What to Know About Pet Microchips
August 10, 2023
Chances are, you or someone you know has experienced a pet going missing. Luckily, lost pets can be recovered with a tiny piece of technology—the microchip. While losing your pet can bring on feelings of helplessness, microchipping is a best practice for getting your furry friend back home safely.
What Is a Pet Microchip?
A microchip is an electronic chip that contains registration information for your pet. Because a microchip is no larger than a grain of rice, it can be easily inserted—typically between the shoulder blades—right underneath your pet’s skin without anesthesia.
A microchip is not a geographical tracking device. The chip is only activated when a scanner is passed over it, enabling the chip to display the registration or identification number for your pet.
Why Should I Microchip My Pet?
When pets are microchipped, their chances of returning home greatly increase. Less than a third of pets are returned to their owners if they don’t have a microchip. In addition to storing your basic contact information, a microchip can benefit your pet in other ways too.
Permanent Identification Measure
Compared to ID tags or a tattoo, microchips are the most reliable way to identify your pet. No two identification numbers are the same, so your pet’s microchip information only belongs to them.
Proof of Ownership
The identification number is registered in a database that links your pet directly to you. In the case of a lost pet, a microchip makes contacting the owner easy. Microchipping your pet may also assist in proving your ownership in a custody dispute.
Peace of Mind
While nobody wants to lose their pet, microchipping your pet directly links them to you. Taking extra precautions to safeguard your pet can help to ease your mind in case they go missing.
What Types of Pets Can Be Microchipped?
Dogs and cats are the most common pets that are microchipped, but they aren’t the only ones! Other pets such as horses, birds, rabbits, livestock and more are also eligible for a microchip. If you have an exotic animal that you’re unsure can receive a microchip, check with your veterinarian.
Best Practices for Pet Microchip Maintenance
To ensure your microchip is the most effective, there are a few things you can do.
- Ensure your contact information is accurate. Inaccurate or incomplete information in the database is useless if your pet goes missing. Be sure to keep this information updated, especially if you move.
- Ask your veterinarian to check the microchip. It’s rare that a microchip malfunctions, but it never hurts to check. Ask your veterinarian to test if the microchip is working properly during your pet’s routine wellness visit.
- Use a universal microchip. While there aren’t a ton of varying microchip frequencies, a universal chip will ensure it can be scanned wherever your met may be.
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