National Microchip Month in June is all about pets — and ensuring they are safely implanted with a little chip so they can be traced if they go missing. Everyone knows how easy it can be to lose track of your pet, even for a second. This month aims to reduce pet owners’ stress and worry if their pets go missing by encouraging microchipping. Events in this month center around highlighting the importance of microchipping and how it can help. After all, George the cat was reunited with his owners almost 13 years after he wandered off, by the power of his microchip I.D.
History of National Microchipping Month
Technology underwent a rather large transformation at one point in time, inspiring major inventions — one of them being the itty-bitty microchip invented in 1959. The first versions of this invention were only ever used for human purposes, finding their way into electrical circuit boards, computers, and so on.
As pet ownership increased, the research into pet care grew too. People soon realized that the microtechnology they were using for human inventions could theoretically be used in animals too. Pet chipping began as a way to track animals and as a precautionary measure to identify aggressive dogs.
By 1985, a U.S.-based animal microchip manufacturer — AVID Identification Systems, Inc. — had already filed for a patent on microchipping technology. According to the same company’s website, four years later, the first microchips were being implanted into pets. Still, privacy and pet safety concerns stopped this technology’s rise to popularity for a good decade or so.
The technology underwent many more changes, and its effects on pets were studied extensively to safeguard them from adverse reactions. Advocacy from reputed organizations, pet groups, and people in power has raised this technology’s profile around the world.
Now, microchipped pets are becoming more common. According to one body of research, more than 3.5 million pets around America have already been microchipped. You can barely see this little device — it’s a grain of sand under your pet’s skin — but it can register your pet’s details for life, providing important information about medical and residential history to reputed professionals in the event of an emergency.
National Microchipping Month timeline
A ruling mandating permanent identification of all horses tested for equine infectious anemia helps the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry identify misplaced horses during the 2005 Hurricane Katrina.
Humans show interest in microchipping too, and English Engineer Kevin Warwick is the first person to get a microchip implant in his arm.
America's Food and Drug Administration says microchipping is a safe process for animals and humans.
The London Zoo celebrates this event by microchipping a flock of penguins.
The U.K. rules that all dogs must be microchipped, becoming yet another country to endorse animal microchipping.
National Microchipping Month FAQs
When did microchipping become mandatory?
While animal microchipping is not yet mandatory across the U.S., many countries — the U.K, Israel, and more — require certain pets to be chipped.
What is National Check the Chip Day?
August 15 of each year is celebrated as National Check the Chip Day. It encourages pet parents to check if their pets’ microchips function as expected and carry up-to-date information.
Is microchipping a monthly fee?
Microchipping mostly has a one-time cost of implantation, and there is no charge involved to update your information. You can also check pricing and more with your local veterinarian.
How to Observe National Microchipping Month
Microchip your pet
Protect your pet, and yourself, by getting them chipped. Many veterinarians and animal shelters celebrate this day by offering discounts and/or free microchipping sessions to raise awareness of this event. Check out what offers are available around you and get chipping.
Ensure your chip protocol is updated
Microchips — like all other techs — need regular checks to ensure they work like new devices. Make sure the device is still in place, is working correctly, and holds you and your pet’s updated information. You can ask your veterinarian to scan the microchip to ensure proper functioning regularly.
Encourage others to protect their pets too. Tell all the pet owners you know about your positive experience with microchipping, and raise awareness about this day.
5 Interesting Facts About Microchipping
Microchips are not tracking devices
They only help you identify the pet once found and cross-verify your details that are uploaded onto a national database.
The process doesn't really hurt pets
Just like a vaccination, the chip is simply injected into a loose patch of skin and takes only about 24 hours to settle in with the pet's tissues.
It doesn't replace tags or collars
Without a collar, your pet's only means of identification is their microchip, so veterinarians recommend doubling down on the protection and using both I.D. tags and microchips for pets.
A chip for everyone
Many mammals, like dogs, cats, ferrets, horses, and so on, can be microchipped.
Evolving microchip technology
Microchips can even be integrated with special specific chips, helping doggie doors only open for your pooch.
Why National Microchipping Month is Important
Microchips — the great uniter
A study showed that microchipped dogs were returned 52.2% of the time, and microchipped cats were returned at least 38.5%.
They are a great stress buster
Pet parents can rest easy knowing their animal babies are as safe as can be — the I.D. is tamper-proof, the pets are registered on a national database, and no one can claim your pet as their own.
Microchips can save pets’ lives
These little implants save pets from the pound and a life without their families. Having proper identification allows people to identify owners correctly, and some databases also enable owners to add their pets’ medical details.
National Microchipping Month dates