Why Should I Microchip My Pet?
Your canine or feline companion is a loyal, loving and irreplaceable friend - one that may have an urge to wander and explore and runs the risk of getting lost. Unfortunately, it is all too common for pets to lose their way back home and end up in a shelter. It is easy to think that it won't happen, but the reality is that a staggering number of pets are lost in the shelter system each year because they lack reliable means for identification once they are found. At Hallett Veterinary Hospital, we feel that pets are part of the family, yours and ours, and that is why we recommend every pet receives an identification microchip.
Traditional ID tags that hang from a collar are a common-sense line of defense, however, ID tags can easily become separated from your pet. In cases of theft, an ID tag is the first thing a thief will discard. However, a microchip is a permanent solution that ensures your pet can be properly identified by a veterinarian or animal shelter, and reunited with you.
What Is A Microchip?
A microchip comes preloaded in a sterile applicator and is injected under the loose skin between the shoulder blades. Approximately 12mm long, it is about the same size as a grain of rice. When performed by a veterinary professional, implanting a microchip takes a few seconds and is relatively painless. Once the microchip is implanted under the skin, it will remain for the entirety of your pet's lifetime.
Will A Microchip Track My Pet Via GPS?
It is important to understand that a microchip is not a GPS device providing real-time tracking capabilities. Rather, a microchip is a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) device. Unlike a GPS device, a dog microchip doesn't require power, and it is easily identified by an animal shelter or veterinarian waving an RFID scanner across a dog's body where the microchip is embedded. The scanner simply identifies the company that made the chip and provides an ID number. Once the veterinarian has this information, they will contact the manufacturer, provide the ID number, and then the company will contact you or your veterinarian based on the information they have on file. Your information is never directly released to the public.
This brings us to an incredibly important part of dog microchipping: Registration! An RFID chip itself is useless if your registration isn't submitted and then kept current. Don't hesitate to ask your veterinarian any questions about the registration process, in order to ensure your pet can be accurately identified by its pet microchip.
Does Microchipping replace ID Tags?
ID tags can be the first line of defense in locating and identifying a lost animal. However, microchipping dogs is a more effective line of defense for your pet. This is because microchipping ensures that your pet's identification is never lost, stolen, removed or compromised in any way.
How Does The Pet Microchip Lookup Work?
Most animal shelters and veterinarians in the United States has the RFID devices to perform a microchip scan. However, there are various dog microchip manufacturers, and because of this, not all RFID scanners can detect every microchip. Therefore, shelters and veterinarians may keep several different scanners on-hand to perform a microchip lookup on a pet.
Will My Personal Information Be Accessible Through The Microchip?
A microchip cannot compromise your personal privacy. When the RFID scanner picks up the chip, the chip only provides an identification number that correlates to the chip's manufacturer. That number is called into the pet microchip lookup and recovery service, and you will be contacted by that service using the contact information on file. This is why it is essential to make sure your registration information is accurate.
Does Microchipping Cause Pain?
A microchip insertion hurts about as much as having blood collected. The needle required for the injection causes a pinch during microchipping procedures. Because it is only a momentary injection, no local or general anesthetic is required.
Are There Any Side Effects Of Microchipping?
Microchipping dogs is considered very safe. As with any medical procedure, there is always a risk of side effects. These include:
- Swelling at the site of the injection (temporary)
- Migration of the chip under the skin (rare and usually within an inch of initial location)
It is important to note that side effects have occurred in a very small portion of patients and are usually very minor. We recommend a microchip to every pet owner because the benefits far outweigh the potential risks.
If you are ready to schedule an appointment for microchipping services, please contact us today. Our staff would be happy to help you register your beloved animal friend into the pet recovery service database.