Microchipping Your Pet
Even if you don’t plan to let you pet outside, it is recommended to get them microchipped. Even “indoor” pets can sneak out and many lost pets never return home. This is because there is no identification to connect them to their owner. Collars with tags are popular and effective method, but can also come off and get lost in their travels. Microchips are implanted under the skin and are a permanent form of identification.
What is a microchip?
A microchip is a tiny electronic device about the size of a grain of rice. It uses radio waves to transmit stored information when read by the right kind of scanner. Microchips for pets store a unique identification number specific to your pet only. Microchips are made up of a material that is compatible with body tissues so rejection/infection is very rare.
Shortly after implanting, the microchip becomes incased in the tissue near the injection site. It usually is very immobile but may be felt under the skin. A compatible scanner is passed over the pet and detects the microchip showing the unique identification code. Most scanners are compatible with many different brands and types of microchip.
The Microchipping Procedure
Most microchips come in a preloaded sterile syringe that is injected just underneath the pets’ skin. The most common placement is between the shoulder blades but sometimes they can migrate so scanning the entire pet is recommended.
How it works
When a lost pet is taken to a clinic or shelter, it is mandated by law to scan them for a microchip. If the pet has a chip, the identification number is shown and then used to search for properly registered microchips. If the microchip is registered, the owners contact information will come up and can then be returned. If microchips are not kept current or if annual fees are unpaid, the information cannot be retrieved and the pet cannot be returned to its’ owner.
Microchip Registration and Maintenance
- To complete the microchipping process, you muct register your pet’s microchip with the company whom provided it. Some companies charge an annual fee and if left unpaid your information could be removed leaving the pet unidentifiable.
- Keep the contact information you give the company (address, phone number) up to date. Be sure to recheck and confirm nothing has changed every year
- It is recommended to continue using a collar and tags even if your pet is microchipped. The more identification the better. Most microchips come with a tag for the collar that can help people recognize your pet is microchipped.
- Remind your veterinarian to scan your pet yearly to make sure the microchip is accurately transmitting information.