Keeping your pet safe is one of the most crucial parts 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 as it makes it much easier to be reunited should you find your pet lost or stolen.
A microchip is a small radio chip (approximately the size of a grain of rice) that is assigned a unique number that allows for easy identification of your pet. This number, along with your contact details, are safely stored in a database so that should your pet be found, you can be contacted immediately. Collars with tags are still useful for local recovery of a missing pet, but these can easily fall off or be removed, so microchipping offers owners a more reliable alternative.
Your pet can be microchipped at most veterinary practices for a small fee, however, there are some other charities and organizations that may offer microchipping for a reduced price or even sometimes for free. It is important, though, to ensure that the person microchipping your pet is qualified to do so and that the chip itself is properly registered.
Microchipping your pet is quick and straightforward. The microchip is implanted using a needle under the skin between your pet’s shoulder blades – only someone with the correct training can do this. For the most part, this tends to be done while your pet is awake, and most pets barely notice it being done. There is no need for an anesthetic.
Having your pet microchipped won’t hurt them, as it feels just like an injection or vaccination. The microchip itself is made of non-reactive material, meaning it won’t cause any issues later, either.
Once your pet is microchipped, you will be given a unique number that will appear on the handheld scanner when the microchip is scanned by a vet or shelter. This number, along with your contact details will be added to a database controlled by the microchip provider. These details are stored safely and are only available to registered premises (such as your veterinary practice) and only accessed if your pet is scanned and the number is looked up to contact you, enabling their safe return.
If at any point you need to change the contact details you provided when you registered your pet with the microchipping provider, you will need to contact them directly. The provider your information is stored with as well as their contact information should be on the paperwork you were given when your pet was microchipped. If you lose this paperwork, you can take your pet to any vet and have the chip scanned to find out what provider is storing your contact details.
This same process also applies when rehoming your pet. Speak to your microchip provider and make them aware of the change in ownership, and they will explain exactly what you need to do.
If you find that your pet is lost or stolen, contact your microchip provider as soon as possible. This way, they can flag your pets’ details so that if they are found and their microchip is scanned, you will be contacted immediately.
For more advice on pet microchipping, or to schedule an appointment for this service at our animal clinic, please contact our team today at Lone Oak Animal Clinic by calling (270) 554-0385.