If you have ever had to deal with a lost dog or cat, you know how traumatic it can be. What if your pet is missing his or her collar? What if you forgot to renew the pet tags? What if , what if, what if?
One of the more popular ways of helping to identify lost pets is through the use of a microchip. This microchip is implanted into the muscle of your pet, and contains all the important identifying information for both your pet and you, so that you can be reunited. And unlike a collar, you don’t have to worry about a microchip falling off like you do with a tag.
Another positive feature of a microchip is that if your pet is stolen, these microchips are much harder to hide than a tattoo! And many vets make it a practice to scan new pet patients, especially older ones, “just in case”. Some pet owners have been reunited with their stolen pets this way.
You do need to remember to register your information with one of the organizations that stores the information and matches it with a microchip.
You do need to be aware of one of the downsides, and that is the fact that not all microchips are created equal, meaning different locations and companies use their own kind of chip… they unfortunately are not created equal. Likewise, US and Canadian chips also differ. So if you do frequent travelling with your pet, it is worth checking to see what type of chip is used where you frequent, and perhaps implant a second chip.
Sometimes microchips can migrate from where it was injected into the muscle. So it is worth having your pet scanned every year or two to make sure the chip hasn’t migrated and that it is still readable.
Because the needle is slightly larger, there is always the risk of infection of the injection site. But just like any other needle given, just keep the injection site clean and check for infection for the first few days following the implant of the microchip.
Only you can decide if microchipping your pet is right for you. But weigh the pros and cons for each to decide. Also, don’t forget prices can vary, so if you aren’t loyal to your vet, do shop around for the best price.