Whiskas urges South Africans to get their pets microchipped this ‘chip your pet’ month


May is Chip your Pet Month and Whiskas urges pet owners to get their furry friends microchipped to increase their chances of being found if they wander off.

Whiskas senior brand manager Nivashnee Moodley says some pets are natural wanderers, but others will only wander if the opportunity arises, like when a gate is left open. “Other pets wander when they become stressed by incidents such as fireworks. This is why is it so important to make sure they can be identified in the event they are picked up by a caring citizen.”

Consider the case of Skabenga, the resident feline at The Oyster Box in Umhlanga Rocks, KwaZulu-Natal, who has shot to fame with his own Facebook page and a book describing his various adventures.  

A nomad at heart, Skabenga, which is slang for hooligan or vagabond in Zulu, wandered onto The Oyster Box property many years ago and decided to make it his mostly-permanent home – largely due to the incredibly delicious tidbits of food and loving attention he was getting from the venue’s employees and patrons.

Every now and then, however, his wanderlust takes over and he heads off in pursuit of adventure. The first time it happened, he disappeared for several days, to the dismay of his ardent fans. Fortunately, he re-appeared a few days later, in good health, thanks to the contact details on the brass name-tag around his neck.

As an additional precaution, Skabenga was microchipped in July 2009, in case he loses his collar on future adventures.

Moodley says Skabenga’s story is a familiar one to many pet-owners. “It is devastating when a pet goes missing. By putting collars with identity tags and microchipping our furry companions, we stand a much better chance of celebrating a happy reunion.”

To create awareness during Chip your Pet Month, WHISKAS and Skabenga have decided to share some FAQs around micro-chipping:

What is a micro-chip?

A micro-chip is a tiny electronic chip that is the size of a grain of rice. This is implanted just under pets’ skin between their shoulder blades. The microchip is read by a scanner which will display an identification number.

What information is in the microchip?

Microchips store your pet’s identification number, your name, contact number and address. It does not contain a GPS tracker to help find your pet. It has to be scanned at a vet or animal shelter to find out who the owner is and how to get a hold of them.

How do I find my pet’s microchip identification number?

When you adopted your pet, you should have received documentation for your microchip from your vet or the animal shelter if they were previously microchipped. If you don’t have these documents, ask your vet to scan your pet to see if they have a microchip or to get the number and keep it somewhere safe so that you can update the details when you need to.

How do I change my details on the microchip?

If your address, email or phone number have changed, it’s important that you update this information at the company holding your cat’s microchip details. Firstly, check Identipet, Five Star and BackHome to find out which company has your cat’s microchip records. Then contact them and fill in the online form to update your cat’s details.

Is a microchip a replacement for a collar and ID tags?

No. Collars and ID tags (with a name and phone number) are still a good idea for pets, especially for adventurous pets like Skabenga, as they are at much greater risk of going missing. Collars can be removed and some pets are skilled at escaping from them, unlike a microchip which is a permanent ID tag.

Visit us on the Whiskas Facebook page, tell us about your cat’s greatest adventure, and stand a chance to win a Whiskas hamper, as well as a voucher to get your furry friend microchipped. Now that’s something to ‘meow’ about!

Source: WHISKAS®

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Disclaimer: The information produced by Infurmation is provided for general and educational purposes only and does not constitute any legal, medical or other professional advice on any subject matter. These statements are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease. Always seek the advice of your vet or other qualified health care provider prior to starting any new diet or treatment and with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. If you suspect that your pet has a medical problem, promptly contact your health care provider.