50 bucks, but is sometimes included in adoption fees.

The chip uses passive RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology, which can be scanned by a vet or shelter.

An enrollment form will need to be completed, which is then sent to a registry.  For a fee, the registry will generally offer 24-hour, toll-free telephone service for the life of your pet.  Remember, chips without current contact information are essentially useless, so be sure to register and keep up with any fees.

According to, only about 22 percent of lost dogs that entered the animal shelters were reunited with their families. However, the return-to-owner rate for microchipped dogs was over 52 percent.

Are there any downsides?

Like with any medical procedure, there are risks of complications.  Although uncommon, some side effects, such as temporary bleeding, infections or hair loss may occur.

As always, speak to your vet or local shelter for more information. 

Spotlite Pet's Take:

Our dogs are part of our families and if they got lost, we'd be devastated.  Protecting our pets with microchipping, secure fences and gates, and strong, rugged leashes are all things you should do to prevent losing them forever.  As always, we like to put our Spotlite on safety!

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Spotlite Team