Microchipping Could Save your Pet's Life
A microchip ID is a small transmitter about the size of a grain of rice. When a scanner passes over it, a signal is emitted indicating the unique identification number of the chip. This tiny but sturdy little implant can reunite you with a lost pet, serve as proof of ownership in a dispute, or even mean the difference between euthanasia and medical care in an emergency. In many communities, it is not legal to own an unmicrochipped dog and in many communities shelters automatically microchip any pet that is released through its doors for adoption.
Microchipping has been around for over twenty years yet there is still some resistance to chipping in the pet-owning public. Hopefully the information listed below will help to clear up any confusion you may have regarding microchipping your pet. If you require any additional information or would like to schedule an appointment to have your pet "chipped", feel free to call our office.
Microchip Implantation: Basically a Shot
The microchip ID is small enough to pass through a fairly large needle made for this purpose. Microchips are generally shipped in an individually packaged syringe made for chip implantation. Implantation is basically a shot and, if you like, it can be done in the examination room while you watch. The needle is fairly large so sometimes there is a yipe but, more often then not, the reaction is minimal. Chips can be implanted in newborn animals to assist in telling them apart. Some people like to wait until the pet is being spayed or neutered so as to be anesthetized for the rather large needle but waiting runs the risk of the pet escaping unidentified so it is a good idea to implant the chip as soon as possible.
A common misconception is that the chip implantation requires surgery. In fact, a chip can be implanted in a matter of seconds while you wait.
What Information is Encoded on the Chip?
Only the unique identification number is encoded on the chip. None of your personal information is on the chip. The chip number is similar to a vehicle identification number on a car. It is registered in a central registry just as a car is registered and it is the central registry that has your personal information (name, address, phone number, alternate contact, pet description etc.).
Can a Microchip be Used to Locate a Lost Pet?
No. A microchip is not a location device. At the present time, GPS collars are available but their use is limited by the fact that a collar can be removed or can come off.
A microchip is an identification device, not a locator.
How Much Will it Cost to Have the Microchip Number Registered?
At Polk County Animal Hospital, the cost of a microchip implant also includes the registration fee with HomeAgain. In other words, your pet's microchip comes with a lifetime registration in the database as well as one year of HomeAgain membership.
Still have questions? Call our office to discuss any questions or concerns you may have regarding microchipping. A staff member will be happy to assist you.