We always try to protect our pets, but accidents can happen at any moment. A door or gate gets left open. Your pup digs under the fence to follow an enticing smell. Chances are good that you’ll get them back if they are wearing a collar and identification tag.
But what if that collar comes off?
Technology in the form of identification microchips can help get your beloved pet back home. Microchips are tiny transponders, about the size of a grain of rice, that can be implanted in your pet’s skin. Microchips are implanted just under the skin, usually right between the shoulder blades. This is done with a needle, and it does not require anesthesia. Each microchip contains a registration number and the phone number of the registry for that particular chip manufacturer. A handheld scanner is able to read the radio frequency of the chip and displays this information. A vet clinic or animal shelter can scan a pet and contact the registry to get your name and contact numbers.
Can a microchip get lost inside my pet?
Your pet’s subcutaneous tissue usually bonds to the chip within 24 hours, preventing it from moving. While there is a small chance that the chip could migrate to another part of the body, it cannot actually get lost.
How long do microchips last?
Microchips are designed to work for 25 years.
Where can I get my pet microchipped?
Many vet clinics and animal shelters offer microchipping for a small fee. However, just getting a microchip is not enough. You must register your pet with the microchip company, and you have to keep that information updated.
How do a register my pet?
Complete the registration steps that are included with the chip. Some companies charge an annual fee, while others charge only a one time fee.
Are there different types of chips?
Yes, and that has been a problem in the past. Now many microchip companies produce universal scanners and provide them to animal shells and animal control agencies at no or very low cost.
Are there different registries?
There are multiple registries where any brand of chip can be registered, and you want to be sure to register with the database maintained by the manufacturer of your pet’s microchip.
What if I move or change my number?
You need to contact the company that registers the chip to update your information. Without doing this, the chip will be useless. Do not forget to update your pet’s tags at the same time.
What if I adopt a pet that is already microchipped?
If you know of brand of chip your new pet has, contact the registry to update the information. If you don’t know the brand of chip, have a vet clinic or animal shelter scan the chip to get you that information.
A multi pronged approach is the best way to protect your pet. A properly fitted collar and updated tags for when they are in the yard unsupervised or away from home, and a registered microchip with updated information that you have your vet scan annually. Also, make sure that you always have updated photos of your pet and the microchip number and registry information so that you can quickly get information out online and print flyers should your pet get lost.