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Microchipping Pets: Key Information

May 15, 2024

Has your pet been microchipped? If not, we suggest getting this done ASAP.  Microchips are tiny, but they create a vital—and potentially lifesaving—connection between you and your beloved furry companion. Continue reading this article from a Brampton, ON veterinarian to learn why microchipping your beloved pet is crucial.

Do Microchips Really Work?

Absolutely! They have successfully enabled numerous reunions between lost pets and their concerned owners. If your beloved pet ever goes missing, it could be a lifesaver … literally.

It’s surprising how often pets go missing; unfortunately, many people are unaware of this. About a third get lost at least once in their lives. 

Missing pet reports tend to increase significantly after New Year’s Eve and July 4th. This is because many pets tend to run away when they are faced with loud noises and fireworks. Fido and Fluffy also have a knack for going exploring if someone accidentally leaves the door open.

Microchip Basics:

These chips are not the same as those frequently found in modern phones, computers, and household appliances. Pet microchips are tiny, comparable to the size of a grain of rice. A microchip operates similarly to a permanent identification tag. 

They only consist of a single piece of information: an ID number. They utilize a technology called passive radio-frequency or RFID transmission. The microchip, also known as a transponder or a PIT (passive transponder tag), remains dormant until it is scanned by a designated device. The scanners utilize low-frequency radio waves to activate the chip, and the unique ID number will be displayed on the screen.

Can I Use A Microchip To Track My Pet?

Regrettably, microchips do not possess inherent GPS capabilities. In this case, the main stumbling block is the power source. This is unlikely to change, unless scientists find a way to harness the energy from Fluffy’s purrs and Fido’s wagging tail.

However, GPS tags are available. These devices are absolutely fantastic and have proven invaluable for many pet owners in finding their lost pets.

Before making a purchase, make sure you have done your homework and carefully considered all of your possibilities. Consider several important factors: the device’s ability to withstand water, the technology it uses, how long the battery lasts, the range of coverage, and any potential subscription fees. For example, while some of these devices utilize wi-fi, others rely on satellite technology.

What Animals Are Normally Microchipped?

Microchipping is a commonly performed procedure for dogs and cats. However, many other animals can also get chips, including ferrets, tortoises, birds, horses, and reptiles.

Do I Still Need ID Tags If My Pet Has A Microchip?

Definitely! They are required in various locations. Whether they are required in your area or not, they still carry significant importance. If someone happens to come across your furry companion, they provide a convenient and simple means for them to contact you. (Note: You may want to consider adding the word REWARD on the tag to improve the likelihood of your pet being returned.)

How Does The Microchipping Procedure Work?

It’s very simple. Your Brampton, ON  veterinarian will expertly and delicately place the chip beneath your pet’s skin using a hypodermic needle. In dogs and cats, it is positioned right below the skin, between the shoulder blades. This is often done together with neutering or spaying, but you can also choose to schedule it as a separate procedure.

For Fido and Fluffy, it’s much like they’re receiving a vaccination. Complications are exceedingly uncommon. When it comes to recovery time, a couple of ear scritches, a quick nap, and a tasty treat should do the trick. (Of course, if your pet is undergoing surgery, they will require a period of recovery for that.)

How Long Do Microchips Typically Last?

Microchips typically have a lifespan of 25 years, which is considerably longer than the average lifespan of dogs and cats. Over time, pet owners may find it necessary to replace the microchips of animals with longer lifespans, such as birds and horses.

Can Smartphones Scan Microchips?

Unfortunately, no, that’s not possible. Microchips and phone technology are fundamentally incompatible.

What Happens If My Microchipped Pet Is Stolen? 

Since microchips can offer indisputable proof of ownership, which is essential in court, they are extremely significant in legal processes.

How Do I Keep My Pet’s Microchip In Good Working Order?

It is essential to keep your records up to date, but there is no reason to be concerned about the chip itself. Microchips are usually inactive. They don’t need any upkeep. (Note: regrettably, you won’t be able to install updates that can prevent Fluffy from scratching the couch or keep Fido from chewing on your sneakers.)

It is best to have your pet’s vet check the chip on a regular basis to make sure it is still in the right place and working properly.

Is There A Recurring Fee For Microchipping My Pet?

It varies. Some companies may require payment for their services, although this is not always the case. It differs depending on the company. Don’t hesitate to contact your veterinarian in Brampton, ON, for more information.

My Pet Is Equipped With A Microchip. Now, What Should I Do?

Now, we just need to complete the chipmaker’s registry. This is of utmost importance! Having up-to-date contact information is crucial for the proper functioning of your chip. Regularly updating your information is crucial for maintaining current and accurate contact details.

What Are The Numbers On Microchips?

The statistics regarding lost animals are quite concerning. A study conducted by Ohio State University yielded significant findings regarding the matter.

  • When it comes to stray dogs, those with microchips have a significantly higher chance of being reunited with their owners compared to those without (52.2% vs. 21.9%).
  • Cats that have been microchipped have a significantly higher chance of being reunited with their owners compared to cats without chips. The statistics show that 38.5% of microchipped cats find their way back home, while only 1.8% of cats without chips are able to do so.
  • Most dog and cat owners with microchipped pets were readily contacted, with a slightly higher proportion of dog owners (74%) compared to cat owners (63.5%).
  • A large percentage of cat owners, 61%, and dog owners, 76%, wished to be reunited with their beloved pets.
  • Oftentimes, owners were difficult to reach because of incorrect or disconnected phone numbers. Around 35.4% of the observed cases were those particular cases. In addition, an extra 24% of the owners failed to respond to any calls or correspondence. Around ten percent of the chips were not accurately documented, while approximately seventeen percent were registered in a database that was not associated with the chip manufacturers.

What Other Advantages Do Microchips Offer?

There are some cool ones! For instance, certain pet doors can be connected to specific chips. That means you can allow Fido to freely enter and exit the yard without any unwanted guests like raccoons or stray cats accompanying him back inside. Pet dishes are also available that are designed to open for specific chips. This resource is incredibly helpful if you have multiple pets with specific dietary needs … or if you just want to get Fido from eating Fluffy’s food.

Schedule An Appointment At Our Brampton, ON Animal Clinic

Would you like to schedule an appointment to microchip your pet? Feel free to contact us, your reliable veterinarian in Brampton, ON, for any of your veterinary needs and care. We are available to assist you!