The Importance of Microchipping Your Pet

Millions of cats and dogs are reported lost or stolen each year. Wouldn’t you like a way to more easily reconnect with your beloved animal if it gets lost?

Pet microchipping is frequently used to provide pets with a verifiable form of identification in the event they get lost and need to be reunited with their owners. The microchip is a small radio-frequency transponder encased in bioglass and implanted under the skin. Typically, the microchip is smaller than a grain of rice.

If your pet gets lost, employees at animal shelters or veterinary hospitals can use a special scanner to read the microchip. Each microchip is encoded with a unique identification number that allows the reader to verify the pet’s identity.

Veterinarians and animal experts strongly recommend the use of microchips in pets. At most shelters and clinics, veterinarians and workers will scan every new animal that comes through to see if it has a microchip.

Keep in mind that a microchip is merely an information canister—it is not a way to track your pet, and does not provide location information. If your pet becomes lost, the only way the microchip helps is if they’re found and need to be identified.

You also do not need to be concerned about the privacy of your information. The scanner for a microchip will only be used if your pet is found without you present, and it will only include the information you put in the national registry (more about that in a moment).

Staying up to date

After you get your pet microchipped, it is your responsibility to make sure the contact information in the registry stays up to date.

Microchips are only effective if you continue to update that information so you can be contacted if your pet gets lost. After the vet microchips your pet, they will provide you the information you need to register the microchip in a nationwide pet microchip registry.

When you register, you will need to include the most up-to-date contact information you have, including phone number and address. If you do not register, or do not add your information, the microchip is basically useless. This means any time your contact information changes (such as if you move or get a new phone number), you need to change your registration information in the pet registry, just as you would with the Department of Motor Vehicles for purposes of your driver’s license and vehicle registry.

If you accidentally lose the information associated with your pet’s microchip, you can always talk to your vet or whoever put in the microchip for assistance. It’s not recommended that you put in another microchip. While this would not cause any harm to the pet, the frequencies of the two chips could interfere with each other, making it difficult to read the chip and adding to the challenges of reuniting you with your pet.

For more information about the importance of microchipping your pet, or to schedule an appointment to have your pet microchipped, contact us today at Cannon Veterinary Services Ltd.