Taking preventive measures by having your pet microchipped can help to increase your chances of being reunited with your companion in the event that they go missing. Here, our Egg Harbor Township vet team talks about microchipping for companion animals and how it works.
What is a Microchip?
Microchips are tiny radio-frequency identification (RFID) chips. They are approximately the size of a grain of rice. In dogs and cats, they are usually placed under the skin on the back, between the shoulder blades.
The implant process is minimally invasive; the chip is implanted with a needle, and no surgery is required. We know that you may wonder 'Is microchipping painful?', and we are glad to share that it may only cause slight discomfort in some cases.
Once your cat has been microchipped, you register the chip's serial number and your pet's information with the company that produced the chip. By matching your cat's information with the serial number of the microchip, if your pet is found, they can be traced back to you.
What is the microchipping process?
When it's time to insert the microchip the vet will compare the number on the transponder to the number on the packaging to ensure accuracy. They will then proceed with the insertion using the following steps:
- The needle with the microchip will be prepared using the decided method of delivery and your dog will be positioned for the injection.
- Your dog should be either standing or lying on their stomach for insertion which typically occurs between the shoulder blades.
- The vet will pull up the loose skin between the shoulders and swiftly insert the needle into the skin.
- At this time the microchip will be implanted into your dog's skin.
- Your vet will then scan the microchip to ensure that it is reading correctly.
What information does a microchip store?
Unfortunately, the microchip cannot act as a GPS tracker, but it will contain identification numbers. These identification numbers will allow the clinic to scan the microchip to access your contact information in the event that your pet is found and brought to them.
How does microchipping for pets work?
Microchips are read using a special scanner, which most veterinarians and shelters have. In the past, different brands of chips required different scanners, but modern universal scanners can read all modern types of chips, regardless of their brand. When the scanner is passed over the pet's back and sides the microchip will transmit its identification number to the scanner.
The rescuer will then contact the national database, which in turn will contact the owner of the pet (that's you!) and take the next steps to reunification with your pooch. Microchips are not only valuable for returning lost cats and dogs but are also very helpful when it comes to proving ownership.
Is microchipping safe for animals?
While we understand the concerns that may be present when your beloved companion receives an injection of any type, we can assure you that the benefits of microchipping far outweigh the risks.
The chance of a negative reaction to a microchip is very low as is the chance that the chip cannot be read. This is why we perform a test scan of every microchip as soon as it has been implanted.
Preventive Care at Newkirk Family Veterinarians
Our team in Egg Harbor Township focuses on preventive care to protect pets from the disorders and diseases that are common among companion animals.
We will work with you closely to establish an individualized preventive health care plan designed to meet your pet's unique needs.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes only and Newkirk Family Veterinarians does not provide microchipping services as of the time this was written.