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Tips for Finding a Lost Pet

What to do if your dog or cat is lost.

Microchips continued...

According to one study describing stray animals in shelters, nearly 60% of microchipped dogs and cats were registered in a database. The majority of these owners were successfully contacted and the animals safely returned home.

But microchipping has its drawbacks.

Microchips using three different frequencies and two different communication protocols are sold in the U.S.

The Humane Society of the United States warns that despite the development of universal scanners, some chips may be missed. Proper scanning technique and repeat scanning may improve detection, but neither option guarantees success.

Also, the microchip provides little benefit if you move and fail to update the registry with your new contact information.

"With an ID tag, it's a quick call and the pet is back home," Weiss says. Fewer than 5% of all U.S. pets have microchips, says John Snyder of the Humane Society of the United States.

Microchip or not, "we can say without reservation the majority of American pet owners do not provide identification for their animals," Snyder says. Changing that is a good idea -- before your pet gets lost.

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Reviewed on July 15, 2010

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