Most Frequently Asked Questions About Microchipping Pets

benefits of microchipping pets

Did you know that microchipping pets for identification was first introduced in the U.K. in 1989 and later spread to the U.S. and the world?

Losing a pet is a harrowing experience that any pet parent would hate to go through. There are over 10 million pets that get lost every year in the U.S. alone. Despite these numbers, you can take steps to ensure that your pet returns to you. The answer is microchipping.

Microchipping is simple and effective and allows the identification of your pet when it runs away. However, most pet parents are unaware of the benefits of microchipping their pets.

A study found that 52.2 percent of 8,000 dogs with microchips found by a shelter were returned to their owners. Only 21.9 percent without microchips were returned to their owners. The numbers are scarier for cats because 38.5 percent with microchips were returned. Around 1.8 percent were returned without microchips.

Here are some frequently asked questions about microchipping pets

A Microchip, What Is It?

A microchip is a tiny electronic device encased in glass that can fit on your fingertip. It does not have a built-in power source; instead, the scanner activates it when passing over it. It responds to the radio frequency that the scanner emits. The company embeds an identification number in the microchip, which displays on the scanner.

How Do Microchips Work?

The identification number in the microchip is your dog's or cat's permanent ID number. It links directly to your contact information on a database owned by the microchip company. When the vet or shelter scans the microchip, they relay the information to the company and receive your contact information.

How Do They Implant a Microchip?

The vet will use a hypodermic needle to implant the chip under your pet's skin. The needle is slightly larger than regular needles, but the procedure is no more painful than a regular injection. Your pet does not need anesthesia, and the procedure can be performed during a regular veterinary visit to Chaparral Veterinary Medical Center.

Are There Side Effects?

Millions of pets receive microchips yearly, and pet parents report minimal side effects. According to research, the benefits outweigh the side effects. However, some side effects can be that the injection site can become tender for about 24 hours after. Also, some pets begin to form abscesses or tumor encapsulation at the site. However, these are rare occurrences.

Do Microchips Allow You to Track Pets?

Microchips are not GPS-enabled; they are radio frequency identification devices. Their job is primarily identification of the pet.

What Information Can You Store on the Microchip?

The minimum information stored on the microchip is the identification number. It does not often contain medical information, but some databases allow you to store it. Some microchips, like those used in livestock, will transmit temperature information.

Is My Contact Information Safe?

You do not have to worry about privacy when you give your information to the microchipping company. You can provide only the necessary information, and the microchip company takes steps to ensure that your data is safe.

What Is Microchip Frequency?

This is the frequency needed to activate the microchip in your pet.

For more on the most frequently asked questions about microchipping pets, visit Chaparral Veterinary Medical Center at our office in Cave Creek, Arizona. Call 480-595-8600 to book an appointment today.