Should You Microchip Your Pet?

If your dog or cat ran away from home, you would do anything to get them back. Would you microchip your pet if it meant you could find them more easily? If your pet doesn’t have a microchip already, you probably haven’t figured out the answer to that question.

When you microchip your pet, it can feel like a big step. You wonder if the process is painful. You’re concerned that it might not work. It makes sense to find answers to your questions before moving forward. We want to help so we’re providing information to assist you in making your decision.

What is a Pet Microchip?

Your veterinarian inserts a small chip beneath your pet’s skin, usually between the shoulder blades. Microchips are coated with bio-compatible glass or lime and are about the size of a large grain of rice. The chips are passive RFID transponders. They require no battery or other power source.

How Does A Microchip Help Locate Your Pet?

After a vet implants your pet’s microchip, you enter your information into a registry. When a shelter, vet, or organization scans your lost pet, they access your information.

Microchips are particularly beneficial if you take your pet on road trips and vacations. If they wander away while you’re in another city or state, you’ll have a better chance of finding them.

Should You Microchip Your Cat? quotes a study that says only 2% of lost unchipped cats reunite with their families. Microchips are important for indoor and outdoor cats as they rarely wear identification. When a house cat wanders away, their lack of familiarity with the outside world often prevents them from finding their way back home.

Do You Have to Perform Chip Maintenance?

Once the vet inserts your pet’s chip is in place, bodily tissues enclose it, keeping it in place. The chips occasionally migrate so it’s important to check it periodically. You can ask your vet to check it during an annual wellness check-up. You can use “National Check The Chip Day” as your annual reminder to make sure you pet’s chip is in place.

Are There any Cautions You Should Consider?

Pet owners and vets rarely report problems. There are still a few issues to consider before you commit to microchipping your pet.

  • Both pet owners and vets describe the microchip insertion process as minimally painful or pain-free. Your pet is the only one who can confirm this.
  • Microchips do not include GPS technology to track or locate your pet. It simply reads information and matches it to a database.
  • If your pet gains weight, the excess fat can render the chip unreadable.
  • When you microchip your pet, his body might react to the microchip with an inflammatory response or an infection. This is a rare side effect.
  • If you fail to update your contact information, it will be impossible to locate you when someone finds your pet.
  • Your pet should still wear a collar and tags. The person who finds them won’t have to locate an organization with scanning equipment to reunite you with your pet.
  • Chip frequencies vary so some scanners can’t read incompatible chips. Fortunately, universal chip scanners are minimizing scanner/chip frequency incompatibility issues. The ISO has also set standards for manufacturing a chip that would be readable worldwide.

Contact Hebron Veterinary Hospital

Visit our contact page or call us at (860) 228-4324 to learn more about pet microchips or to schedule a checkup or wellness care visit.