Most people understand that some form of identification is ideal for helping to keep our pets safe and get them home to you should they become lost. Unfortunately, there is a fair amount of misinformation out there that prevents us from being able to properly utilize identification tools for our animals.
Microchips are actually quite simple. They truly are a miniature computer chip that is housed in a hypodermic capsule and is injected via needle into a pet. Now, these chips have no power source of their own, so an RFID reader is necessary to extract the identification number embedded in the chip. These chips are about the size of a grain of rice, and are continuing to be made smaller with technological advancements.
While there currently is no universal database for microchips, there are a few sites that encourage companies to link their systems and provide information to pet care provides that help identify animals. the best way to check that the information for your pet is correct is to contact the company directly that manufactured the microchip. Each company has their own database linking the information you provide at the initial implant to the pets unique identification number on the chip.
It is difficult to remember which company your veterinarian used to microchip your pet. Luckily, microchips also come with collar tags that let people know that the animal has a chip, and also lets you now who to contact should your information change. While it is incredibly rare for a microchip to stop working, having that collar tag is a great second check to provide that additional peace of mind.
The 3 most common microchip providers are listed below. Unsure which company your pet is registered with? Click here to visit the site that our technicians use to find owner information.
Don't forget to update your info so that we can get your pet home safe!
Use the embedded links above to contact your pets microchip company and ensure your information is correct. Help us get your pet home safely to you!
Myth: Your Pet Must Be Anesthetized
Fact: In most circumstances we offer microchipping at the time of a spay or neuter when the pet is under anesthetic. We do so for the ease of the animal and their comfort - after all, no one likes to be poked with a needle! As you already know, microchips are the size of a grain of rice so the needle is quite a bit larger than what we would use for vaccines. That being said, a pet can be microchip at any point in the life, under anesthetic or not.
Myth: Microchips are Tracking Devices
Fact: Microchips are actually quite fascinating. A common misconception is that they are a beacon - broadcasting the location of the animal when they are lost. This is not true. The small capsule embedded into the sub-dermal layer of your pet does not have a power source of its own. How microchips work is that the Microchip reader provides a signal strong enough to activate the chip, which then transmits an identification number. If you have had your pet scanned for a microchip before, you know that the scanner must be very close to the chip, directly over it in order to read the information. At this time, it simply is not possible to turn a microchip into a GPS tracking device.
Myth: Veterinary Clinics Have Access to Microchip Information
Fact: Microchips house an identification number that when scanned with an RFID reader provides a specific number that has been assigned to your pet. with this number we are able to recognize patterns and determine the company that provided the chip. At that point the company is contacted and they search through their database to provide the associated information with the individual microchip number. Veterinary clinics do not have access to microchip databases and are unable to make any changes to the information on your behalf. ultimately the responsibility of keeping your pets microchip relevant is up to you.