Lost and Found: The Principles of Pet Microchipping
Losing a pet is a terrifying scenario for pet owners, and one that is all too common. Millions of dogs and cats go missing from their homes each year, and even the most well behaved pet can easily slip out of a gate or door accidentally left open. Hanging up “lost pet” signs and posting to social media can help locate a missing pet, but did you know there is a way to significantly boost your chances of being reunited with a missing pet?
Pet microchipping is an easy, affordable, and highly effective strategy for locating missing pets, and we couldn’t be more in support of this widely used technology!
How It Works
A microchip is a tiny, radio frequency transponder, implanted just under your pet’s skin, that contains a unique number assigned to your pet. In the event that your pet gets lost and winds up at a shelter or veterinary hospital, the chip can be scanned by an employee using a microchip scanner.
After the scanner has revealed the chip’s code, the employee can contact the national registry, who will then contact you and inform you of your pet’s whereabouts. Your contact information remains secure.
Pet Microchipping FAQs
Does the microchip implant hurt?
No. A microchip is implanted via hypodermic needle in the loose skin between your pet’s shoulder blades. Any discomfort experienced is similar to that of a standard vaccination.
Is the microchip safe for my pet?
Yes. The chip itself is encased in a biocompatible material that is non-toxic and hypoallergenic. The chip is designed to stay in place and will not migrate to other areas inside your pet’s body.
Does a microchip track my pet’s whereabouts?
No. Microchips do not utilize GPS technology and are not capable of tracking your pet’s, or your, location.
My pet has a collar and tags, do they still need a microchip?
Yes! While we recommend that all pets wear properly fitting collars with up-to-date ID tags at all times, it’s important to keep in mind that the collars and/or tags can fall off or become damaged (or purposely removed, in the case of theft), rendering them useless. Microchipping is the most effective way to identify a missing pet.
The Next Step
A microchip is only as good as the information it contains, meaning you will need to register your pet’s microchip as soon as it is implanted. You can register via mail or online using the paperwork that comes with the chip. Be sure to include all pertinent contact information, including your address and cell phone number, and don’t forget to update the registry anytime you move or get a new phone number.
Reunited and It Feels So Good!
According to a study published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Association, microchipped dogs are returned to their owners at twice the rate of dogs who aren’t microchipped, and microchipped cats are returned at an astonishing 20 times the rate of their un-microchipped counterparts!
If you’d like to learn more about pet microchipping, or make an appointment for your pet, don’t hesitate to contact your team at Rutland Veterinary Clinic and Surgical Center.