Many of us have been offered a microchip for our pet – but do we know why? There are some common misconceptions about microchips and their use.
A Microchip is just that – a miniature computer chip that is encapsulated in a hypodermic capsule that reads out a number. The microchip is about the size of a grain of rice – and getting smaller with technical advancements! This microchip is given by injection of a needle just under the skin (similar to how vaccinations are given).
Unfortunately, there is no universal database for all microchips. It is important to remember, that all microchips come with a collar tag as well. While it is very rare, it is possible for a microchip to stop working. Every time your pet visits our veterinarians, we will scan for the microchip to ensure it is still working.
However, it is still best practice to keep the microchip tag on your pets collar at all times as well. This tag not only lets people know that your pet is microchipped, but it also contains the name of the manufacturer, which can make it easier for veterinary clinics to find your information and contact you.
The 3 most common microchip providers are listed below. Which company are you registered with?
Don't forget to update your info so that we can get your pet home safe!
You can update your information using the embedded links for each company. Just find the company name on the microchip collar tag and click the company link above.
Myth: Your Pet Must Be Anesthetized
Fact: A microchip can be given while the patient is awaken or under anesthesia. This misconception is related mostly to the normal time in a pets’ life when they receive a microchip. As a majority, a pet is microchipped while they are being spayed or neutered, this allows easy access for staff and the pet doesn’t feel a thing! This being said, a pet can be microchipped at any point during its life – awake or not.
Myth: Microchips are Tracking Devices
Fact: Microchips are tiny computer chips that read off an identifying number, similar to a VIN in your vehicle. This number is unique to your pet alone, and is used to identify a pet, and who it belongs to. While microchips do not have a GPS tracking feature (yet), some companies are now designing them to include a temperature read off that can be seen on the microchip scanner. This allows your veterinarian to take a temperature in a less invasive manner.
Myth: Microchips do Not Need to Be Updated
Fact: ALWAYS contact your microchip provider when any of your contact information changes. You can do this online by going to the microchip provider’s website. The name of the provider will be on the microchip tag, or you can ask the clinic that placed the microchip. Additionally, if you are unsure of the provider, your clinic can scan the chip for its number and cross match the identifying numbers to the company they came from. A recent study showed that nearly 87% of pets with microchips who were not returned to their families had to be re-homed due to incorrect or missing contact information.