It’s Hip to Microchip!

Unfortunately, each year many animals end up in shelters every year.  Too many of these animals never make it home because they can’t be identified.

In the event that your pet becomes lost, one way to increase the chances of being reunited with them is through microchipping. When you microchip your pet, you are permanently implanting a tiny chip, approximately the size of a grain of rice, just under the surface of their skin, typically between the shoulder blades. The process is similar to receiving a vaccination, though the needle is larger. The chip can cause momentary discomfort when being inserted, just as receiving a vaccine or taking blood may cause a slight uncomfortable feeling, very briefly. Once implanted, the microchip remains just underneath the skin, for the rest of the animal’s lifetime, becoming a permanent form of identification.

Some people think chips are like a tracker or a GPS device, but, unfortunately, that’s not how microchips work. Each microchip has a unique identification number that links your pet to your contact details. When a vet, shelter or humane society finds a lost or missing pet, they use a scanner to read the pet’s chip. The scanner will receive the unique identification number stored on the chip. The companies that design the microchips have recovery services that enable them to help with the reuniting process. Each company uses their own pattern for the chip identification number. Therefore, when the pattern pops up on the scanner, it informs the vet, shelter or humane society which company to contact. Once the a vet, shelter or humane society contacts the company with the number from the chip, the company can then pull up the owner’s contact information, contact the owners and reunite them with their pet!

And that’s the critical aspect of microchipping – the chip is only as good as the registration! Unfortunately, a lot of people think that once they have registered the microchip, they are done. Incorrect! If your registration isn’t kept current, it’s useless. If you move or you change your phone numbers, you have to update that information!

Another great aspect of microchipping is that it offers pet owners the only truly permanent method of identifying their pet and linking the animal back to them, the owner. Tags and collars can break, fall off the animal or become unreadable, and tattooing can also can become illegible. That’s not to say that tags and collars aren’t important too! Your pet should have a collar with tags on it, in addition to the microchip. Collars with tags are important because it’s the first method for reuniting pets with their owners. If a phone number is listed on the collar, whoever finds your pet can immediately call, without having to bring them in for scanning. But without a doubt, having the microchip is an excellent safety net in the event the collar and/or tag is lost.

So, if you want to improve your pet’s chances of getting home as fast and safely as possible, in the event it were to go missing, microchipping is your best option!



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