Microchipping pets has been a common practice for the last 20 years, but there are still some widely-held misconceptions about how and why a pet is microchipped.
Common Misconceptions about Microchips
- Implanting a microchip is a surgical procedure.
This misconception is likely due to the fact that many pet owners opt to wait until the pet is under anesthesia for spay or neuter in order to avoid any pain for their pet. Although it is okay to have your pet microchipped at the time of surgery, it is not necessary to do so. The microchip is implanted with a specially designed, pre-loaded large needle. The process of implantation is not unlike vaccination, just with a larger needle. Most medium and large breed puppies don't even react to the microchip implantation. Smaller breeds and cats may let out a quick cry, but the discomfort is minimal and short-lived. The whole process takes a few seconds and can be done at any age, even newborn.
- All of your personal information is on the chip
This is false. The only information on a microchip is it's exclusive identification code. Veterinarians, SPCA's/Humane Societies, Pet Rescue organizations, and some law enforcement agencies have scanners that will read the code number the microchip transmits. However, having the identification code is useless unless the chip is registered to you. The manufacturers registry contains the information about the pet's description and the owner's personal information for recovery purposes.
- A microchipped pet can be located through GPS
Again, this is not the case. A microchip will not emit a locator signal. It is however a valuable tool for permanent identification. Unlike an id tag or collar, a pet can not lose it's microchip. And unlike a tatoo, the unique identification number on a microchip can not be altered.
Benefits to Microchipping
- Return of the Lost Pet
Of course this is the whole purpose of a microchip, but many people don't realize the full ramifications of a "Lost Pet" scenario, unless they have been through it. All microchip manufacturers have their own registry programs. We use HomeAgain microchips because of how thorough their registry progam is for pet owners. Once notified that your pet is lost, HomeAgain's dedicated Recovery Specialists automatically:
- Generate a "Lost Pet Alert" that is e-mailed and faxed to clinics, hospitals and shelters in the surrounding areas. This saves you alot of phone calls and once the veterinary practices and shelters post the fax/email, your pet's information will reach every person that comes through their facility.
- Notify Local Volunteer PetRescuers to be on the lookout for your pet. (You'll have the option to become one of these volunteers in your own neighborhood once you register your pet's microchip.) It's like having your own personal search and rescue crew.
- Get you a list of local shelters so you can start looking for your pet.
- Give you access online to create a personalized poster to print out and hang up around your neighborhood. (After registration of your pet's microchip, be sure to complete your pet's profile by uploading a good photo, enter pertinent medical information and an alternative means of contacting you.)
- Give you travel assistance, up to $500 in pet airfare, if your pet is found over 500 miles away. This is especially beneficial for pet's that get lost during a family vacation or while traveling with owners overseas.
- Natural Disaster Recovery
No one can ever be fully prepared for every situation life throws at us. A natural disaster can happen anywhere, at anytime, and all too often with little to no warning. Having your pet microchipped can give you peace of mind during any such event that results in evacuation. As we all saw after Hurricane Katrina, a large number of pets were rescued by Animal Control, and taken to a central holding area, where their pictures were taken and posted online, but many of these displaced pets were never reunited because ownership could not be established.
- Serious Injury
Sadly, it is not uncommon for many pets to become injured while lost. They could be frostbitten, attacked by other animals or hit by a car. Although someone may come along, find your pet and take him or her to a local vet hospital, few people are willing to take on the expense of medical treatment for a pet that's not their own. You may never know what happened to your pet. With a microchip in place, you can be quickly notified of your pet's whereabouts and medical needs so that you can be reunited and make informed decisions.
A pet can become lost despite your efforts to keep it safe. Children, guests, repairmen could innocently let your pet out. Fences can be dug under by industrious, active pets. Your pet can get separated from you in a crisis situation or bolt from fear during storms or fireworks. Finally, although no one likes to think about it, pets are stolen right out of their own yards all across this country every day. Over a million pets have been reunited with their owners thanks to microchipping, while over 90% of pets that do not have permanent id remain separated. Don't let your pet be in the 90%. Microchip today.
Sunday Urgent Care Clinic
7 Days a Week
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Monday thru Friday:
8:00 am to 7:30 pm
Saturday & Sunday:
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Back Mountain Veterinary Hospital
105 West Center Hill Rd
Dallas, PA 18612