Microchipping your pets is important for their safety, and if you’ve been hesitating, we’ve outlined some things to consider.
- Why should you microchip? Approximately ten million pets get lost each year. Microchipping increases the chances of your pet being reunified with you. Collars and tags break or come off, especially those which release when caught. A permanent microchip keeps contact information with your pet, but use a collar and tag for backup.
- Are microchips harmful? The device is approximately the size of a grain of rice. Inserting it under the skin is akin to giving them a vaccination.
- What information does a microchip store? Each microchip id tag assigns a unique number to your pet, like a social security number. Your information is stored on the registry’s database, not the microchip itself.
- The shelter microchipped my pet – isn’t that enough? Probably not. It might still be registered to the shelter or even a previous owner. Updating the registry will allow your pet to be returned to you.
- Do microchips have GPS? No, it is considered a passive transponder, since it does not have a power source. A scanner causes the microchip to emit its code, which is put into the database to find your contact information.
Microchips come in several frequencies. If you are looking into microchipping for the first time, ask about the international standard chip, which operates at 134.2 kHz (kiloHertz). Most of the world uses this frequency, and the US is moving toward this being the most
common one as well.
Beyond dogs and cats, which other kinds of pets can be microchipped? Goats, rabbits, miniature pigs, llamas, alpacas, sheep, reptiles and fish, and even birds. If you think your pet might get out of the house and run away, microchipping is a small price to pay to find
them. Register on multiple databases for added security.
Microchips are permanent and cannot fall out. A veterinary clinic or shelter can look for them and contact you for quick reunification with your lost pet. Microchip lookup results in cats being reunited with owners 20 times more frequently than those without, and dogs with microchips are returned 2.5 times more.
Lastly, make sure to keep it registered on the national database, and update your contact information if you move. Without registering your microchip, it will not be able to do its job.