Did you know that one in three pets will be lost in their lifetime? Microchipping is the most reliable and permanent form of identification for your pet. A microchip is a safe, simple form of identification that can significantly increase the chance that your four-legged friend is returned safely to you. It is contained in a capsule, smaller than a grain of rice, and implanted just under the skin with a sterile applicator and is non-toxic, hypoallergenic and completely safe.
The chip transmits radio waves with an animal-specific tracking number that, when registered, identifies the pet’s name and owner contact information. “As a temporary holding facility for pets found by the Darien Police Department, we love it when they and their families are reunited after having been missing”, said Dr. Jeffrey D. Palmer, DVM, co-owner of Burr Ridge Veterinary Clinic. “These stories wouldn’t have a happy ending, however, if lost pets were never microchipped or if the microchip contained inaccurate or out-of-date information.”
Our veterinarians and staff recommend microchipping dogs and cats and to keep the contact information registered with their pet’s microchip company up to date. Here are four things you should know about microchips:
–Does my pet need a microchip if he has an id tag? Although an id tag worn on a collar can be the first line of identification defense, pets can become easily separated from their collar and tag and tags may become unreadable. A microchip is a permanent identification system so when lost pets are scanned and a microchip is found by the police, animal control facilities, shelters or veterinary clinics, there’s a better chance they will be reunited with their family.
—Do microchips track my pet’s location? A microchip is a Radio Frequency Identification Device (RFID), not a GPS tracking device. Microchips don’t require a power source and are easily scanned with a reading device that identifies the chip’s manufacturer and the pet’s account number. This information can be entered into an online microchip lookup and recovery service or called into the manufacturer’s lost pet hotline who will contact you with details about your pet’s location.
–Is microchipping painful? Microchips are typically implanted while your pet is under general anesthesia during spay or neuter surgery, but can be placed without anesthesia at any time. When a microchip is implanted before or after these surgeries, a local anesthetic is applied to the implant area – between the shoulder blades – and only a short “pinch” is felt. Side effects of microchip implantation are very rare but can include temporary swelling at the injection site or migration (localized movement of the chip under the skin).
–When should I update my pet’s microchip information? Microchips implanted at BRVC are automatically registered by our veterinary care professionals and you’ll receive a customized tag including the microchip number. Make sure anytime you move or add or change your phone number that you update your information with the manufacturer’s microchip registry. There may be a fee associated with re-registering a chip, but it’s usually small and varies depending on the company.
For more information about microchipping, please call us at (630) 598-0600.