A microchip is a tiny electronic chip that contains a pet’s unique code or ID. Also known as a transponder, the microchip is inserted under the skin; when scanned, it transmits the number. When passed over the body, the scanner transmits radio waves, activating the chip and displaying the number on a screen. The chip does not require power or a battery and has no moving parts.
A microchip is inserted under the skin using a needle in a procedure not more painful than a vaccination. It does not require anesthesia or surgery and can be completed during a routine vet visit. A microchip can be implanted simultaneously if the pet is undergoing a surgical procedure such as spaying or neutering.
Microchips contain the pet’s identification information. It is not a tracking device and cannot be used to track a lost animal. Currently, microchips do not contain the pet’s medical information, but that information can be included in some registration databases. Some microchips used for horses and livestock can transmit details about the animal’s temperature.
The information on the registry is private and is only used to contact you if your missing pet is found. The microchip is activated by scanning, and you can decide on the information to include in the database during registration or when updating your contact information. You can opt not to receive any communication or newsletters from the chip manufacturer.
When a pet is found and taken to a vet or shelter, the animal is scanned to check for a microchip. If there is a microchip, scanning will reveal the owner’s contact information. To ensure it works effectively, the information in the registry must be accurate.
Updating the details regularly will help reunite pets with their owners. Research shows that microchipping increases the likelihood of pets finding their way back home.
Microchips provide permanent identification, and they are tamper-proof. However, they should not replace collars with ID tags. If a pet wears a collar, it is easy to read the tag and contact the owner immediately.
Getting the missing pet home is easy as long as the tag is in place with up-to-date contact information. A microchip becomes the only way to locate the pet’s owner if the collar is removed or lost.
If you want to get your pet microchipped, talk to your vet. The procedure can be done immediately. Most veterinary clinics offer microchipping services. Microchips can also be implanted at local shelters. However, microchipping cannot be done at home; it requires professional implantation. Wrong placement can render the chip impossible to read.
There is no maintenance required after a microchip has been implanted. However, it is vital to keep your contact information updated. Contact your vet immediately if you notice any swelling or oozing from the injection site. Scanning the chip during regular wellness exams will ensure it is still in place.
For more frequently asked questions about pet microchipping, visit Village Veterinary Clinic at our office in Grayslake, Illinois. Call (847) 223-5593 to book an appointment today.