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Microchipping Your Pet

May 1, 2024

Has your pet been microchipped yet? If not, we strongly suggest getting this done ASAP.  Every pet owner has their own unique approach to caring for their furry friends, but there is one universal truth: all pets can benefit from this. Getting your pet microchipped significantly improves the likelihood of being reunited with your beloved companion if they go missing. Continue reading to receive valuable insights from a local Lexington, VA veterinarian about microchipping your beloved pet.

What Exactly Is A Microchip?

Microchips function as a form of permanent identification for your pet, as they are implanted within their body. For dogs and cats, the usual location is between the shoulder blades, right beneath the skin. These create an unseen link between you and your beloved furry companion.

Microchips do not store any information. Every chip holds just one piece of data: an exclusive identification number. This is related to your account in the chipmaker’s database.

Microchips utilize a simple technology called passive radio-frequency identification (RFID). The microchip, also referred to as a transponder or a PIT (passive transponder tag), typically remains inactive until it is scanned by a specific device. These scanners emit radio waves with a low frequency, which then activate the chip. The chip transmits the unique ID number, which appears on the device’s screen.

What Does The Microchipping Process Involve?

The veterinarian will gently insert the chip under your pet’s skin using a hypodermic needle. This is commonly performed in conjunction with spay/neuter surgery. That’s just logical, considering that the animal is already at the clinic and under anesthesia. Additionally, you have the option to schedule it independently.

This process is incredibly fast and straightforward. Your pet will not need sedation, nor will they require any recovery time. (A toy or treat may not be a bad idea.)

Feel free to consult your Lexington, VA veterinarian for further details.

Is It Possible To Track My Pet Using A Microchip?

Microchips do not come equipped with GPS technology. One issue we’re facing is the power source. This is unlikely to change until scientists discover a way to harness the energy from Fluffy’s purrs and Fido’s tail wags.

However, you can get pet GPS tags, which is a fantastic new invention. It’s important to carefully consider the various options before making a purchase. There is a significant variation among different companies and products in this regard. Consider exploring factors such as battery life, range, technology utilized, waterproofing capabilities, and any associated subscription fees. For instance, certain devices operate using satellite technology, while others rely on wi-fi connectivity. That being said, these products have already proven to be incredibly effective in helping numerous pet owners keep their mischievous pets under control.

It’s also worth noting that certain products can be connected to your pets’ microchip. One example is pet doors. If you have a fenced yard, your furry companion can freely come and go without the concern of unexpected wildlife encounters in your living room. Additionally, there are dishes available that will only open for a specific chip. This is a useful resource for those who have multiple pets with specific dietary requirements.

What Is The Lifespan Of A Pet’s Microchip?

Typically, microchips have an average lifespan of approximately 25 years. For individuals who have pets that have a longer lifespan, like birds, it may become necessary to replace their microchips at some point.

Is There Any Maintenance Required For My Pet’s Microchip?

Microchips typically remain inactive for the majority of their lifespan. They require no maintenance or upgrades. It would be a good idea to have your vet check your pet’s chip during their regular appointments to ensure it is still functioning properly and hasn’t moved.

You’ll also need to keep your pet’s records up to date.

What Should I Do Once My Pet Has Been Microchipped?

Please ensure that you complete the necessary documentation in the chipmaker’s registry. This is extremely important! Without accurate and up-to-date contact information, the chip will be rendered ineffective.

Remember to update your contact information if you ever move or make any changes.

What Is The Importance Of Microchipping My Pet?

Microchips play a crucial role in keeping you connected to your cherished pet. It’s unfortunate, but the reality is that pets going missing is a more common occurrence than most people realize. Approximately one out of every three pets is lost at least once during their lifetime.

It is a common misconception that pets, due to their affectionate and devoted nature, will never wander away. Sadly, that isn’t the reality. It’s important to remember that even the most loyal and loving pets have a tendency to flee when they get scared. Accidents can easily occur, like when a meter reader forgets to close a gate. There is typically a significant increase in lost pets following July 4th and New Year’s Eve due to the loud noises and fireworks that often scare them away.

Do Microchips Really Help?

The statistics regarding lost pets are quite alarming. Ohio State University recently conducted a study that provided valuable insights into this topic.

A majority of stray dog and cat owners, specifically 73%, were successfully contacted. The contact rate for dog owners was slightly higher, at 74%, while for cat owners, it was 63.5%.

The majority of pet owners expressed a strong desire to be reunited with their beloved companions, with 74% indicating their preference for their pets to be returned. Specifically, 76% of dog owners and 61% of cat owners expressed this sentiment.

Dogs with microchips were reunited with their owners significantly more often than stray dogs (52.2% vs. 21.9%).

Kitties with microchips had a significantly higher chance of being reunited with their owners compared to kitties without microchips. The difference in the rates of return was quite substantial, with 38.5% of microchipped kitties finding their way home, while only 1.8% of unchipped kitties were able to do so.

In many cases, owners were not located due to incorrect or disconnected phone numbers. Around 35.4 percent of the tracked cases consisted of those specific cases. An additional 24 percent of the owners failed to respond to any calls or letters. Around 10 percent of the chips were not registered, while approximately 17 percent were registered in a database different from the chipmakers.  

Are ID Tags Still Essential?

Definitely! These are now required in many places due to legal regulations. Regardless of whether they are mandated in your area or not, they still hold significant importance. It would be incredibly convenient for someone to reach out to you in case they come across your adorable companion. (Note: it is recommended to include the word REWARD in the tag as an incentive for individuals to return them.)

Contact Your Lexington, VA Pet Clinic For An Appointment

Would you like to book an appointment for your furry friend? Is it time for your pet to visit the animal clinic after a long break? Don’t hesitate to reach out to us, your Lexington, VA pet hospital!

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Microchipping Your Pet

Has your pet been microchipped yet? If not, we strongly suggest getting this done ASAP. 
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