What is a microchip, and how does it work?
Why You Should Microchip Your Pet?
Each year thousands of lost and abandoned animals are taken in by shelters and humane societies all over the world. Many of these animals never make it home because they can’t be identified. By microchipping your pet, you’ll dramatically improve your chance of being reunited if he or she goes missing or is stolen. It also helps provide proof of ownership once you show up at the rescue where they brought your pet to. Based on studies in the US the return-to-owner rate at shelters for microchipped cats was 20 times higher, and 2.5 times greater for microchipped dogs.
How is the microchip detected?
The specific electronic code embedded in the chip can be ‘read’ with a microchip scanner. It will display the identification number on the scanner’s screen. Although the microchips are inserted in a particular area on the pets, they might migrate, or move out of position with time. For that reason, the microchip reader will be passed over the entire body of the pet in order to ensure that the chip is detected if present.
Do I need to do anything once the microchip is implanted in my pet?
Once your pet has been microchipped, you will need to register your pet and add your name and contact information. The relevant documents and contact information will be provided to you by your veterinarian. He/she will also be able to tell you if there are any fees involved with the registration of the microchip. It is very important to register your pet’s microchip identification. Failure to do so will render the entire process useless, as the microchip number will not be associated with anyone.
Is it painful to insert the chip into my pet?
This is a procedure that is very fast, safe and relatively pain-free. As the needle used to insert the microchip is large, some people might choose to have this done at the time of spaying or neutering their pet, so that the animals won’t feel it at all as they are anesthetized for those procedures anyway. However, the microchip can be implanted at any time.
Isn’t a collar with identification tag enough for my pet?
Although it is useful to have a collar with identification tag for your pet, they can still fall off or break if your pet gets lost, or be removed if someone steals your animal. Also at the beginning when the identification tags are new, they are easy to read. However, with time they might become challenging to read as they get old and worn out.
What if my pet already has a tattoo?
Tattoos can be very difficult to read as they can become obscured by hair. Even when they are in the ears of the pet, they can become faded over time, and the numbers and letters can become unreadable. They could also be altered by someone, which is not the case with the microchips. Even if the tattoo is readable, there are no common databases for this information. So the information about the pet and its owner can be difficult to obtain.
Can a microchip work like a GPS?
Contrary to what many people believe, microchips cannot be used as tracking devices. They can be checked with a microchip scanner by a veterinarian or shelter organization and are a form of identification.
Microchips are IDs that cannot be tampered with and cannot be misread
Tags and collars can easily fall off or be removed if someone wishes to steal your precious pet. They could also be replaced by a thief easily. Microchips on the other hand are tamper-proof as they are inserted under the skin of your pet. The ID number stored on the microchip refers to a database entry and only authorized parties have access to this information, such as veterinary offices and animal shelters.
Your personal information is safe
As identity theft is becoming more of a problem in today’s society, rest assured that the information stored on the microchip and in the database is very safe. No data other than the unique reference number is stored on the chip itself. The details provided regarding this reference number will be accessible via the database managed and secured by the microchip provider.
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