02 Nov Microchips help.
Now that I got your attention. Over 10 million pets a year will end up missing and without proper identification 90% of them will never return home. One of the biggest issue is the belief that our pets will never become lost when in fact 1 in 3 pets will become missing in their lifetime. “My pet never gets lost—he’s either with me or locked in the house.” One in three pets DO get lost, in spite of the fact that many owners don’t anticipate it. It’s far better to be safe than sorry. Here are some of the most common ways that pets can get lost:
- A handyman or contractor accidentally lets your pet out
- Your cat escapes through an open window or a broken screen
- Your dog digs a hole and escapes under a fence
- While traveling together, your pet wanders off into unfamiliar territory
- A thunderstorm or fireworks display causes your pet to panic and flee
- An emergency situation or natural disaster causes your pet to get lost in the turmoil
- Your pet is stolen
What is a microchip?
A microchip is a tiny transponder, about the size of a grain of rice or smaller that is encoded with a unique identification number. The technology is relatively recent, but is becoming widely available. How is the microchip put into my dog? A needle containing the microchip, injects it in the subcutaneous tissue along the midline between the pet’s shoulder blades. Does it hurt to insert the chip? The procedure is fast, safe, and appears to be relatively pain-free in most pets. The chips are usually inserted without incident, even in the tiniest kittens and puppies. Some clients choose to have the microchip implanted at the time of sterilization, so that the pet can be anesthetized for the injection. However, this is not necessary, and the microchip can be implanted at any time that is convenient.
Is there anything else I have to do?
Once your pet is microchipped, you must register him or her with the appropriate agency. You will be provided the relevant documents and contact information for registration. Some practices will even register you on site. Failure to register your pet’s microchip identification will render the entire process useless. Studies have shown that approximately 50 % of microchips are never registered. If you move or change your contact information, be sure to update your pet’s microchip information. This information is necessary to reunite you with your pet.
How is the microchip detected?
The microchip can be ‘read’ with a microchip scanner, which detects the specific electronic code embedded in the chip, and displays the identification number on the scanner’s screen. Most, if not all, veterinarians, humane societies and animal shelters now have universal microchip readers, and routinely scan all stray and injured animals.
Are there any other concerns about the safety of microchips in dogs?
In 2007, several news articles were published, implying that microchips cause cancer. The information was based on research with mice and rats that were genetically bred for their predisposition to developing cancer. No documented cases that link microchips to cancer in dogs exist, and there is no foundation in scientific fact to support this link. Millions of dogs have microchip identification implants without any reported problems.
My dog always wears a collar with identification tags. Isn’t this enough?
Unfortunately, collars can break, fall off or be removed. When identification tags are new, they are easy to read. However, as they get old and worn, it can become challenging to make out all the information that is on them. Microchips cannot be misread, and the identification number is tamper-proof. The information about the pet and owner is usually readily retrievable from the database.
Microchip implantation may be the most important “shot” your pet receives. That’s because getting lost is the #1 cause of death in pets. The injection is no more uncomfortable for your pet than a routine vaccination and any discomfort from it will pass quickly. However, the protection provided will last for the life of your pet. That’s why during our open house we will be doing a microchip clinic to ensure your pets are safe. Please stay tuned for further details.