Hanford Veterinary Hospital Blog
Permanent ID: Why Microchipping is Your Best Chance at Finding a Missing Pet
After we covered the ins-and-outs of dealing with a pet escape artist, the natural follow-up would be to focus on the solution. At Hanford Veterinary Hospital we believe one of the best solutions to dealing with a possible missing pet is microchipping.
These days, it’s rare to adopt a pet who doesn’t come with a microchip (as well as already being vaccinated and spayed/neutered). That’s because most of us in the animal care profession understand that microchipping is vital to reuniting pets with their owners. There are hundreds of thousands of pets who end up in shelters each year because they’ve been separated from their families.
A microchip is a tiny chip, or radio transponder, that emits only radio frequency (not GPS), much like the chip in your credit card. It can only be read by a corresponding wand that picks up on the signal and “reads” the unique identification associated with your pet. The microchip is encased in a biocompatible capsule and will remain in your pet’s body for life, making it a permanent assurance of identification.
Implanting the Microchip
In most cases, an implant occurs during a surgery, such as spay or neuter. However, if your pet has not been microchipped, it’s as simple as an in-office procedure that’s equivalent to receiving a normal vaccine (what a relief!). The microchip is implanted using a syringe and is placed between the shoulder blades, closer to the base of the neck.
Most pets don’t even notice the procedure (and we give lots of hugs, pets, and maybe a few treats as a reward!). This quick and easy process does not require anesthesia and can be done during your pet’s regular wellness exam.
The Very Important Next Step
As you might imagine, the process of gaining permanent ID for your pet doesn’t just stop with the implantation. In order for the procedure to be useful, it’s necessary to register your pet with the manufacturer right away. This ensures your pet gets listed in the database. Along with information about your pet, you’ll be asked to include all relevant contact information in the event your pet goes missing. This information is what makes microchipping effective – and it’s easy to complete and maintain. We’ll send you home with a mailable form or you can fill one out online.
Each time your information changes, you must update the registry. We suggest setting up a reminder each month to check your current information, such as your cell phone and address.
Microchipping Can Reunite a Missing Pet With Their Owner
The stats are all about it! Over 52% of dogs who are microchipped are reunited with their owners versus 22% who aren’t. With cats, an astounding increase of 38% of microchipped pets are found versus only 2% of those without microchips. With such a simple, straightforward procedure at your disposal, why wouldn’t you consider microchipping your furry best friend?
Please let us know if you have additional questions about microchipping or would like more tips on how to prevent a missing pet scare. We’re always here for you!