Did you know that despite doing all we can to keep our animals safe, approximately one in three pets in the United States will become lost at some point during their lifetime? This is a scenario that no caring and the committed owner wants to think about, but by understanding that it is something that could happen, we can take prepare for the eventuality. One of the best ways of doing this is by microchipping your pet.
Many owners are quite content with using collars and tags as identification for their beloved animal. While microchipping isn’t intended to replace this traditional and highly successful practice, it can complement it. Microchips are placed under your pet’s skin and, at the same size as a grain of rice, they are impossible to locate precisely once they have been inserted. This makes them tamper-proof and accident-proof. While conventional tags and collars can be removed by thieves or can fall off, microchipping is permanent.
Studies have shown that microchipping is also a much more effective and efficient way of reuniting pets with their owners and animals who are microchipped are significantly more likely to make it back home. Since many animals look alike, ownership disputes are a fairly common occurrence in neighborhoods where there are a number of pets of the same type and breed. However, microchipping can also prove invaluable when it comes to proving who the rightful owner of your pet is. Although having your details on the chip is not proof of ownership, disputes nearly always go the way of the person who registered with the microchip provider.
The microchip itself is contained within a glass capsule no larger than a grain of rice which is implanted under the skin, usually between your pet’s shoulder blades. Once in place, it can be left for the duration of your pet’s lifetime.
Each microchip contains just two pieces of information: a unique reference number and the name of the microchip provider. When a lost pet is found, a veterinarian, shelter or other animal professional with access to an RFID scanner will be able to scan the area between the shoulder blades to check for the presence of a microchip. The scanner will activate the chip, which is otherwise dormant, and the unique number and the name of the microchip provider will be displayed on the scanner’s screen. The service scanning the animal can then contact the chip provider to obtain the personal information relating to that unique reference number which is contained on a secure database. Finally, the owner can be contacted and told that their pet has been found.
Naturally, many people are concerned about the safety of their personal information. Rest assured that microchip providers invest a great deal of money and expertise into their security systems and there are protocols in place to ensure that no one can access your personal details without bypassing stringent security measures. You can also choose how much information to give your microchip provider, with many owners choosing only to divulge their name, city and contact number to minimize the risk of identity theft.
Although there is a slight risk associated with any surgically implanted device, the microchip used contains no moving parts and lies dormant until it comes into contact with an RFID scanner. Contrary to what many people believe, there is no evidence to support the theory that pet microchipping causes the development of any health problems and experts agree that the benefits of microchipping animals far outweigh the minuscule risks attached to the process.
If you would like to arrange an appointment to get your pet microchipped, or if you have any further questions about the process, please don’t hesitate to contact our office.