Make it a New Years Resolution to Microchip your Pet
Posted January 12, 2017
your new year includes adding a furry friend to your family,
consider microchipping your new pet to help locate them if they
ever get lost. Dr. James Barr, clinical assistant professor at the
Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical
Sciences, said microchipping is one of the newest ways to locate
and identify lost animals.
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 device’s 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.
While many owners protect and identify their pet with a
personalized collar, there are many strong advantages to
microchipping your pet. 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.
“The biggest advantage is that a microchip can’t be lost,” Barr
said. “It allows access to detailed information about the pet and
its owner with a quick phone call to the device’s company.”
Barr also added that most microchips can be conveniently
installed at veterinarian offices and sometimes even spay and
neuter clinics. He further explained that the process of installing
a microchip is quick and does not hurt the animal, contrast to what
some might believe.
“A microchip is implanted under the skin between the shoulder
blades using a needle and plunger, which is similar to a syringe,”
Barr 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.
Though 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. To help prevent your
new furry companion from becoming lost this year, consider a
microchip that is registered to your name and updated contact
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.
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