The movie Homeward Bound details the arduous journey three pets (2 dogs, 1 feisty cat) make to reunite with beloved family. Part of the reason the story is so compelling is because each human and animal character is absolutely heartbroken about the unpredictable separation – and for good reason. The human-animal bond is so rich and nuanced, it’s downright terrible when a pet gets lost or turns up missing. The good news is that microchipping your pet can guard against such a fate, and can facilitate a quick and easy reunion.
Chipped and Ready
Before they are available for adoption, many pets are spayed or neutered, fully vaccinated, up to date on parasite prevention medication, and microchipped. All of these things help towards placing a pet in a new home.
Are They Safe?
Microchipping your pet is one of the best things you can do to prevent permanent separation, but the practice raises concerns with some pet owners. The chips themselves are small. In fact, they’re about the same size as a grain of rice. Additionally, microchips are:
- Encapsulated inside a biocompatible glass sheath
- Inert (they do not contain a battery source)
- Simply keepers of information; they only transmit information when scanned
- Good for life (they will not break, wear down, or expire)
- Not a replacement for a collar and ID tags, but chips help if/when a pet loses their own collar/tags
How They Work
Microchips use radio frequency identification (RFID) technology in order to work. Using radio waves and electromagnetic forces, they can transmit your pet’s tag when scanned by a special microchip scanner. The scanner energizes the chip, the chip sends radio signals back to the scanner, and their unique number is revealed on an LCD screen.
Then, the Critical Part
It’s not enough to simply microchip your pet. Pet owners must register their pet’s chip directly with the chip’s manufacturer, and provide pertinent contact information. This information is entered into a national database.
If your pet is ever placed in a shelter, they will be scanned. The number on the scanner screen is entered into the national database registry. The agency that runs the database will contact you regarding your pet’s location.
Please be sure to update your pet’s microchip information if your name, phone number, and address change in the future.
Benefits of Microchipping Your Pet
Inserting the chip is relatively quick, easy, and similar in sensation to a routine vaccination. It is typically placed in the back of the neck between the two shoulder blades. Located just beneath the topmost layer of skin, you may be able to feel it from time to time, but it won’t move from where it was planted.
Microchipping your pet comes with numerous, far-reaching and significant benefits. Our staff at Dupont Veterinary Clinic is happy to discuss this with you further if you have any questions or concerns.