Each year, thousands of pets go missing, and many don’t make it back home. Many pets (especially indoor pets) don’t wear collars or tags. Even if your pet wears a collar and identification tag, collars can break off and tags can become damaged and unreadable, so these forms of identification may not be enough to ensure your pet’s safe return. Your pet needs a form of identification that is reliable and can’t get lost, stolen, or damaged. A microchip is a safe, simple form of identification that can significantly increase the chance that your pet will return safely.
Young puppies and kittens can receive microchips, but even if your pet is already an adult, you should consider microchipping. Even indoor pets can get outside accidentally and get lost, so if you’re relying on other forms of identification, you could be placing your pet at risk. Microchipping is a safe, effective way to help ensure your pet’s return if the unthinkable happens.
What Is a Microchip?
A microchip is about the size and shape of a grain of rice and is placed underneath your pet’s skin
between the shoulder blades. Microchip implantation takes only a few minutes and is very safe.
Each microchip is unique and carries vital information about your pet—including your name, address, and contact information. When a microchip is implanted, the pet owner is given a registration form to complete. Registering the number on the microchip includes your pet in a national pet recovery database. Veterinary hospitals, animal shelters, and animal control offices across the country are equipped with special electronic scanners that can detect the microchip and read the identification number. If a lost pet is picked up by animal control or found by a good Samaritan and presented to a veterinarian, a quick scan of the microchip reveals the identification number. A toll-free phone call to the pet recovery database alerts the microchip company that a lost pet has been identified. The pet owner can then be contacted and reunited with his or her pet!
Is Microchipping Safe?
Microchips do not need a power source and contain no moving parts, so they are safe to stay in your pet for a lifetime. They are made from material that is compatible with an animal’s body, so any discomfort or rejection is very rare. Over time, the microchip will become encased in the tissue, which means it will not move around the body.
What to Expect at a Microchipping Appointment
If you wish to have your pet microchipped, simply ask about it at your next appointment. The procedure is simple. Your pet’s vet will inject the microchip using a sterile syringe into your pet’s skin between the shoulder blades. The procedure is quick and causes minimal discomfort, just like a vaccination.
Once your pet is microchipped, you will receive paperwork that tells you how to register the microchip. Registering is very important, because that is how your information gets put on to the microchip. If you don’t register the microchip, it is worthless. Also, you will need to keep this information so you can change your contact information if you move or get a new phone number. Up-to-date information is critical to making sure you protect your pet with your microchip.
What Happens if Your Pet Gets Lost?
If your pet is lost, the people who find him can take him to a local vet or shelter to be scanned. If your microchip information is up-to-date, the scanner will find your contact information and the vet or shelter staff can give you a call. You are able to collect your pet and return him home easily.
Microchipping your pet is a simple solution to add a layer of protection in case your pet is lost. Schedule your appointment today with Apex Animal Hospital to have your pet microchipped, and give yourself the peace of mind that comes from knowing you will always have a way to be reunited.