Thousands of pet cats and dogs get lost every year in the United States. The biggest reason why lost pets are sent to animal shelters rather than to their owners is because of the lack of a proper identification on them.
That’s why scientists and technologists have come out with something really quite remarkable – a microchip, called a pet microchip, which is implanted in the pet.
A pet microchip helps to identify the pets and return them to their rightful owners. In this article, you will find everything you need to know about Pet Microchipping for Dogs and Cats. If you are a pet owner, this information will be very useful to you.
So, What Is A Pet Microchip?
A pet microchip is a tiny computer chip that is no bigger than a grain of rice. It is implanted through a nedle between the shoulder blades of our pet cat or dog. The chip is installed very carefully and care is taken not to hurt the animal during the installation.
Each pet microchip can carry an alphanumeric code which can be identified by running a scanner over it. This code helps to identify the pet and is tagged with the owner’s contact information during the registration.
You can have a custom code implanted with the microchip – such as your contact number. This makes it so much easier for someone in an animal shelter who’s found a lost pet to contact its owner.
How Does A Pet Microchip Help?
So, if your pet cat or dog gets lost, it will be scanned at the animal shelter, veterinary hospitals and other pet facilities. Once the microchip has been found and the code on it read, the pet registry is contacted immediately and the owner’s contact information is obtained. This way, the pet is returned to its grateful owners.
Does It Take a Long Time To Implant a Pet Microchip?
Not at all! It takes minutes to implant the microchip. However, doing all the paperwork related to it does take a little bit of time.
Should The Pet Microchip Only Be Implanted By A Veterinarian?
Veterinarians perform the procedure, but certified veterinary nurses and technicians, along with trained veterinary assistants are capable to perform the insertion.
Does Implanting The Pet Microchip Hurt? Can There Be Any Complications?
Nope. Your pet is used to much worse things than that, such as spaying and neutering. Implanting a pet microchip is really quite painless. And regarding complications, while they have happened in the past, they are very rare. You don’t really have to worry about them.
Will The Pet Microchip Help To Track My Pet? Does is Have GPS?
No, the microchip does not have GPS capability, and you cannot track your pet using it if it gets lost. The only way it could help is if somebody scans your pet for a microchip at an animal shelter or veterinarian clinic. They will then use the number on the chip to contact the company that has made it, who will then use the registry to identify you – the pet owner – and your contact details.
So, what’s really important here is your contact information on the registry. This is actually just as important as implanting the chip itself, because that’s the only way to identify you. Otherwise, there really is no point in implanting the chip on the pet. You should ensure that the information on the registry is always updated with your latest contact details.
Should I Get Rid of My Pet Dog’s Tag, Now That He Has Got A Microchip Implanted?
No, your dog should always have a tag and your cat should have a breakaway collar. There is no way to tell if a person who has found your pet has any idea about what these microchips are or how to find them.
Many animal shelters may not even have a scanner to scan the pet for the microchip. So, just because you have had a microchip implanted in your pet dog, doesn’t mean you should get rid of the tag!
Does The Microchip Store My Pet’s Medical Information?
No, the microchip does not store your pet’s medical information. However, it is possible to get a pet’s medical information stored in the databases used by the microchip registry.
So, How Much Does the Pet Microchip Cost?
It doesn’t cost much at all – hardly $50 or so. And you may even get a discount on it if you get the microchip implanted after a regular pet checkup at the veterinary clinic. Adopted animals from most shelters will already have a microchip implanted when you adopt the pet.
Is It True That Implanting a Pet Microchip May Lead To Cancer?
There have been extremely rare cases where animals have developed a tumor, which has been attributed to the microchips implanted in them. But such cases are highly unusual, and there is no reason for you to worry about them.
Is It True That The Pet Microchips Used In The US Are Of A Different Frequency From Those Used In Europe?
Yes, that is true. In the US, we use 128 and 125 kilohertz chips while in Europe they use one with a 134.2 kilohertz frequency. However, this shouldn’t be an issue as most of the new scanners available in the market pick up all three frequencies.
How Can I Be Sure That An Animal Shelter Would Scan For A Microchip On A Lost Pet?
Most animal shelters have a universal scanner that allows them to scan microchips of all frequencies. But it is best to check with the animal shelters close to your home and find out more about this.
How Do I Know Which Pet Microchip To Buy? There Are So Different Types Of Pet Microchips Available In The Market…
For this, you will have to consult with your vet, and ask about the microchips that are most common in your area. Also, find out about the scanners used by the animal shelters close to your home, whether they are capable of scanning the microchip or not.
Buy a microchip belonging to a popular brand, which can be scanned by a majority of the animal shelters in your area. But the important thing here, as we said earlier, is to be very thorough with the registration and be up to date with your contact information.