Microchips in Pets: Everything You Need to Know

By August 12, 2019 Uncategorized

Microchips Help Pet Owners Get Reunited with Their Pets

Microchips are small devices implanted underneath a pet’s skin to provide unique and reliable identification.

Why should I microchip my pet?

Microchips are the most dependable form of identification for your pet. If lost, your pet’s collar and tags could be removed or damaged, significantly reducing your chances of being reunited. A microchip never gets lost Microchipand can be identified at almost any shelter or veterinary office.  Simple and inexpensive, microchips reunite thousands of pet families every year.

What is the implant process like?

The implant process is simple and causes no more pain or discomfort than a routine vaccine. A long needle is used to place the microchip, which is no larger than a grain of rice, underneath your pet’s skin.

In cats and dogs, the microchip is typically implanted between the shoulder blades. The microchip implant process is not a surgery and requires no anesthesia. In fact, the process is so simple that it can typically be done during your regular veterinary exam.

How does it work?

Pet microchips are not tracking devices. They are radio-frequency identification (RFID) implants that provide permanent ID for your pet.

Because they use RFID technology, microchips do not require a power source like a GPS. When a microchip scanner is passed over the pet, the microchip gets enough power from the scanner to transmit the microchip’s ID number. Since there’s no battery and no moving parts, there’s nothing to keep charged, wear out, or replace. The microchip will last your pet’s lifetime.

Where do I go to get my pet microchipped?

A microchip can be implanted at most primary veterinary offices and animal shelters. Most pet rescue shelters microchip their cats and dogs before they are placed for adoption. If you are unsure whether your pet already has a microchip, bring your pet to a veterinarian or animal shelter to be scanned.

What is the maintenance required for a microchip?

Microchip maintenance is extremely important, but often neglected. Each microchip is registered to a company that maintains your contact information and provides it to the veterinarian. Registration is generally low in cost, and it is typically required once a year unless a lifetime plan is purchased.

Microchip registration is essential to ensure that veterinarians and animal shelters can receive the contact information they need to reunite you with your pet. The microchip device is designed to last a lifetime and never deteriorate in your pet’s body.

What information is stored in a microchip?

A microchip only stores an identification number. If your pet is found, the veterinarian would retrieve the identification number via scan, then use that number to determine which company maintains your microchip in a private online database.

The veterinarian will then contact the microchip company for your contact information and reach out to you immediately. Because the chip does not contain your contact information and address directly, privacy concerns with microchips are basically nonexistent.

Can a microchip be removed? Damaged?

Microchips are tiny, internal and durable, making them nearly impossible to damage or remove. They are designed to last and function during any circumstances.  In very rare cases, severe trauma to the pet can damage the pet’s microchip or your pet’s body may reject the microchip after implanted.

Do microchips really increase the chances of pets returning home after they are lost?

Think it’s a long shot? Think again! Over 58% of microchipped dogs who enter shelters are reunited with their families. Nearly 38% of microchipped cats in the same situation were reunified, too! Those percentages are hundreds (and in the case of cats, thousands) of times greater than for animals without chips.

 

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