Getting your Pets Microchipped
Posted August 06, 2015
Many of us take every precaution we can to protect our pets.
With growing technology in the veterinary field, new measures of
protection for companion animals are now available to owners at a
low cost. Microchipping, one of the newest ways to locate and
identify lost animals, is growing in popularity and efficiency.
A microchip is a glass encased device that bears an
identification number unique to every marked animal. Once the
microchip is inserted under the animal’s skin and registered with
the devices company, the microchip can be activated with a scanner
at a veterinarian’s office or local animal shelter. With no
batteries or power source required to activate a microchip, this
device will provide a permanent identity for your pet that will
last their entire lifetime.
Many owners protect and identify their pet with a personalized
collar. While this method can certainly help identify your pet,
there are many strong advantages in microchipping your animal. For
instance, pet collars may fall or slip off, and personalized tags
may become unreadable after several years. Microchips do not face
any of these challenges and have no chance of being removed, no
matter where Fido wanders off to.
Dr. James Barr, Clinical Assistant Professor at the College of
Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, explains the biggest
advantage microchipping has over other methods of identifying
animals, “The biggest advantage is that a microchip can’t be lost.
It allows access to detailed information about the pet and its
owner with a quick phone call to the company,” he said. Barr also
adds that most microchips can be installed at veterinarian offices
and sometimes even spay and neuter clinics. He further explains
that the process of installing a microchip is very quick and does
not hurt the animal, contrast to what some owners might believe. “A
microchip is implanted under the skin between the shoulder blades
using a needle and plunger, which is similar to a syringe,” he
said. “The needle is a rather large needle comparatively to what
would be used for a vaccine, but it usually does not require
sedation and is only transiently uncomfortable for the animal.”
Microchips, which are about the size of a grain of rice, can be
installed into dogs, cats, horses, ferrets, and most other mammals.
If you are considering microchipping your pet, consult your local
veterinarian to see which microchipping companies are most commonly
used in your area. Some chips are more universally read than
others, so it is important to consider which microchips your local
veterinarian and animal shelters can read. Finally, do not forget
to register your chip to your name and phone number. If you move to
another address or change phone numbers, you will be required to
update this information with your microchip’s company. A microchip
will only bring your pet home if your contact information is kept
up to date.
Although personalized collars have been traditionally used as a
method of identification in pets, microchipping is on the rise of
becoming the modern solution for lost animals. Even if your pet has
been microchipped, providing a collar for your pet is still
important. Remember to register your pet’s microchip to your name
and updated contact information in order for your pet to return
safely home if they ever become lost.
Pet Talk is a service of the College of Veterinary Medicine
& Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University. Stories can be
viewed on the Web at vetmed.tamu.edu/pet-talk. Suggestions for
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