Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Microchipping Your Pet

Microchips are an effective form of permanent identification for your pet.  They can easily be implanted during a routine visit to your veterinarian.

A microchip is a small, electronic chip enclosed in a glass cylinder that is about the same size as a grain of rice.  It is injected under the skin using a needle.  Although the needle is slightly larger than those used for vaccines or other injections, implanting a microchip is not significantly painful and is typically done without sedation or anesthesia.  Alternatively, many pet owners choose to have the procedure done during a routine spay or neuter.  Once implanted, your pet will be completely unaware the microchip is present.


Microchips contain the name and description of the animal, the owner’s contact information, emergency contacts in case the owner can’t be reached, and the information for the veterinarian or rescue organization that implanted the microchip.  All veterinary clinics, shelters, and rescue organization have microchip scanners and will routine scan pets.   After the microchip is implanted, the necessary information will be collected and the microchip registered.

So, do microchips increase your chance of being reunited with your pet?  According to the American Veterinary Medical Association,   “A study of more than 7,700 stray animals at animal shelters showed that dogs without microchips were returned to their owners 21.9% of the time, whereas microchipped dogs were returned to their owners 52.2% of the time. Cats without microchips were reunited with their owners only 1.8% of the time, whereas microchipped cats went back home 38.5% of the time. (Lord et al, JAVMA, July 15, 2009) For microchipped animals that weren't returned to their owners, most of the time it was due to incorrect owner information (or no owner information) in the microchip registry database – so don't forget to register and keep your information updated.”  Microchip information can be updated if your information changes(name, address, phone numbers, etc).  

Many types of microchips have additional benefits.  Microchip companies often have insurance policies on the lost pets.  If the pet has been reported missing and is found injured, these insurance policies will pay for medical expenses.  They are also used for permanent identification which is required for health certificates for international (or in some cases interstate) travel. 


We recommend all pets be microchipped.  Please talk to us at your next visit if your pet hasn’t been chipped.  We want to do anything we can to keep you and your pet together long term! 

article written by:
Derek Williamson, DVM
Companion Animal Hospital Vernon Hills

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