What Is a Microchip for Pets?
August 15th is National Check The Chip Day, a holiday dedicated to reminding pet parents to have their four-legged friends microchipped and to keep their registration information current.
A microchip for pets is a small device, nearly the size of a grain of rice, implanted under the animal’s skin just between the shoulder blades. This process is quick, easy, and done with a needle, similar to a typical injection. These tiny transponders use radiofrequency waves to transmit information about your pet and are highly effective in helping to bring your beloved best friend home safely should they ever find themselves lost. In fact, a study of over 7,700 stray animals at shelters discovered that dogs without chips were returned to their owners only 21.9% of the time, but microchipped dogs were returned 52.2% of the time. Safe to say we’re thankful for this technology!
How Do Pet Microchips Work?
Each chip contains an ID number and the phone number of the registry for the particular brand of chip. Say your pet is lost, and someone in the area picks them up off the street. Their first instinct will likely be to take them to a local clinic, animal shelter, or humane society, where they have access to the handheld scanners that enable a pet microchip lookup.
The microchip uses a radio frequency known as RFID to transmit the ID number stored within it to the handheld scanning device. Suppose the pet microchip lookup is successful and a registered chip is found. In that case, the device will display the pet’s unique number across the screen, and the shelter or veterinary clinic can then contact the pet microchip registry to get your name and phone number.
Consider the microchip to be like a GPS, only in this case; it doesn’t require a power source, so there are never any batteries to charge or replace. Go, technology, once again!
Pet Microchip Registry
The first step is getting your pet chipped… but remember that microchipping alone is not enough. The next step is to register the pet’s microchip with the manufacturer in the pet microchip registry and keep your contact information current, especially if you change your number or move to a new address. In this case, you will need to contact the company registering the chip to update your information. The device serves no purpose if you neglect to enter the info in the pet microchip registry. If you need to update your contact information, and don’t know the name of the chip registry, don’t worry. Any vet or shelter will be able to detect the chip and tell you the brand. Once you have this information, all you have to do is contact the corresponding pet microchip registry and update the information and voila! Let’s hear it one more time for technology.
Ultimately, sometimes it just happens — pets get out and get lost, but we have one simple tip: get the chip! Each of our AZPetVet locations offers the option to microchip for pets. Help protect your best pals and reach out to set up an appointment today!