Security microchipping for your pet

Choosing to microchip your pet can be one of the best investments you'll make in its safety and security. Microchips will allow your animal to permanently carry your contact information within its body. If your pet is ever lost and recovered by an animal welfare group or turned over to a veterinarian, scanners used by these professionals can reveal registration numbers on the chip that will lead back to you. In some ways, it's the next-best thing to a homing beacon for a missing pet. Their ubiquity and relatively low cost make microchips a protection option that all pet owners should consider.

Microchipping: The Basics

A microchip implant is a tiny, electronic chip that is inserted into an animal. The chip contains information, usually in the form of numbers, that helps identify the pet. When an animal goes missing and is recovered, a special scanner used by veterinarians, animal shelters, or humane societies can scan the chip, read the unique code, and compare it to a database to try to locate the pet's owner. Implanting a microchip in a pet can greatly increase the chances that it will be returned if it ever escapes from an owner's watchful eye.

Is it Harmful?

While it bears a potentially intimidating name, microchipping is quite safe. A microchip can be inserted into an animal using a simple needle. The area between the shoulder blades usually holds the device. Very rarely, a microchip may migrate to other parts of an animal's body after its initial insertion, but it can still be read by a scanner if a professional is thorough with the identification process. While most microchips work in the same way, specific manufacturers require different scanners and have separate databases for pet registration information. To increase your chances that your pet will find its way back home, talk to your veterinarian and local animal shelter groups to determine which microchip is most popular in the city in which you live.

Keeping Your Pet Safe

Updating your personal and contact information associated with the microchip every time you move or change phone numbers is an incredibly important aspect of keeping your pet safe. It can help guarantee that your pet will return to you. When registering and updating your information, contact the manufacturer of the microchip so that your details can be entered into their database. You may also look into other, independent organizations that collect microchip information, like national registries. Remember that microchips do not take the place of legible collar tags. While microchips can help professionals who work with animals return your pet to you, average people who find your pet in public spaces may be able to reunite you with your animal just by reading its collar tags.

Candidates for Microchipping

Pet owners looking for another way to protect their animals in highly populated areas often invest in this procedure to spare their beloved furry friends an extended stay in an animal shelter. Dogs and cats are very common recipients of microchips. Other types of animals, however, can also be microchipped. Several different mammals, from small ferrets to large horses, can benefit from the procedure. Birds can even successfully obtain an implant, as long as they meet a weight requirement of at least 65 grams.

Where to Get Your Pet Microchipped

Microchipping can be done by many organizations, including animal shelters, humane societies, and pet welfare groups. These establishments can often offer discounts for pet owners who want to obtain the service because of their interest in controlling the stray animal population. In addition, pet owners may receive a discounted microchipping procedure if they obtain it while having other services performed on their pets at the same time. Many pet experts, however, recommend that the procedure be performed by a licensed veterinarian. A benefit of choosing a veterinarian to implant a microchip is that a pet may experience a reduction in anxiety, if the animal is already accustomed to its own doctor.


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