Thursday, July 7, 2011

Microchipping your pet: Is it the best way to keep track of your wandering loved one?

Up to 8 million animals end up in shelters every year. Unfortunately only about 20% of dogs and less than 2% of cats are ever reclaimed by their owners. One way to increase the chances of finding your lost pet is by having a microchip implanted.
  • It's quick! Implanting can be  done in seconds. It doesn't have to be done by a veterinarian but it is recommended, since it does matter where you put it and how you inject it.
  • It's almost painless! It hurts about as much as getting blood drawn. It is a large needle so there is a pinch. 
  • It's affordable! If you are going to the vet for just one microchip the procedure will be about $50. Scheduling the procedure with your pet's routine check up or other treatment will probably cost even less because you have already paid for the office visit. Local animal shelters and rescue groups do it for less so it might be worthwhile to check it out.
Louise Murray, DVM, director of medicine at ASPCA's Bergh Memorial Hospital in New York City explains how micro chipping works:
What is Micro Chipping:
A needle is used to place a little chip under the animal's skin, usually between the shoulder blades. The chipm as a unique number on it that can be picked up and read by a scanner.
Will the Chip help me get my pet back is lost?
Yes, but only if someone takes them to a shelter or veterinarian's office to be scanned for a chip. Some people think it is like a tracker or GPS device but it only works if scanned.Once they get the chip number and the company that made the chip, the shelter or staff will contact that company to find the owner. Remember to keep your contact information current otherwise they will not be able to locate you.
Do all scanners used by Shelters pick up all microchips?
No, there are more universal scanners now but some work better than others. Not all shelters have universal scanners that work well and the personnel using the scanner need to know how and where to scan. Chips can migrate so they need to scan the body thoroughly--easier said than done sometimes.
Do all Shelters scan for microchips when they find a pet?
All Shelters should scan a pet and they should do it with a universal scanner but there is no guarantee that all shelters do this.
If my pet is micro chipped does he need a tag too?
Yes, A microchip is only part of your pet's identification system. Your pet should also have a collar with tags on it. You can't assume that the person that finds your pet will know anything about microchips but if your phone number is right there everyone knows what to do.


  1. microchip implant for pet!!!!
    its really fool-proof way to keep track of pets..

  2. Thanks so much for your comment animal hospital!