Sunday, March 7, 2021

Get Your Dog Microchipped

Pet Talk


Photos by Michael M. Neal

Up to 8 million animals end up in shelters every year. Unfortunately, only 15-20% of dogs and less than 2% of cats are ever reclaimed by their owners. One of the ways to increase the chances of finding your lost pet is having it microchipped. Microchips can be registered in national databases.  

It’s hard to believe that a little Yorkie traveled hundreds of miles from home to Fort Myers, but he did. Luckily, the pup had a microchip that was registered. Months after he had gone missing, the owner got a call from a veterinarian in Fort Myers who said he had been found. 

What Is A Microchip? 

A microchip is a small, electronic chip enclosed in a glass cylinder that is about the same size as a grain of rice. The microchip itself does not have a battery. It is activated by a scanner that is passed over the area, and the radio waves put out by the scanner activate the chip. The chip transmits the identification number to the scanner, which displays the number on the screen. 

How Is A Microchip Implanted? Is It Painful? Does It Require Surgery or Anesthesia?

It is injected under the skin using a hypodermic needle. It is no more painful than a typical injection, although the needle is slightly larger than those used for injection. No surgery or anesthesia is required. A microchip can be implanted during a routine veterinary office visit. If your pet is already under anesthesia for a procedure, such as neutering or spaying, the microchip can often be implanted while they’re still under anesthesia. The cost is around $50.  

Photos by Michael M. Neal

Is There an Annual Fee for This Microchip Registration? 

If a paper application has been given to you from a participating rescue group, there will not be an annual fee applied to your account. There are promotions where you can register all microchips with no annual fee for a limited time but otherwise, there is an automatic annual fee of $19.95. Your microchip registration is valid for as long as you own your pet. Your pet’s page will always display but you will need to be current to request account changes. 

Will A Microchip Really Make It More Likely for Me to Get My Pet Back If Lost? 

Definitely! 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. For microchipped animals that weren’t returned to their owners, most of the time it was due to incorrect owner informationor no owner informationin the microchip registry database. So, don’t forget to register and keep your information updated. 

What Kind of Information iin The Microchip? Is There A Tracking Device iit? 

The microchips presently used in pets only contain identification numbers. No, the microchip cannot track your animal if it gets lost. Although the present technology microchip itself does not contain your pet’s medical information, our microchip registration database will allow you to store that information in the database for quick reference. 

Once your pet’s microchip is registered, your contact information will be accessible at the National Pet Microchip Registration Database for as long as you own your pet. Pet Chip Registry registers and displays owner contact information for all brands of pet microchips include Home Again®, AVID CAR/EID, Digital Angel®ResO®, ALLFLEX®, Schering Plough, 24 PET WATCHLifechip®, Banfield®, Crystal TagDatamars &Destron Fearing once submitted.  

Pet Chip Registry online is part of a multi-country organization designed as a quick reference tool for animal care groups and veterinarians.  

Send me your stores, I would love to hear them.  

Michael M. Neal is graduate of Ohio State University with a degree in Education with a major in Mathematics and a minor in Biological Sciences. He is an avid pet owner and nature lover. He is the owner of The Critter Café pet salon that offers grooming, boarding, daycare, obedience training and pet supplies on Marco Island. 

Photos by Michael M. Neal

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