Microchipping Your Pet

Microchipping your pet has become one of the most important parts of pet ownership.

When it comes to our pets, it is important that they wear or have some form of identification such as an ID tag, collar and/or a microchip.

The microchip is the only electronic form of permanent animal identification and contains its own unique numerical code which, when read by a digital scanner, is linked to your pet’s information.

Q: What Are Microchips?

Microchips are small devices, about the size of a large grain of rice and implanted underneath a pet’s skin, using passive radio-frequency identification technology and is also known as a PIT (passive integrated transponder) tag. When the microchip is scanned by a veterinarian or shelter, it transmits the ID number. There is no battery, no power required, and no moving parts.

Q: What Does The Implant Process Entail?

Microchips are implanted in a simple procedure by a veterinarian who uses a needle to place the microchip under the loose skin in between the shoulder blades. Standard pet microchips are typically 11-13 mm long and 2 mm in diameter. The whole procedure takes just a few seconds and is simple and pain-free.

Q: What Type Of Pets Can Be Microchipped?

While most common in cats and dogs, a wide variety of pets are eligible for microchipping.

Q: Where To Go To Microchip You Pet?

  • Your nearest veterinary clinic
  • SPCA
  • Animal Shelter

Q: Which Microchip Brand?

Study the difference in price, size and after-care service options. Ask your local shelter what brand of microchip they use and discuss the different options with your local veterinarian. Once you have decided which product will suit you best, diarize an annual update to ensure that your pet’s information is still visible and on the system that you have chosen.

Q: What Information Is On A Microchip?

A microchip only stores an identification number. The animal shelter or veterinary clinic that finds your pet would retrieve the identification number via a handheld scanner that reads the radio frequency of the chip and displays the information, then use that number to determine which company maintains your microchip in a private online database.

The animal shelter or veterinary clinic will then contact the microchip company for your contact information. The chip does not contain your contact information and address directly, therefore privacy concerns with microchips are basically nonexistent.

Q: Does A Microchip Store All Your Information?

No, a microchip does not store any of your information. The microchip only contains a unique 9, 10 or 15-digit number (think of it as your pet’s social security or identity number). For the microchip to work, it must be registered in an online registry, otherwise it is useless. The registration also needs to be updated if you move or change your phone number. If you adopt a pet from a shelter, make sure that your pet’s microchip is registered to you.

Q: Are Microchips And Scanners Universal?

No, not all microchips and scanners are “universal.” The 134.2 kHz is the ISO International Standard chip, which is the frequency that most parts of the world are already using. The scanner must pick up all three frequencies (the 125, 128 and 134.2), otherwise it is not universal.

Q: What Happens If A Pet Owner Moves Abroad Or The Pet Is Exported?

The pet will have to be re-registered in the database of the country of new residence.

Q: How Long Does A Microchip Last, Can It Be Removed Or Damaged?

The microchip is a tiny, internal and durable device which makes them nearly impossible to damage or removal. Microchips are designed to last a lifetime and function during any circumstances, and never deteriorate in your pet’s body. The microchip will have an expiry date on the packaging but this is purely for implantation purposes.

Q: Are There Side Effects To Microchipping?

Side effects, risks or complications can occur, but it is rare. Most adverse reactions involve a nodule (growth or lump of abnormal tissue) appearing under the skin where the microchip was implanted. Other potential risks include abscesses, infection, loss of hair and microchip dysfunction.

Q: Is A Microchip Also A GPS?

No, a microchip is not a GPS. Microchips do not contain a power source, and have no way to signal when your pet is lost. Only once a scanner is used, the microchip uses the energy produced by the scanner to emit a unique code, which appears on the scanner.

Q: Can Microchips Stop Working?

This is very rare. Microchips are very reliable devices that are designed to remain functional for the entire duration of the pet’s life.

Microchip your pets today and give them the best chance of coming back home to you!

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