Has your pet been microchipped? If not, we’d recommend getting this done as soon as possible. That microchip may be small, but it could potentially save your pet’s life one day. A Lake Murray, OK vet offers some advice on microchips below.
The microchips used in pets are not the same technology as what you would find in modern electronics. These use a very simple technology, which is called passive radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology. (Note: microchips are also called PIT (passive integrated transponder) tags.) These do not transmit data. Each microchip only contains one piece of information, a unique ID tag which can be read by a special scanner.
The numbers on lost pets are quite sobering. According to the AMVA, roughly 10 million cats and dogs are lost or stolen every year here in the States. Many of those pets end up in shelters. That’s when a microchip can make all the difference. Studies show that, sadly, only 22 percent of shelter dogs were returned to their owners. However, 52 percent of microchipped dogs made it back home. The statistics for cats are even more concerning. Kitties with microchips were twenty times higher than unchipped cats to be returned home.
Many people choose to get their pets chipped during spay/neuter surgery, but this isn’t a must. You can also schedule the procedure on its own. The process is very simple: your veterinarian will inject the chip beneath the pet’s skin, using a hypodermic needle. For Fluffy and Fido, it’s very similar to getting a shot. However, that’s only stage one of the process. You’ll also need to fill out your information for the chipmaker’s database. That data is associated with your account with the service provider. This is how that ID number on the chip can be tied to your contact information. Making sure this information is complete and up to date is very important. The chip won’t be of any use if the records are outdated or missing!
Microchips do not negate the need for ID tags. Tags are required by law in many places, and are still the easiest way for someone to be able to contact you if they find Fido and Fluffy. And while microchips do not utilize GPS technology, you can (and perhaps should) get your furry pal GPS tags or collars.
Please contact us with any questions about your pet’s health or care. As your Lake Murray, OK pet hospital, we’re here to help!