Although May was ‘National Microchip Your Pet Month’, it’s still important to get your animal chipped no matter what month it is. Microchipping your pet is an easy, and affordable way to keep your furry friend safe.
What is a microchip?
A microchip is a very small computer chip that is encoded with a unique identification number to help you reunite with your lost pet. The microchip is about the size of a grain of rice and is placed under your pet’s skin with a needle and syringe. Unlike an ID tag or collar, a microchip will never get lost.
How does the microchip work and how much does it cost?
A microchip works by receiving a radio signal from a scanner and transmitting the encoded chip identification number back to the scanner. According to “PetFinder.Com”, the average cost to have a microchip implanted and registered by a veterinarian is $45. If you adopt or purchase an animal it is very common that the pet is already microchipped and registered. Shelters and rescue organizations may also occasionally offer low cost microchipping.
How do you use the microchip to reunite a pet with its owner?
When a lost animal is found without an ID tag, they should be scanned for a chip. The first website that should be checked is the American Animal Hospital Association’s “Pet Microchip Lookup Tool”. It acts as a search engine for most microchip registries. It will help you find the manufacturer that the chip is registered with so you can find the animal’s information. However, it is important that not all microchip companies participate in this service (a common one is AVID), so if an animal’s information cannot be found through the lookup tool, you should check with manufacturers that don’t use the service.
Benefits of a microchip
To summarize, there are many benefits to microchipping your pet, and very few, if any, downsides. With a microchip there is an increased chance you’ll be reunited with your animal (dogs with microchips are reunited 52.2% of the time). Microchipping can also help prove you’re the rightful owner in the case of a pet theft. As mentioned before, unlike ID tags, microchips are permanent and there isn’t a risk of them breaking off (although it is still important to have your pet wear an ID tag). And finally, some chip manufacturers are enhancing the capabilities of chips so they can unlock pet doors when they approach.
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