May is Check The Chip Month! If your pet hasn’t been microchipped, we strongly recommend getting this done right away. This simple device has reunited thousands of lost pets with their worried owners. Read on as a local Salem, VA vet discusses microchips.
How Chips Work
Microchips don’t transmit any information. We may see this down the road, but right now, the issue is power. You don’t really want to have to change your pet’s batteries! Right now, each chip contains a unique ID number. This is linked to your information in the chipmaker’s database, forming a permanent connection between you and your furry best friend.
Animal shelters and veterinarians use special scanners to check unidentified pets for chips. The numbers here are actually quite staggering. One study of 7,700 strays showed that unchipped dogs were only reunited with their humans 22% of the time. In comparison, over half of the dogs with chips were returned home. The numbers for cats are also quite grim. Only about 2 percent of unchipped kitties went home, while about 39 percent of chipped cats did.
The microchipping procedure only takes a few minutes. Your vet will use a hypodermic needle to insert the chip beneath your pet’s skin, usually between the shoulder blades. The process doesn’t require surgery or anesthesia. However, if you are getting your pet spayed or neutered, you may want to have this done at the same time, since your four-legged friend will already be under anesthesia. There are no side effects. As for recovery, a few ear scritches or perhaps a belly rub should do it.
Once your pet has been chipped, you’ll need to fill out your records for the chipmaker’s database. This is very important! If your contact information is missing or outdated, no one will be able to reach you if your pet is found. Remember to update this information if your phone number or email address changes. If your furry pal is chipped, try using the AAHA Pet Microchip Lookup Tool here to check your records. We also recommend having your vet check the chip during your pet’s appointments, just to make sure it hasn’t moved or malfunctioned.
To learn more about microchips, or to make an appointment for your pet, please contact us, your local Salem, VA vet clinic, today. We are here to help!