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An Introduction to Microchips

March 15, 2017

If you’re new to pet ownership, you may not be familiar with identification microchips. They’re the best way to keep your pet identified properly for a lifetime! Here, a vet in Springdale, ON goes over the basics of microchips for pets:

What’s a Microchip?

A microchip is a tiny computer chip on which a number is implanted electronically. This number corresponds to a database where your pet’s contact information is stored.

The chip is implanted under your pet’s skin, and can be read by specialized scanners at animal shelters and vet’s offices. If a lost pet is relinquished to these facilities, the professionals there can read the chip’s number and quickly get the lost pet back to their rightful owner.

Why Get My Pet a Microchip?

The major benefit that microchips have over ID tags on a collar is that a pet can’t remove the chip, whether by accident or on purpose. This way, your pet is constantly identified even if an unexpected escape occurs. Many pet owners use ID tags and a microchip in tandem for maximum effectiveness.

Another great benefit of microchips is that they’re easy to update if you move or get a new telephone number. You don’t have to buy an entirely new chip—simply contact the microchip manufacturer, and they can update their database in a few short moments.

Can I Use a Microchip to Track My Pet?

Some people make the mistake of thinking that an identification microchip is a tracking device; this isn’t true. Microchips do not allow you to track your pet’s movements in real time, although there are other devices out there that do provide such a service.

How Are Microchips Implanted?

Microchips are implanted under your pet’s skin using a specialized syringe. The chip itself is housed inside of a glass capsule, and the unit is typically placed between your pet’s shoulder blades. Sometimes, this area will be marked with a small tattoo to make it easy to find.

Is There Any Risk?

The microchip implant procedure is entirely safe and virtually risk-free. There is a chance that minor side effects—some swelling or inflammation—may occur, but these symptoms are easily treated by a veterinarian.

How Do I Get Started?

Would you like more information about microchips for pets? Ready to have your animal companion outfitted with one? Set up an appointment today at your Springdale, ON animal hospital.