A Boxer standing in the grass

Given the chance, most pet owners would do anything to guarantee their pet’s safety. This explains why we go to extremes to prepare our homes, work spaces, and garden areas. 

But beyond securing a strong fence and gate, or checking all window screens and doorways, there is an additional way to prevent an accidental separation from your pet. One extra step – beyond a collar with ID tag – is microchipping your pet.

The Details of Pet Microchips

Pet microchips are transponders. No bigger than a single grain of rice, they can be quickly implanted between the shoulder blades, just beneath the skin in the subcutaneous tissue. Microchips do not:

  • Move throughout the body
  • Have a power source
  • Break down (in fact, most chips can last 25 years!)
  • Transmit GPS signals
  • Require anesthesia (although some owners elect to have it done during their pet’s spay or neuter)

How They Work

Every microchip has a unique registration number and a phone number of the chip’s registry. When a microchip scanner is focused on the shoulder blades, the chip’s radio frequency sends the information to the scanner’s screen. The person operating the scanner can then enter the information in the microchip database to locate the pet’s owner(s).

Strange Fate

Animals tend to bolt through doors or hop over fences, and the rate of incidence depends on the season. It could be that they’re responding to a fight or flight instinct during thunderstorms or fireworks, or simply trying to catch the neighborhood squirrel taunting them on the other side of the fence. 

Sometimes wandering or lost-looking pets are picked up by concerned citizens, or by animal control units. If they are not wearing the collar and ID tags (which can come off or be removed), there’s no other way to find where they belong. Most veterinary hospitals and animal shelters are equipped with microchip scanners to facilitate a return home.

But Wait, There’s More

Microchipping your pet is one of the best things you can do to protect them. However, it is every owner’s responsibility to register their contact information with the chip’s manufacturer. 

If you change any contact information, it must be updated with the microchip’s registry. Without this crucial step contact information won’t be revealed if your pet is ever separated from you and scanned. In other words, without registration your pet’s microchip will not keep them out of an animal shelter.

It should be noted that there are different chips and various registries. Luckily, universal cip readers are now the norm.

Microchipping Your Pet

Microchipping your pet is not a substitute for your pet’s collar and ID tags. Instead, their chip acts as an added layer of defense against accidental loss or separation.

If you have any questions about microchipping your pet, please contact us. Team Parkside is always here for you at Parkside Animal Hospital.