The benefits of microchipping your pet

January 22, 2024

As pet owners, the safety and security of your beloved animals are paramount. In modern society, where the risk of pets becoming lost or stolen remains a significant concern, microchipping presents itself as a reliable solution. The process of microchipping your pet—be it your dog, cat, or any other cherished animal—offers peace of mind through technology that can drastically increase the chances of being reunited with your pet should they ever go missing. This simple and relatively inexpensive precaution is an act of responsible pet ownership that comes with a host of benefits.

What Is Microchipping and How Does It Work?

Before delving into the advantages of microchipping, it is essential to understand what it involves. A pet microchip is a tiny electronic chip, roughly the size of a grain of rice, that is implanted just under your pet’s skin, typically between the shoulder blades. A special needle is used for this quick and relatively painless procedure, which can be performed by your veterinarian or at an animal shelter.

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The microchip itself does not have a power source and remains inactive until it is scanned with a microchip reader. These readers emit a low-frequency radio wave that provides the power needed for the chip to transmit its unique identification number back to the reader. This number is the key to unlocking your contact information, which should be registered in a national pet recovery database.

Ensure Your Contact Information Is Current

It is crucial that you register the microchip number with your contact details and keep this information up to date. If your address or phone number changes, ensure that you update the database with your new contact information. Without accurate details, the microchip’s effectiveness is significantly compromised.

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Compatibility with International Standards

Most pet microchips conform to an ISO standard, which means they can be read by a scanner that is ISO-compliant, regardless of the brand of chip. This is especially beneficial if you travel with your pet or if your pet gets lost overseas.

Benefits of Microchipping Your Pet

Increasing the Chances of Recovery

The primary benefit of having your pet microchipped is the increased likelihood of being reunited if they become lost. Unlike collars and tags, which can fall off or be removed, a microchip is a permanent form of identification. Animal shelters and veterinary offices routinely scan for microchips in lost pets, and a registered microchip can promptly link them back to you.

Peace of Mind

Knowing that your pet has a microchip can give you a sense of security. If your pet lost, you can rest assured that there’s a fail-safe way for shelters or veterinary clinics to identify your pet and contact you.

Proof of Ownership

In cases where the ownership of a pet is disputed, a microchip can be used as a form of proof. Since microchip registration databases store your information associated with the unique microchip number, it can serve as evidence that the pet is yours.

Streamlining Veterinary Records

A microchip can also be useful for keeping your pet’s medical records organized. Some veterinary practices use the microchip number as a reference for your pet’s health records. This can be particularly handy if you move to a new area or switch to a different veterinary practice.

Traveling with Your Pet

For those who travel, a pet microchip can simplify the process. Many international travel regulations for pets require them to be microchipped. With the chip conforming to ISO standards, you can have peace of mind during your travels, knowing that your pet’s microchip can be read in different countries.

Best Practices for Microchipping Your Pet

Consult with Your Veterinarian

Your veterinarian is your partner in pet care and should be consulted about microchipping your pet. They will provide advice on the procedure and can ensure that it is done safely and correctly.

Register the Microchip

After the chip is implanted, it is imperative to register it with a reputable recovery service. Ensure that all your contact information is accurate and remember to update it if your circumstances change.

Regularly Check the Microchip

It is a good idea to ask your vet to scan your pet’s microchip during routine visits to ensure that it is still functioning and can be detected by the scanner.

Educate Yourself on Scanner Variability

Understand that while there is a push for universal scanner compatibility, some older scanners may not be able to read certain microchips. Ensure your pet’s chip is backward and forward compatible with existing scanners, especially if you have an older pet with an earlier generation chip.

What to Do If Your Microchipped Pet Goes Missing

Contact the Microchip Registration Company

If your pet goes missing, immediately contact the microchip registration company to alert them. They can assist in the recovery process and provide additional support and resources.

Notify Local Animal Shelters and Veterinary Clinics

Make sure to notify local animal shelters and veterinary clinics. If someone brings in your lost pet, they will scan for a microchip and access your contact information.

Utilize Social Media and Local Resources

Leverage social media and community resources to spread the word about your lost pet. Many communities have lost and found pet groups that can be an invaluable resource.

Keep Searching

Do not give up on looking for your pet. Sometimes pets are found weeks or even months after they have gone missing, so maintain hope and continue your search efforts.

Conclusion

Microchipping your pet is a safe, effective, and responsible way to ensure their safety and your peace of mind. It’s a simple procedure that provides a permanent, unalterable form of identification for your beloved animal. By ensuring that your pet is microchipped and keeping your contact information current in the database, you substantially increase the odds of being reunited with your pet if they ever get lost. The benefits of microchipping—be it the peace of mind, proof of ownership, or the ease of travel—far outweigh the minimal cost and effort required to have the microchip implanted.

Remember, the well-being of your pet is in your hands, and taking proactive steps like microchipping can make all the difference. Consider scheduling an appointment with your veterinarian to discuss microchipping your pet today and join the countless responsible pet owners who have embraced this technology for the safety of their furry friends.