Can you believe it's July already?!? July is National Lost Pet Prevention month. This month I will be focusing the majority of the month about different aspects of keeping your pet safe. Our first article covers micro chipping which is safe & very effective way to be able to help your pet be returned home safely if they run away.
A microchip is your pet's ticket home. Does your pet have theirs?
A microchip for your pet can mean the difference between lost and found. Although tags and collars are important, they can tear or slip off. With microchipping, a veterinarian injects a tiny computer chip, about the size of a grain of rice, just under your pet’s skin, between the shoulder blades. The microchip number is entered into an international database, which can be read by a microchip scanner if your pet is lost and picked up by a veterinary hospital or humane society. If your contact information is up-to-date, the hospital or humane society that found your pet can contact you and reunite you with your pet.
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) that is injected under your pet’s skin as a means of identification. Each microchip is connected to an online registry with the owner's contact information. In the event that your pet is lost & taken to a shelter or veterinary hospital, he/she will be scanned for a microchip. If the contact information on file is up to date, you can be quickly notified and reunited with your pet.
What information of mine is needed for a microchip? Do I need to be concerned about 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, such as your name & a good phone contact number. Most micro chipping registration also has space to add a secondary contact person in the event that you cannot be reached. This information will only be used to contact you in the event that your pet is found and their microchip is scanned. Any other personal information, including your pet’s health record or other medical information, will not be included.
Can cats get microchipped? Do they need a microchip?
Cats are excellent escape artists. Even if you keep your cat safe indoors, there’s always a chance that they could escape through a door left ajar by a guest or repair person, or through a window with a loose screen. Since there’s always a chance your cat could get out, it’s best to make sure they are microchipped.
Do microchips wear out or need to be replaced?
Microchips do not wear out, as they do not have batteries or moving parts. The chip is activated by radiowaves emitted by the scanner as it is passed over the implantation site. They also never need to be replaced & will last the entire life of your pet.
Do microchips have any side effects?
According to a database maintained by the British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA), over 4 million animals have been microchipped since 1996. Of those 4 million animals, only 391 have had adverse reactions. The most common problem reported is migration of the microchip from its original implantation site.
**AAHA site on microchipping**
Hopefully this article as helped provide more information about microchipping, the process, & benefits. It's a simple service for your vet to provide that has lasting benefits to protect your pet & bring them home safe to your family.