National Chip Your Pet Month:
Your 8 Most Common Questions Answered
Should you “microchip” your pet? It’s a question that comes up a lot. Vets are asked almost every visit, and it first came out, we were nervous too. But a lot has changed and technology has gotten so much better. There really has been no better time to microchip your pet than now. And what better month to bring awareness to it than National Chip Your Pet Month. At Deceased Pet Care, we want to spend as much time with our pets as humanly possible, and microchipping is a way to do that. Still, there are so many questions… we hope our list helps you navigate the uncertainty, and lead you to making an educated decision on what is best for you and your pet.
1. What is microchipping?
Microchipping is the practice of injecting a small microchip encased in glass into your pet. It usually the size of a grain of rice and placed in the space between the shoulder blades.
2. Why should I microchip my pet?
Sadly, no matter what precautions you take, there is a chance you could lose your pet at some time during their lives. And while a good neighborhood search or some posters usually do the trick, a pet that is gone for more than just a few hours is less and less likely to find its way home.
Of the 7,700 lost pets last year, only 22% of those without microchips were returned to their owners. Those owners who had their pet’s microchipped saw an increase to over 53%! I don’t know about you, but I would much rather have a 1 in 2 chance than 1 in 5 of seeing my favorite companion again.
3. How does microchipping work?
Contrary to popular belief, a microchip is not a GPS tracking device. It is not used to pinpoint your pet’s exact location. Instead it is a record and information holder in case your pet is picked up and delivered to a local shelter or vet. You vet will scan for the chip and pull up your pet’s unique identification number in the pet database. This will then give your vet or shelter the most up to date contact information for you.
The microchip uses a radio frequency (RFID) to transmit information, and therefore require not battery or power source. It will in turn, last the lifetime of your pet without a need for replacement or maintenance.
4. Can’t I just use a tag then?
While both tags and microchips essentially provide the same information, a microchip is a permanent solution. There is no risk of your pet removing the collar or tag in a time of panic, the information being scratched off or faded, or simply removed by someone wanting to take your pet home. While microchips are not a replacement for tags and collars, they are a supplement which as discussed above greatly increases the chance of your pet being returned home safely.
5. What is ISO?
An ISO microchip is the microchip used by the International Standards Organization, and operated at a frequency of 134.2kHz. Using an ISO chip ensures no matter which city, state, or even country your pet is in, the vet or shelter in that area will have a scanner that can detect your pet’s chip and thus, your information.
6. How much does it cost?
Microchipping has become a relatively inexpensive procedure costing an average of $45 all inclusive. It is a non-invasive, non-surgical procedure that is no more painful than a standard vaccine and require no anesthesia.
7. Are there any frequent complications?
While one can never guarantee a complication free procedure, of the 4 million microchipping procedures done so far, only 391 cases had adverse reactions. There is no link between microchipping and long term health complications. At most, your pet may experience brief inflammation or irritation around the site, though even this is rare.
8. What do I do next?
Chances are, if you’ve even read this post, you’re interested in microchipping your pet. If you think microchipping is the correct choice for you and your pet, then seek out the care of your veterinary professional. It costs less than a Friday Night at Applebee's, and provides a whole lot more peace of mind.
At Deceased Pet Care, we can’t imagine life without our beloved pets. That’s why we think Microchipping is a small and necessary step in preventing that. We hope our list has provided you with some clarity and helped you make an informed decision. No matter your decision, keep loving those pets and give ‘em extra scratch behind the ears for us.