There are dozens of insurance policies out there, and we spend hours researching plans for different things in our life. For pet owners, there’s also pet insurance available to guard against an emergency, illness, or accidental injury. However, one of the most important things you can do to prepare for the unknown is to microchip your pet.
Some owners are concerned about pain, but microchipping is similar to receiving a routine vaccination. Anesthesia is not required, although some pets receive their microchip at the same time as their spay/neuter surgery.
During a routine wellness visit, we can preload the chip into a sterile applicator and inject it between the shoulder blades (just beneath the layer of loose skin). In some pets, you can feel a small bump, but it doesn’t bother them at all.
Aside from a momentary acknowledgement of the injection, your pet won’t be affected by the chip. A common misconception is that microchips work like GPS devices. However, instead of offering global positioning, they use radio-frequency identification technology. In other words, when you microchip your pet, you’re giving them a number that provides permanent identification. With no battery or transmitter to replace, a microchip lasts for life.
We recommend that all pets wear a collar with ID tags. Unlike microchips, however, those can come off (either accidentally or on purpose). If a pet is found and brought to a shelter, rescue, clinic, or hospital, they’re scanned for a chip. If one is detected, their permanent ID will be shown.
After you microchip your pet, it’s imperative that you register your contact information with the chip’s manufacturer. Once registered, your name and phone number will be accessible by the person scanning your pet. Without this step, your pet’s chip manufacturer ID will be the only identifier, making a reunion much more difficult.
Need more reasons to microchip your pet? Consider the following:
Of the thousands of dogs that are brought to shelters, those with microchips are returned to their owners over 50% of the time (compare this to only 25% of dogs without microchips).
Microchipped cats are reunited with their owners nearly 40% of the time (in comparison to less than 2% of un-chipped cats).
When microchipped pets aren’t returned to their owners, it’s often because the owner’s contact information was never entered or updated with the chip manufacturer.