If your pet ever escapes and becomes lost, what can you do to help make sure he or she will get back home? We hope that never happens, but having a permanent form of identification with your pet at all times can give you a better chance of recovering your pet.
By microchipping your pet, you’re taking a proactive step to help get your pet safely back home if he or she ever becomes lost.
During the month of May, we’re offering 30% off microchipping for all pets as part of National Chip Your Pet Month. Give us a call to find out the details!
What’s a Microchip?
About the size of a grain of rice, a microchip is a tiny transponder that has a unique 9-, 10-, or 15-digit identification number or code associated with it. The microchip, encased in bioglass, is implanted just under the skin between a dog or cat’s shoulder blades. Bioglass is a safe material that’s used for implants in both animals and humans.
When a veterinarian or veterinary technician scans the microchip using a special handheld device called a scanner (or reader), the chip is activated briefly and transmits its ID number, which is then displayed on the scanner. This unique code is used to identify the microchip manufacturer’s registration database where the pet owner’s information is stored, and the owner can be contacted.
Will the Microchip Hurt My Pet?
The injection may pinch a little but should not hurt much more than a vaccination. Your veterinarian will use a hypodermic needle to quickly and safely implant the chip. The procedure can be done during a regular veterinary visit or at the same time as your pet’s spay or neuter surgery.
We recommend microchipping all pets. We can easily implant the chip in the exam room without the need for anesthesia.
What Are the Benefits of a Microchip?
Unlike ID tags, which can fall off, a microchip stays with your pet permanently. Microchips have no moving parts or batteries and are designed to last for a pet’s lifetime.
If your pet gets lost or injured, a microchip provides you with assurance that your pet will be identified and find his or her way back to you, with help from a veterinarian or shelter. After making sure a pet doesn’t have any injuries or need immediate medical help, the first thing most shelters or veterinarians do when they find a lost pet is to scan the pet for a microchip.
We recommend microchips for all pets, even those who are indoor only. That way, you’ll be prepared, just in case your pet accidentally gets outside.
What Doesn’t a Microchip Do?
Microchips are not GPS devices, so they can’t track your pet’s location.
Microchips also don’t replace the need for a collar and ID tags. Most people who find a lost pet will first check for ID tags and contact the owner if the information is up-to-date. But if a pet isn’t wearing a collar or the pet’s collar or tags came off, having a microchip offers another way to find the owner.
Microchips do not have the owner’s personal information on them. To retrieve the owner’s contact information, the microchip registry needs to be accessed.
What Microchip Will My Pet Get?
There are quite a few microchip brands and microchip frequencies, as well as a couple types of microchip scanners.
The microchips we use for our patients at Tej Dhaliwal Veterinary Group are all compliant with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) global microchip standard, which means they are all 15 digits and 134.2 kHz.
An ISO microchip can be recognized by any microchip scanner (unlike non-ISO microchips, which are either 125 or 128 kHz). So if your pet gets lost, whether near home or while you’re traveling, you can rest assured that your pet’s microchip can be detected and read.
Microchips offer an added layer of insurance that your pet, if lost, will be returned home to you.
The Key to Microchips?
For a microchip to be effective, it needs to be registered in the manufacturer’s database, and, even more important, the owner’s contact information needs to be kept up-to-date. If your information isn’t current, it won’t matter if your lost pet is found because the shelter or veterinarian won’t be able to find you.
Give us a call today so we can schedule your pet’s microchipping. If you have questions about the procedure, we’d be happy to answer them. You can also check out the additional reading below.
Microchips & Microchipping
- American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Microchipping of animals FAQ. https://www.avma.org/microchipping-animals-faq
- American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Microchipping of animals. https://www.avma.org/resources-tools/animal-health-and-welfare/microchipping-animals
Microchip Registry & Recovery Services
- AKC Reunite. https://www.akcreunite.org/
- Free Pet Chip Registry. https://www.freepetchipregistry.com/
Lost/Found Pet Advice
- Ashton A. What to do if you find a lost pet. Canadian Living Published February 12, 2015. https://www.canadianliving.com/life-and-relationships/pets/article/what-to-do-if-you-find-a-lost-pet
- City of Toronto. Lost & found pets. https://www.toronto.ca/community-people/animals-pets/lost-found-pets/
- Ontario SPCA and Humane Society blog. Lost pet recovery 101. https://ontariospca.ca/blog/lost-pet-recovery-101/
All accessed April 29, 2020.