Microchipping your pet is super important.Even though most pet owners are familiar with microchipping, there are still those that choose not to use this harmless implant. Sometimes, all it takes is a quick conversation to assuage any doubts or concerns. For others, it takes a sudden scare of a missing or lost pet. Microchipping your pet doesn’t have to be a major milestone, and yet, this simple, straightforward procedure can make all the difference if you ever become separated from your furry loved one.

The Basics

Microchips are designed to work for 25 years. They’re about the size of a grain of rice and are made of inert materials. They do not require anesthesia to implant. Inserted with a large bore needle, microchips typically bond to an animal’s subcutaneous tissue within a day or so.

Microchips are equipped with a registration number that is linked to a pet owner’s contact information. They must be scanned by a shelter or hospital in order to access this information. When scanning for a chip, we target the base of the neck down to the shoulder blades to see if there is a chip present. If so, the owner’s contact information is revealed.

A Caveat

There is a slight catch to microchipping your pet. Once the chip is implanted, owners must register the chip with the manufacturer. This step is required in order to facilitate a quick reunion between an owner and a lost pet. If a chip is not registered, a pet may never find their way home, even if they’re picked up by a shelter or hospital.

We recommend keeping your microchip paperwork with your pet’s medical records. Having the registry phone number handy is a good idea in case of an emergency.

Likewise, if you ever move or change your phone number, be sure to update the registry.

Universal Scanners

Prior to the advent of universal scanners, competing chip companies used different frequencies to send information to brand-specific scanners. Fortunately, major manufacturers now supply universal scanners to shelters, animal control organizations, and hospitals. The American Microchip Advisory Council aims to create a streamlined database for all registered chips, regardless of manufacturer.

A Good Replacement?

Microchipping your pet provides an extra layer of protection in case your pet gets lost or goes missing. However, no matter how helpful and necessary these chips are, they do not replace having a pet collar and ID tags. Consider the good samaritan who picks up a pet walking down the street. They might get adopted by a new family, even though they’re microchipped!

Microchipping Your Pet

Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns about microchipping your pet. Anesthesia is not required, but if you worry about pain or discomfort, you can schedule the chip to be implanted during your pet’s spay or neuter surgery or dental procedure.