Microchipping your Pet

If your pet’s collar breaks or its collar tag falls off or becomes hard to read, a microchip permanently identifies your pet to help your pet get back to you if it’s lost or stolen.

What is a microchip? How does it work?

A microchip is a computer chip enclosed in a small glass cylinder (about the size of a grain of rice. The chip is injected under your pet’s skin and serves as a permanent form of identification. Once the microchip has been placed, you register your contact information — and the pet’s description — with the database specific to that brand of microchip. (Some veterinary practices will do this for you.) Veterinarians and animal shelter workers who recover lost pets routinely check for these microchips through the use of scanners that read and display the pet’s microchip number.

Note: If your contact information on file is up to date, you can be quickly notified and reunited with your pet

A vet holds a micro-chip identity tag which can be inserted under the skin of a dog or cat's neck.

A vet holds a micro-chip identity tag which can be inserted under the skin of a dog or cat’s neck.

 

How is the microchip implanted? Will it hurt my pet?

Implanting a microchip is quick, easy, and painless. Your veterinarian will inject the microchip under your pet’s skin between the shoulder blades. The injection is performed with a hypodermic needle that is slightly larger than those used for vaccinations. No anesthesia is required, though animals that are already anesthetized for procedures such as a neuter or spay might be microchipped at the same time.

How much of my information is accessible via microchip? Do I need to be concerned about my privacy?

The only information that will be accessible from your pet’s microchip is the contact information you provide to the manufacturer’s microchip registry. This information will be used to contact you in the event that your pet is found and his microchip is scanned. Any other personal information, including your pet’s health record or other medical information, will not be included.

My pet wears a collar with ID tags. Do I really need to microchip? Does my pet’s microchip replace his tags?

Collars and current tags are still the quickest and easiest way to identify a pet’s owner. Additionally, most cities also require pets to have both rabies tags and a city license—information that is not provided by a microchip.

However, collars and tags can become lost or damaged, making it difficult for animal control or shelter personnel to identify a pet’s owner. Using tags and a microchip together—and ensuring both are regularly updated—is the best way to ensure your pet’s safe return.

 

Note: Here is a link to an in-depth article on the Microchipping of Animals  written by the American Veterinary Medical Association.

 

Watch a Dog get Microchipped

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