Did you know that despite doing all we can to keep our animals safe, approximately one in three pets in the United States will become lost at some point during their lifetime? This is a scenario that no caring and committed owner wants to think about. By understanding that it is something that could happen, we can be proactive and take necessary precautions. One of the best ways of doing this is by microchipping your pet.
What are Pet Microchips?
Many owners are quite content with using collars and tags as identification for their beloved animal. While microchipping isn’t intended to replace this traditional and highly successful practice, it can complement it. Microchips are placed under your pet’s skin. They are about the same size as a grain of rice and impossible to locate precisely once they have been inserted. This makes them tamper-proof and accident-proof. While conventional tags and collars can be removed by thieves or can fall off, microchipping is permanent.
Why Should I Microchip My Pet?
Animals who are microchipped are significantly more likely to make it back home. Studies have shown that microchipping is also a much more effective and efficient way of reuniting pets with their owners. Since many animals look alike, ownership disputes are a fairly common occurrence in neighborhoods where there are a number of pets of the same type and breed. However, microchipping can also prove invaluable when it comes to proving who the rightful owner of your pet is. Although having your details on the chip is not proof of ownership, disputes nearly always go the way of the person who registered with the microchip provider.
How Do Pet Microchips Work?
Pet microchipping is a quick and painless process that is no different from your fur baby receiving a vaccine. The microchip itself is contained within a glass capsule no larger than a grain of rice. It is implanted under the skin, usually between your pet’s shoulder blades. Once in place, it can be left for the duration of your pet’s lifetime.
Each microchip contains just two pieces of information: a unique reference number and the name of the microchip provider. When a lost pet is found, a veterinarian, shelter or other animal professional with access to an RFID scanner will be able to scan the area between the shoulder blades to check for the presence of a microchip. The scanner will activate the chip, which is otherwise dormant, and the unique number and the name of the microchip provider will be displayed on the scanner’s screen. The service scanning the animal can then contact the chip provider to obtain the personal information relating to that unique reference number which is contained on a secure database. Finally, the owner can be contacted and told that their pet has been found.
Are My Personal Details Safe?
Naturally, many people are concerned about the safety of their personal information. Rest assured that microchip providers invest a great deal of money and expertise into their security systems. There are protocols in place to ensure that no one can access your personal details without bypassing stringent security measures. You can also choose how much information to give your microchip provider. Many owners choosing only to divulge their name, city and contact number to minimize the risk of identity theft.
Is Pet Microchipping Safe?
Although there is a slight risk associated with any implanted device, the microchip used contains no moving parts and lies dormant until it comes into contact with an RFID scanner. Contrary to what many people believe, there is no evidence to support the theory that pet microchipping causes the development of any health problems. Experts agree that the benefits of microchipping animals far outweigh the minuscule risks attached to the process.
To ensure your pet is returned to you if they get lost, request an appointment with one of our veterinarians at Metropolitan Veterinary Hospital to get your pet microchipped. We proudly service the pets in Tacoma, Washington and surrounding areas. Give us a call at 253-274-0225 to make an appointment.