Pets with microchips are more than twice as likely to find their way home than pets that aren't. Unfortunately, the vast majority of America's pets still are not microchipped. If those pets get lost, they can't tell whoever finds them where they live. A microchip can. Here's how it works:
A microchip is a tiny implant about the size of a grain of rice that is implanted under the skin between the shoulder blades. Each microchip is coded with unique ID number, almost like a social security number for pets. Unlike a collar, tattoo, or tag, a microchip will never wear out, break, or become difficult to read, and its information cannot be altered. Although microchips don't work like a GPS, meaning you can't use them to track down your pet's exact location, a microchip can be quickly scanned by a universal scanner at any shelter or vet's office, instantly linking your pet with your contact information so they can be returned home safely.
Is it safe? Microchips are specially designed to stay in place and not migrate through the body. They also are made with nonreactive materials so the body doesn't even know one has been implanted, and they do not contain any batteries or chemicals. A microchip only emits a signal when in the presence of a microchip scanner.
Does it hurt? The implantation process itself is actually very similar to a routine shot and only takes a few seconds. In fact, it can be done during a regular office visit. Your pet will feel a brief pinch from the needle, and that's it! There is no recovery time or side effects, other than some mild soreness at the injection site.
Is it expensive? Microchipping generally costs around $30-$50 including registration.
Is there an annual fee to stay registered? There is a one-time registration fee for any chip in order to store your contact information. This fee covers lifetime registration for your pet in the online database. After that, many companies will offer extended protection packages that include things like distributing "Lost Pet" flyers to local shelters on your behalf or transporting your pet back home after he is located, even if it is several towns (or states!) away. These extras are simply that, though, extras. After the first year, which automatically includes these freebies, don't feel obligated to pay a subscription fee if you don't want to.
If your pet is not already microchipped, we strongly encourage you to think about it, and not just because it is "Chip Your Pet" Month. If your pet goes missing, there is no more reliable or affordable way to make sure he gets returned to you safe and sound. Call us today to schedule an appointment!