August 15th is Check Your Pet’s Microchip Day

August 10, 2020

Now is a great time to think about microchipping your best pal. And if your furry baby is already microchipped, make sure that your contact information is up to date, so that you can be easily reached if your best buddy ventures too far from home.  In this blog, we’ll cover some of the basics of microchipping. 

Do microchips actually work? 

According to the data, they do! A study of 7,700 stray animals at shelters revealed that dogs with microchips were reunited with their owners 52.2% of the time, whereas those without microchips were only returned 21.9% of the time. 

What is it? 

A microchip is a small, electronic chip inside of a glass cylinder implanted just below your pet’s skin using a needle. The procedure is no more painful than a regular shot. However, some pet owners opt to have the chip implanted while their furry baby is receiving a procedure such as spaying or neutering, where anesthesia is administered. 

Smaller than a grain of rice, the chip is virtually undetectable by you or your pet. However, if you do notice oozing, swelling, or irritation near the site of the implant, contact your pet’s veterinarian immediately. 

How do microchips work? 

Once inserted, pet owners must register the microchip, adding the information needed to bring their pet home in the event your best boy gets lost. 

If your buddy does get lost, a veterinarian or shelter worker will scan your pet for a microchip. If one is present, the microchip (transponder) will be activated. This will allow the clinic or shelter to match information from the microchip with the contact information that you provided.

Do microchips replace rabies and identification tags? Can they be used as GPS devices? 

The answer to both questions is no. The American Veterinary Medical Association points out that microchips provide permanent, tamper-proof information. However, that information is inaccessible without a scanner. Identification tags make it quick and easy to contact a pet’s owner. 

Rabies tags are not only required by many areas to indicate that your pup has been vaccinated, but the rabies tag number also contains contact information, providing another way for owners and their best buddies to be reunited. As for GPS, the chips do not contain tracking technology. 

What kind of maintenance is required? 

Microchips require virtually no physical maintenance. However, pet parents should make sure to keep their contact information up to date with the correct phone number and address.

Can microchips be hacked and my information be put at risk? 

Microchips typically only contain the minimum amount of information to identify the pet and their owner. Moreover, the only information contained is what you agree to and provide. Additionally, security technology is in place to reduce any risk that an unauthorized or random person can access the chip’s data. 

How can I get my pet microchipped? 

Talk to your veterinarian and she’ll be able to provide you with any additional information you need to get started.