May is National Chip Your Pet Month! Losing a pet is an extremely difficult event for an owner and pet-lover to go through. Even worse, once a pet is lost, the chances of them making it home again are not in their favor. However, there is some good news! There is something you can do to prevent these things from happening and help the chances of a lost pet finding its owners again.
Of course, we always recommend keeping pets in a fenced in yard or on a leash and to always keep a collar and ID tags on them. However, there are cons to these items. Collars can slip off, tags get scratched and rusty, making them difficult to read. Microchipping serves as a fantastic secondary identification system for your pet!
Don't know what a microchip is? A microchip is an identifying integrating circuit implanted just under the skin at the shoulder blades of your pet and is no bigger than a grain of rice! If ever lost, the microchip number will appear on the screen of the scanner and then link that information to their owner! How cool is that?
As for the cost, prices can vary from $25-%50 for the microchip and implanting by your personal veterinarian, but is only a one time fee and worth it! Microchip companies may charge a small fee for registering the owner information in the database or to change information if you move. Once the microchip is implanted, it never needs to be replaced!
The main worry we all may have is pain and safety. Is it painful? Implanting the microchip is much like giving a vaccination. It is inserted under the skin near the shoulder blades with a needle. The procedure happens very quickly and doesn't require anesthesia! However, there are some veterinarians that will use a topical anesthetic, although it isn't necessary.
Is it safe? The risk to your pet is minimal compared to the risk of losing your pet. The microchips are made from an inert, biocompatible substance, which means it won't cause an allergic reaction in your pet! Over the years, there have been reports of microchips migrating from its initial location. The newer chips on th market today have anti-migrating properties so this won't happen. Perfect timing for National Chip Your Pet Month! Once implanted, the microchip will stay in place and will also not degenerate over time, ensuring that your pet has a permanent identification if they were ever to be lost or stolen.
Nearly all veterinarians and animal shelters are fully equipped with a microchip reader. In recent years, the microchip readers have become universal, meaning they can read any brand of microchip your pet may have. Microchips are a safe way to be sure your pet has identification. We do recommend still keeping a collar and up to date information on ID tags. Remembmer any time you move or change your phone number, you have to update any tag information as well as the information stored at the microchip database to increase the chances of your lost pet getting returned to you at the right location!
So go and get your pet microchipped and don't forget to buy them some elk antlers, too!