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Microchipping Your Pet

May 1, 2019

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.

Sobering Statistics

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 Process

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.

Record Maintenance

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 If your contact information is missing or outdated, no one will be able to reach you if your pet is found.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.

Our Advice on Microchipping Your Pet

What is Check The Chip Month, and why is it important for pet owners?

Check The Chip Month, observed in May, is an annual reminder for pet owners to verify and update their pets’ microchip information. It’s crucial because up-to-date microchip details significantly increase the chances of a lost pet reuniting with its owner. Microchips are highly effective in identifying lost pets, but their success depends on the current contact information in the chip’s registry. This month encourages owners to ensure their pet’s chip is functioning and the registered information is accurate, enhancing the safety net for their beloved pets.

How do microchips in pets work, and what information do they contain?

Microchips in pets are tiny devices implanted under the skin, usually between the shoulder blades. Each chip contains a unique ID number registered in a database along with the pet owner’s contact information. The chip itself doesn’t transmit data or require power. When a scanner is passed over the chip, it reads the ID number. Veterinarians or shelter workers can access the database using this number to retrieve the owner’s contact details. This system effectively helps reunite lost pets with their owners.

Does the microchipping procedure require surgery or anesthesia?

The microchipping procedure for pets does not require surgery or anesthesia. It’s a quick and relatively painless process, similar to a routine vaccination. A veterinarian inserts the microchip, about the size of a grain of rice, beneath the pet’s skin using a hypodermic needle, typically between the shoulder blades. The procedure is brief and straightforward, causing minimal discomfort to the pet, much like a standard injection. Most pets react minimally to the process and recover immediately, immediately resuming normal activities.

How can pet owners ensure their information in the microchip database is current?

Pet owners can ensure their information in the microchip database is current by regularly checking and updating their contact details. This can be done by logging into the microchip registry’s website and using the unique ID number provided at the time of microchipping. If there are any phone number, address, or email changes, it’s crucial to update these details promptly. During routine veterinary visits, owners can also ask the vet to scan the chip to confirm its functionality and verify the linked information. Keeping this information up-to-date is essential for the effectiveness of the microchip in case the pet gets lost.

Why is it important to regularly check the functionality and position of a pet’s microchip?

Regularly checking the functionality and position of a pet’s microchip is essential because it ensures the chip is working correctly and can be detected by a scanner. Over time, a microchip can migrate from its original placement, potentially making it harder to locate and scan. A functional, correctly positioned microchip is crucial for identification, especially if the pet gets lost. Veterinarians can quickly scan for the chip during routine check-ups to confirm its position and operability, ensuring the pet’s safety and the owner’s peace of mind.

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!

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