Should I Microchip My Pet?
There's a tornado and you aren't home but your friend, Princess is. You return home to find half your house missing. Princess is gone, but you feel safe knowing she is microchipped. Or you live in an area where you hear coyotes every night . One of your kids accidentally leaves a door open and your beloved Party Pom goes missing. You hang signs and call his name without any response. You bully yourself by thinking, "I should have had him microchipped!"
But does this self-bullying have a point? Or are we being sold on the idea of false security so corporations can profit?
Considering the fact that several companies distribute these products and there wasn't an ISO standard makes me wonder. Now there is a universal device that will pick up all three frequencies the chip might have. Yes, you read that correctly, each chip has one of three frequencies. Scanners are designed to pick up one of those, so did all the companies use the same frequencies? Of course not they want to sell the scanner that goes with their chips. Of course with all products there are pros and cons. And we can't deny the fact that the percentage of pets microchipped who are given to a shelter have much higher success rates of going home.
How to win: your pet winds up at a shelter, they have a universal scanner, the scan is done correctly, and you are registered(usually there is a yearly fee) and your info is up to date.
How to lose: Your information is not up to date, the shelter or place that discovers your pet does not have a universal scanner, and there is also small percentage of animals from microchip studies that developed a quick growing cancerous tumor. There are two cases in dogs that are documented by vets, however there are more healthy cases than cancerous ones.
In the end, it's up to you to do your own research and listen to what you think is best.
Is Your Pet Insured?
I love my animals and want to provide for them the best I can, so getting pet insurance seemed like the rational decision, that is until I started looking into it! Now, pet insurance has become a confusing decision for me. Most companies claim they have low rates but I own two golden retrievers therefore the cost to insure them with a high deductible will cost anywhere from 70-100.00 a month. Most policies cover treatment but not the cost of the vet visit and most companies have a yearly cap on what they will pay out.
The youthful nature of HMO for pets is part of the problem; in 2012 this concept emerged out of the bay area. As time progresses I'm hopeful it will be more affordable, but how many vets will want to take on the hassle of being involved? Many people not ready to jump on an HMO pet plan, suggest setting aside the money you would be paying into insurance each month in an 'emergency' savings account. Although a great idea, most people have trouble saving money for stuff they want, let-alone for a pet's unexpected vet bills!
I am calling out to anyone who has had good or bad experiences with animal insurance to reply. Please let me know how things worked for you!