A Pet Owner’s Guide to Microchipping

Worried about your pet getting lost or stolen? Microchipping your pet is a quick and painless process that can provide peace of mind for both you and your furry friend. Read on to see why microchipping your pet is such a great idea, how it works, how it’s implanted, and how to use it if you become separated. With microchipping, you have greater assurance you’ll be reunited.

What is a Microchip?

A microchip is a tiny-implanted device that has a unique number that can be read by a specialized microchip reader. It uses passive RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology. When a pet goes missing, whoever finds them can use their microchip as a way to identify the animal.

How are Microchips Inserted?

The microchip, which is approximately the size of a rice grain, is quickly and painlessly inserted beneath your pet's skin, often between the shoulder blades. The needle is significantly bigger than in a shot, but they are otherwise very similar. This glass-covered silicon chip has a small antenna and is made of biocompatible material. The microchip's surrounding tissue responds to the foreign material and encases it, preventing it from spreading to other areas of the body.

How Do Microchips Work?

Staff at an animal shelter or veterinary clinic can use a scanner to read the tiny computer chip that was implanted in your pet, which holds a special code allowing them to reconnect you and your pet.

The radio frequency radiated by a microchip can be used to locate a missing pet after the fact, but it cannot be used to monitor an animal in motion since a scanner must be held over the chip to detect it. Basic scanning equipment is used to scan the pet's shoulder blade area, and the information stored in the chip is presented. The scan will identify the pet, the owner's name and address, a contact number, and any particular medical information about the animal.

How Can I Use a Microchip to Locate My Pet?

If you are separated from your pet, notifying local animal shelters or veterinary offices about your lost pet can help you reunite with them faster than waiting around at home hoping they will come back on their own. The company that implanted your pet's microchip can set up an alert so that if any agency contacts them about the microchip, they are informed of the owner's details and that the owners are looking for their pet.

How Long Do Microchips Last?

The average microchip has an estimated lifespan of at least 25 years, but depending on factors such as temperature and movement of your pet, this can vary significantly. Since your pets will most likely have the same microchip all of their life, it’s important to ensure that you keep your contact details up to date, so make sure to update them every few years or whenever necessary.

When Should I Update My Pet's Microchip Information?

You should update your pet's chip information whenever any of your personal contact details change (such as when you move to a new home). You should also register any new pets with the same company so that all of your animals' chips are linked together in case more than one gets lost at the same time.

Microchipping is an effective and affordable way to keep track of our beloved pets in case they ever get lost or separated from us. Getting a microchip implanted is quick and easy and will last for many years without needing maintenance. Plus, microchips offer peace of mind knowing that you’ll have a much better chance to reunite with your furry friends if they get lost. With all these benefits combined, there’s little reason not to get your pet microchipped! So why not give it a go today? Get in touch with Onalaska Animal Hospital for more information about microchips and to schedule an appointment. Your furry best friend will thank you for it!