pet microchippingFor pet owners, the only thing worse than a pet going missing is the thought that you may never be reunited again. Many of us can’t imagine our sweet pets ever straying from their familiar home or yard, but accidents can and do happen. Even the best behaved pets run the risk of going missing, and finding them again can present a true challenge in many cases.

Besides a collar and ID tags (which pets should wear at all times), microchipping may be the best way to prevent your furry family member from becoming permanently lost.

We are passionate about pet microchipping here at Hallsville Veterinary Hospital, and are excited to educate our readers about this valuable and important aspect of responsible pet ownership.

Pet Microchipping 101

A pet microchip is essentially a tiny computer chip that is implanted just under the skin, behind the shoulder blade, via a hypodermic needle (a relatively painless process, similar to a standard vaccination). The chip is programmed with your contact information, which is also entered into an international database. The manufacturer of the microchip can be accessed when a veterinarian or shelter employee scans it with a microchip wand, and the company will then contact you with details about where to find your pet.

Microchips are:

  • Hypoallergenic – A microchip is encapsulated in a non-toxic, biocompatible material that won’t cause an allergic reaction.
  • Safe – Microchips don’t have an internal power source, and simply lie inert inside your pet’s body until scanned by a veterinary hospital or shelter employee.
  • Private – Microchips do not utilize GPS technology, so you and your pet’s whereabouts will remain private.

Don’t Forget to Register!

Having your pet implanted with a microchip is only half the battle. The microchip number and your current contact information should be registered with the microchip company as soon as possible, and updated any time your address or phone number changes. According to a 2009 survey by the Journal of the Veterinary Medical Association, only 58% of microchipped pets that wound up in shelters were correctly registered with the microchip databases. Keeping your pet’s microchip information current can mean the difference between being reunited with a lost pet or not.

As wonderful as microchip technology is, it’s not perfect. Over time, the chips can develop errors or stop working, so it’s important to have your pet’s chip tested from time to time in our office. As always, if you have any questions about pet microchipping, or would like to set up an appointment for your pet, please give us a call.