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Microchipping Your Pet

May 1, 2024

It’s National Chip Your Pet Month! While individual pet care regimens may differ somewhat, this is one area in which all pets stand to benefit. In case your animal buddy ever gets lost, microchipping them can dramatically improve your chances of being reunited. In fact, it could even save your furry best friend’s life one day! A local Denver, NC veterinarian provides some guidance on microchipping your animal.

What Exactly Is A Pet Microchip?

A microchip is essentially an implanted permanent ID tag for your pet. It is very small, usually about the size of a single grain of rice. In dogs and cats, it’s usually positioned just under the skin, between the shoulder blades. These create an invisible connection between you and your animal best friend.

Microchips don’t hold any information. A single bit of information—a unique ID number—is all that is on each chip. This number links up to your database account with the chipmaker.

What Does Microchipping Entail?

Your pet’s veterinarian will insert the chip under its skin with a hypodermic needle. This is a very easy, quick procedure, similar to getting a shot. You don’t need to worry about recovery time. (Fido and Fluffy would very well appreciate an extra treat or a new toy, of course.)

Many times, this is combined with spaying or neutering. This makes sense since the animal is already at the clinic and sedated. You can, however, schedule it independently as well. Get further details from your Denver, NC veterinarian.

How Do Pet Microchips Function?

Microchips use radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology. Usually dormant, they are also referred to as transponders or PITs (passive transponder tags). Only when passed over by a specific scanner do chips become active. The low-frequency radio waves from these scanners essentially ‘turn on’ the chip. Then, the chip sends that special ID number, which the gadget’s screen displays.

Does A Microchip Allow Me To Track My Pet?

No: that requires GPS, which is not a feature of microchips. The power source is the primary obstacle. Until scientists figure out how to run a microchip off of Fluffy’s purrs and Fido’s tail wags, this will probably not change.

However, you can get pet GPS trackers, which are an excellent new invention. Before you buy one, you should consider your alternatives. Different companies and products vary greatly. Look into factors like battery life, range, technology, waterproofing ability, and membership costs. Some of these gadgets, for instance, use Wi-Fi, while some function on satellite. Having said that, many pet owners have already had success using devices to catch their straying animals.

Will My Pet’s Microchip Last Forever?

No, but it will most likely outlast your furry pal. Microchips last for roughly 25 years on average. That’s much longer than the average lifespan of dogs and cats. Those who own animals, such birds, that live longer than that could eventually need replacement chips.

Can Phones Read Pet Microchips?

No, unfortunately. Phone technology is ultimately incompatible with microchips.

What Happens If A Dog With A Microchip Is Stolen?

This is a key benefit of microchipping. Microchips are among the easiest methods to establish ownership and do stand up in court. They are also not as readily cut off as collars.

Does My Pet’s Microchip Need Any Maintenance?

Microchips are usually idle. Nothing has to be updated or maintained on them. That said, you might wish to have your veterinarian verify your pet’s chip at routine visits to ensure it is still functional and hasn’t fallen out of position.

Maintaining current records for your pet will also be necessary. Ask your vet for more information on this. 

Is There A Subscription Fee After My Pet Is Chipped?

Some businesses do charge for packages. Still, a lot of locations provide lifetime pricing. Get additional information from your veterinarian.

After I Get My Pet Microchipped, What Should I Do?

You have to register with the chipmaker and complete your details. This is vital! Your chip is useless if your contact details are out of date or missing.

You also need to remember to do this when you change or move.

Why Should I Microchip My Pet?

Microchips are like a lifeline between you and your best friend. Many people don’t even like to think about the possibility of their cherished pets ever going missing, but the reality is that this occurs a lot more frequently than you may imagine. Actually, one in three pets loses their way at least once over their lifespan.

Many believe that their devoted and loving pets will never run away. Regretfully, that is not true. Remember that pets can run away very quickly if they get scared. This is why the noise and pyrotechnics on July 4th and New Year’s Eve typically cause a significant surge in numbers of reported missing pets.

How Much Do Pet Microchips Cost?

The statistics of lost animals are really depressing. Recent Ohio State University research shed some light on this subject.

  • Dogs with microchips were returned to their owners 2.4 times more often than all stray canines (52.2% vs. 21.9%)
  • Kitties with microchips were 21.4 times more likely than those without to be returned home (38.5% vs. 1.8%).
  • Owners of chipped dogs and cats were contacted 73% percent of the time (74% for dogs and 63.5% for cats).
  • For dogs, 76% wanted their pets back, and for cats, 61%.
  • Owners could not usually be located because of inaccurate or disconnected phone numbers. Of all cases tracked, those accounted for around 35.4%. Twenty-four percent more of the owners never answered letters or calls. Ten percent of the chips were unregistered, and seventeen percent were registered in a database other than that of the chipmakers.  

Which Other Advantages Do Microchips Offer?

Although microchips are not GPS compatible, there are several devices that can be connected to Fluffy and Fido’s microchip. One example is pet doors. If your yard is fenced, you can let your canine friend come and go as they like without having to worry about finding a possum  in the house. Dishes are also available that open only for specific chips. If you have several pets and any of them require a particular diet, this is definitely something to look into.

What Kinds of Animals Have Microchips?

Though quite a few other animals can also have chips, dogs and cats are the most commonly chipped. Bunnies, birds, horses, cattle, ferrets, tortoises, and reptiles are also on that roster.

Should I Still Get Tags?

Absolutely! Laws currently mandate this in several locations. Even if you live in a region where they are not required, they are still necessary. If someone happened to find your furry friend, this would be the simplest way for them to get in touch with you. (Note: To encourage individuals to return the tags, we advise writing the word REWARD on them.)

Make An Appointment At Your Pet Clinic

Do you need to make an appointment for your pet? Has your pet not been to the animal clinic in some time? As your Denver, NC pet hospital, we are here to help! Please reach out to us for all of your pet’s veterinary care needs.