microchips and your pet

National Pet ID Week took place in April, but we feel the topic is so important that it bears repeating. We encourage anyone who has a dog or cat to get a microchip for their pet. A microchip, which is about the size and weight of a single piece of rice, contains a unique identification number. When a staff member at a veterinary clinic or animal shelter scans your pet, the ID number appears on a computer screen. He or she must enter the number into a pet location system to obtain your contact information.

Microchips are powered by RFID, which stands for radio frequency identification technology. This enables the chip to store your name, your pet’s name, your address, telephone number, email address, and any other contact details. However, it’s important to understand that it’s not the same thing as a global positioning system (GPS). A microchip won’t give you the location of your lost animal.

What to Expect When Your Pet Receives a Microchip

If you have avoided getting a microchip for your dog or cat because you think it’s expensive or painful, you can put both fears to rest. We charge a nominal fee for this service, which also includes registering your information with a national pet look-up database. It takes just a few minutes for your pet’s veterinarian to insert the microchip under a skin fold near the neck. For your pet, it feels similar to receiving an immunization. It’s virtually painless and she will forget about it right away.

Don’t Forget to Update Your Contact Information

It would be a shame to get a microchip for your pet and then still not be able to find him because it contained old contact information. If you plan to move soon, be sure to update the microchip details as soon as possible. It will give you valuable peace of mind if your pet slips away during the stress and chaos of a move.

Use a Tag and Collar in Addition to a Microchip 

It’s still a good idea to put a tag with your pet’s name and your telephone number on a tag and place it on a collar that goes around her neck. However, you shouldn’t rely on this method alone to find your lost pet. Collars, especially the break-away type, can slip off easily. The print can also become worn over time and difficult to read. A tag, collar, and a microchip gives you the best chance of reuniting with your pet if she accidentally gets separated from you.
Please contact us to schedule an appointment for your pet to get a microchip if he doesn’t have one already.
Image credit: Getty Images

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