The American Humane Association reports that one in three pets will become lost at some point in their lifetime. Without identification, 90% will not return home. As scary as those statistics are, we know just how easy it is for pets to escape. All it takes is one open gate or a quick dash through an open front door.
While a collar and tags have been the standard for many years, microchipping has become a more reliable way to ensure a happy reunion should your pet go missing. Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of microchipping, as well as how this technology works.
What is a Microchip?
A microchip is a tiny device – about the size of a grain of rice – that emits a radio frequency when a scanner is passed over it. The microchip stores a unique ID number that comes up on the scanner; this ID number is linked to your contact information in the microchip company’s database.
At Brodie Animal Hospital, we can implant the chip during an office visit much like a vaccination. A sterile chip is inserted just under the skin between your pet’s shoulder blades. The entire procedure is very quick and does not require pain medication or anesthesia. Of course, if your pet will be undergoing anesthesia for another reason, such as a dental cleaning, we can place the microchip at that time, eliminating all discomfort.
How Microchipping Works
When a pet is lost or injured and taken to a shelter or emergency clinic, they’re scanned for a chip. If one is present, the scanner can read the pet’s ID number. The microchip company is called, and if the chip has been registered with the owner’s contact information, the microchip company can then contact the owner.
Benefits of microchipping include:
- A microchip can never be lost, unlike a collar and tags.
- A microchip never needs to be replaced. There are no moving parts that wear out, and they never expire.
- Microchips can prove ownership if your pet is taken in by a good samaritan.
- Microchips can reunite pets with their owners if a natural disaster occurs.
- Microchips are inexpensive.
Microchip Registration and Maintenance
To complete the process, you must register your pet’s microchip with the microchip company. Unless the company has your contact information, there’s no way to link the microchip’s identification number to your lost pet.
Here are a few more tips to ensure that microchipping is effective:
- If you move or get a new phone number, remember to update your contact information with the microchip company.
- Have your veterinarian scan your pet’s microchip each year during your pet’s annual exam to ensure the ID number comes up properly.
- Continue to use a collar and the tag provided by the microchip company that indicates your pet is microchipped.
Hundreds of thousands of pets have been reunited with their owners because of microchipping. Protect your pet with this safe, easy, inexpensive procedure, and enjoy the peace of mind that follows. Please contact us for an appointment or with any questions.