5 Things to Know About Microchipping Your Pet

Keeping your pet safe is a crucial part of being a responsible pet owner, and one easy way to do this is by ensuring you get your pet microchipped. Although it is not a legal requirement in all states, having your pet microchipped is highly recommended. This makes it much easier to be reunited should you find they become lost or stolen.

What is a Microchip?


A microchip is a small glass cylinder (roughly the size of a grain of rice) that contains an electronic chip inside. Once registered, the chip will contain your contact information so that, should your pet become lost, clinics and shelters will be able to scan it and contact you concerning the whereabouts and condition of your pet. As microchips are small and contain no moving parts, they are durable and made to last.

What Does the Microchipping Procedure Look Like?


Microchipping is a simple and painless procedure, similar to that of a vaccination. A trained professional will inject the microchip between the shoulder blades of your pet with a needle. The process is very safe, but of course, if you notice any swelling, discharge or other abnormalities following the procedure, ensure that you contact your vet for guidance immediately.

Your vet will offer microchipping for a small fee, so be sure to discuss your options with them at your earliest convenience. There are also some charities that may offer the procedure for a reduced price (or even in some circumstances for free), so investigate what options may be suitable for you and your pet.

What Information is Stored and is it Protected?


Once the chip has been implanted, you will need to register it with a pet recovery database. This service is what allows your contact information to be displayed should your pet be found and have their chip scanned. You will be required to provide all relevant contact information for yourself and anyone else with ownership responsibilities for your pet. This is to ensure that someone is reachable in the case of your missing pet being found, so it is important to keep all information provided up to date.

The information you provide is stored in a secure database kept by the company you are registered with. This database is made with your privacy and security in mind so others cannot search up your data stored with the company. The only way for your contact information to be brought up is in the case that your pet goes missing and the chip is scanned, making it easier for your pet to be returned to you quickly and safely.

Does a Microchip Track your Pet’s Location?


A microchip and a GPS tracker are two different devices. They can both be implemented to help recover your pet if they are lost, however, a microchip is unable to track your pet’s location. Unlike a GPS tracker, microchips are not battery-powered but instead are activated by the radio waves from a scanner. This then allows for the chip to transmit a unique ID number to bring up your contact information from the database. GPS trackers can be used, however, they are less durable than a microchip and it is recommended to still provide your pet with a microchip, even if a GPS tracker is used.

How Does a Microchip Improve the Chances of Finding your Lost Pet?


Microchips are recommended to be used in addition to traditional ID tags attached to your pet’s collar. This is because ID tags are a quick and efficient way to get in contact with a pet’s owner and do not necessarily require the intervention of a clinic or shelter. Despite this fact, collars and ID tags can easily be lost or damaged. In this scenario, a clinic or shelter will scan for a microchip to find your contact information as a chip is not able to be tampered with or destroyed so easily.

For more information on pet microchipping, please contact our friendly veterinary team at Kankakee Animal Hospital in Kankakee, Illinois at (815) 332-0600 today.

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