Microchipping 101: The Most Reliable Way of Pet Identification.

What is a microchip?

A microchip is a small computer chip that’s inserted under your pet’s skin. The microchip itself is smaller than a grain of rice. Each individual microchip is labeled with a unique number. In fact, the unique number combination is the only information stored in the microchip. This unique number is what is linked to the owner’s information. When a special scanner (available at most veterinary clinics) scans the chip, the unique numerical code appears on the scanner. From there, the chip number can be looked up in a universal microchip database. Then, we can call the company to help get the pet re-united with the rightful owners. Microchips are a simple solution to a very common problem.

How is the microchip implanted? Are there any side effects?

The microchip is placed under the skin by a veterinarian using a needle. There is no cutting or sutures involved. However, the needle used to implant the chip is a large bore needle, so while we can microchip a patient anytime, we usually recommend doing it when the patient is under anesthesia for a spay, neuter or a dental cleaning, as the implantation can be uncomfortable. Common side effects seen include temporary injection site pain, and some minimal bleeding from the injection site. Overall, it is a generally very safe procedure, with no downtime and most pets do not experience any side effects at all.

My pet never leaves my sight, why would I need to microchip him?

Although no one plans on ever losing their pet, it happens. Maybe there’s a hole in your fence and your pet escapes. Maybe a maintenance worker accidentally leaves the door open. Maybe a natural disaster suddenly strikes and somehow you are separated from your beloved pet, and their collar and tags have fallen off. The only foolproof way to link your pet to you is through a microchip. Every shelter, animal control, and veterinarian’s office scans for microchip (FOR FREE!) if a stray pet is brought in.

I think my pet was microchipped when I adopted him, how do I make sure my information is linked to his microchip number?

Perhaps the most important part of microchipping your pet is to ensure the microchip company has your current contact information. To do this, bring your pet to a veterinarian to get scanned and write down the microchip number. Ask the person who scans the chip to tell you what company is registered to that specific chip number. From there, all you have to do is call the microchipping company and ensure you are linked to your pet and your information is current.  

Ultimately, microchipping is an excellent way to be linked to your pet at all times! If you have any questions about microchipping, please give us a call!