Why Should I Microchip My Pet?

Nothing is more heartbreaking than losing your beloved pet, not knowing where they are, if they’re being cared for, or if they’re all alone. Not only is it heartbreaking, but it’s scary. Without a collar, ID tag, or microchip the chance that your pet makes it home to you is very slim. Thankfully, microchipping offers multiple benefits to you and your pet, and a happy reunion is just one of them. 

Microchipping your pet is something that all veterinarians highly recommend. Some of the reasons include:

  1. Lost pets usually end up in shelters who scan for microchips
  2. Collar ID tags aren’t reliable on their own
  3. Microchips provide permanent identification
  4. Your pet cannot lose their microchip
  5. Microchipping is an affordable, relatively painless and quick procedure

What is a Microchip?

A microchip is a small chip about the size of a grain of rice. It is usually placed between the shoulder blades using a needle. It takes only a matter of minutes to complete the procedure and is relatively painless for your pet! 

It’s worth noting that a microchip is used to identify an animal once it’s found, rather than as a way to locate your missing pet. Microchips don’t work as a tracking device!

However, the chip serves as a permanent method of electronic identification. Each chip has a unique number that can be picked up and quickly read by a scanner. The chip number contains all of your contact information, making it easy for you to be notified that your pet has been found.

Why It’s Important to Microchip Your Pet

Lost Pets Usually End Up in Shelters

Did you know that around 8 million animals end up in shelters every year? Unfortunately, only 15-20% of dogs and less than 2% of cats are ever reunited with their owners. Cats are more likely to become lost since many cats live indoors and do not wear collars, let alone are microchipped. Without either of these, it’s nearly impossible to reunite with your feline friend. 

On top of a microchip, it’s important that your cat and your dog both wear identification tags at all times. You never know when they will slip through the door you left open when grabbing the groceries! 

Collar ID Tags Aren’t Reliable on Their Own

Tags attached to a collar are the most common form of ID. They are wonderful because they provide readily accessible information, but they aren’t foolproof. They can easily fall off or become worn and illegible. Make sure to keep your pet’s collar tag fresh and up-to-date with your phone number and address! Additionally, having a microchip on top of an ID tag provides a guaranteed identification route in case your pet goes missing. 

Microchips Provide Permanent Identification

How does it work? 

With a microchip, a database of all the registered microchips makes identifying your pet a breeze. When your pet is scanned, the chip number that pops up is then entered into a national database. 

Once the microchip registration company has been contacted and released your contact information, it’s as simple as picking up your pet to be reunited. Make sure that all of your contact information is updated so that you can be identified and contacted if your pet goes missing. 

Can a Microchip Be Removed?

Since microchips are made of biocompatible materials, it should last the lifetime of your pet. However, if inserted incorrectly, it is possible for the microchip to be expelled from your pet’s body. This is why we recommend taking your pet to your local PetWellClinic for a quick chip implantation. Additionally, have your pet’s microchip scanned during each vet visit to ensure that it is easily identifiable and reading properly. Be aware that microchips often won’t stay in the location where they were inserted, and can migrate around your pet’s body. If your pet’s microchip is in a different location each time you visit the vet, this is completely normal, and there’s no need for concern.

Microchipping is an Affordable and Quick Procedure

Many pet owners choose to go to their local pet shelter as they offer free microchipping. If this isn’t an option for you, don’t worry. Microchipping is a very affordable procedure! It doesn’t require any sedation or anesthesia, so this procedure can be done at your pet’s next vet visit. 

We highly recommend that a veterinarian implant the chip. It’s very rare, but there is a chance of possible complications if the chip is placed incorrectly. Come by your local PetWellClinic and we can implant a chip quickly and at a very affordable price. 

Frequently Asked Questions about Microchipping

Is the Procedure Painful for My Pet? 

The implantation is comparable to the amount of pain they feel when they have blood drawn, which is minimal. Side effects are very rare. Over 4 million animals have been microchipped and only 391 adverse reactions have ever been reported. If there is a side effect, it is usually a nodule under the skin where the microchip was implanted. Again, properly implanting the chip is crucial which is why we recommend seeing a veterinarian for the procedure. 

When Should I Microchip My Pet?

We recommend microchipping your pet as soon as you have adopted them, if not before. A recently adopted pet means they are not familiar with their new environment and could be more likely to get lost if accidentally let out. It’s always better to be safe than sorry!

Many animal shelters include microchipping in all of their adoptions. If you’ve recently adopted a pet, or are looking to adopt one, check with your local shelter to find out if the procedure happens before you bring your new furry friend home!

What Do I Do After The Procedure?

Register. Register. Register. Unfortunately, a lot of people are unaware of the importance of registering their pet once their chip has been implanted. There are many more pets microchipped than are properly registered. You have to make sure that the chip is connected to you, your address, and your phone number. If your registration isn’t submitted and kept current, it’s useless. Remember, your pet’s microchip is only as good as the registration!  

PetWellClinic is dedicated to being here for pet owners. Our hours of operation extend into the evenings and weekends, and our clinic environment is built with your pet’s comfort in mind. If you aren’t sure if your pet is microchipped, bring them by PetWellClinic and we can scan for one! Or if you have just adopted a new furry friend, we can implant a chip quickly and at an affordable price. 
PetWellClinic provides convenient, affordable veterinary care for cat owners. PetWellClinic has locations and services built with convenience in mind. Stop by with your pet any time! No appointment necessary.

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