Microchipping may save your pet’s life. When cats and dogs wander far from home or are stolen, you cannot rely on collars with identity tags as the only hope for reunification. Collars and tags can be taken off or easily lost. If your pet has a registered microchip, the two of you have a much greater chance of being reunited.
At Main Street Animal Hospital in Amelia, Ohio, we recommend microchipping for all cats and dogs. It saves you grief and stress if your pet goes missing.
Understanding the Technology
A pet microchip transmits information via a radio frequency sensor, which is sometimes referred to as an RFID device. The sensor resides inside a tiny glass tube about the size of a grain of rice that a veterinarian injects under the loose skin of a dog or cat’s shoulder blades.
The tube holds a radio transmitter and a miniscule digital chip containing a pet ID number that corresponds to the owner’s contact information within a database of microchip registries.
Although often referred to as a surgery, microchipping is an injection process. Our veterinarian staff is trained to perform these injections correctly and quickly, similar to a vaccination. Pain is minimal, as veterinarians know where and to what depth to insert the needle and how much pressure to apply.
Accessing Microchip Information
When people find a stray or lost pet, they can bring it to an animal clinic or shelter to check for a microchip. Veterinarians use electronic, hand-held scanners to find and read microchip ID numbers. After finding a microchip number, veterinarians or shelter workers input the number into multiple online registries. If an owner match is found, the registry with the match contacts the pet owner and hopefully a joyous reunion ensues. However, when animal clinics have no way of identifying pet ownership, lost pets may be put up for adoption or even face the unfortunate outcome of euthanasia if they cannot be adopted.
It is standard for shelters to scan all incoming animals for microchips. If you adopt a shelter pet, or get your pet microchipped, you will be given the chip registration information so you can update the corresponding contact information so your pet will always be traceable back to you.
Maintaining ID Tags
Microchipping is not a replacement for pet ID and rabies vaccination tags. When strangers find a lost pet, tags help them to trace the pet back to its owner. Without pet tags and collars, these good Samaritans may think the pet is a stray, and it might not occur to them to have the pet checked for a microchip. The pet may undergo getting their vaccinations again, not knowing that your pet was already up-to-date on shots, which may stress or harm.