How do Pet Microchips Work?

Our pets are very much beloved and cherished family members, and as caring and responsible owners, we want to ensure that we are doing everything that we can to keep our furry, feathered or scaly friends safe from harm. This includes preventing them from becoming lost or having measures in place to make it more likely that owner and animal can be reunited should they somehow be separated.

Although pet microchipping has been around a fair while, a surprising number of people are unfamiliar with how the process works and exactly how the procedure can benefit their pet.

Here is everything you need to know about pet microchipping.

What are pet microchips and how do they work?

A microchip that inserted into a pet is a permanent method of electronic identification. When you choose your microchip provider, your personal details are entered onto a secure database and then assigned a unique ID number. This ID number is the only information placed on to the chip.

Each chip is about the same size as a grain of rice and contains computer circuitry that lays dormant until it comes in very close proximity to an RFID (radio frequency identification) scanner. When this happens, it activates the chip which transmits the unique number. This enables the person doing the scanning to look up the ID on the database and find the personal information of the animal’s rightful, registered owner.

What happens if my personal details change or pet’s ownership changes?

If your pet is rehomed with someone else, or your own personal information such as your address or phone number changes, it is very simple and straightforward to sort out. You will just need to get in contact with your chip provider with the new details, and these will be updated on the database. Nothing needs to happen to the microchip or your pet.

Where does the microchip get placed?

In most pets, microchips are inserted into the fatty layer of skin between your pet’s shoulder blades. However, for more unusual pets, other locations may be required. The process of insertion is the same as a regular vaccination, it is over in seconds and your pet should not be adversely affected in any way.

Is microchipping safe?

It is understandable to have concerns about placing a microchip in to your pet’s body. However, research shows that it is a very safe practice. The chip remains dormant until it is activated, and the risk associated with placing it are minimal and outweighed by the benefits associated with chipping.

Benefits of microchipping your pet

The most obvious benefit of microchipping your pet is that it enables you to be reunited should your animal be lost or stolen. In the unfortunate event that your pet runs away, is lost or stolen and passes away but is found, it can help bring much-needed closure to your family.

Other benefits of microchipping your pet include:

  • It discourages pets from being stolen. Many owners make it well known that their animal is microchipped, and this can deter thieves as microchipped pets are harder to sell on to new buyers.
  • It is an easy way to settle ownership disputes. It can be very difficult to tell the rightful owner of an animal since many look alike and may not respond appropriately to their owner over a stranger. However, if your pet is chipped, you will be known as the rightful owner.

If you would like more information about pet microchipping, or to arrange to get your pet chipped, please contact our veterinarian.

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