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Foley Veterinary Hospital
Christopher A. Ainsworth, DVM
Providing Quality Pet Care
Call: (251) 943-5152

Microchipping

Even the most responsible pet owner could leave the garage door open or forget to close the gate, resulting in a lost pet. Microchipping your beloved pet could be the difference between having your pet returned and not being able to find them. While it is estimated that nearly 3 million pets in shelters are euthanized annually, some of those animals are pets whose owners were unable to find them. AVID, one of the major microchip manufacturers, states that approximately 1,400 pets with microchips are reunified with their owners per year, saving them from euthanasia.

The pet microchip technology continues to evolve. Currently, microchip implants are designed to last the extent of your pet’s life and are also composed of biocompatible elements that can coexist with your pet’s body tissues without causing harm. Currently, microchips can be placed in a variety of pets, including reptiles, dogs, cats, horses, ferrets, and birds. You also do not need to worry about someone stealing your information from the microchip or reprogramming it – only a veterinarian, animal shelter, or animal control center can scan the microchip.

Reasons for microchipping a pet:

  • It can help return a lost animal to their proper owner. 
  • Microchips help animal shelters avoid the unnecessary expense of boarding an animal that belongs to a loving home. 
  • Microchips provide a permanent method of identifying your pet. If your pet is lost/stolen and its collar is removed, a vet/shelter can still return your pet home. 
  • Some countries require a microchip that must also be cross-referenced with an up-to-date vaccination record before an animal is allowed to enter the country.
  • They can help distinguish the legal owner of a pet when the ownership of the animal is in dispute.

What does microchipping involve?

Implanting the microchip is a quick and easy process that is relatively painless for your pet. We prefer to implant the chip during a vaccination series because the sensation is very similar to getting a shot. The microchip is about the size of a single granule of long-grained rice and is injected under your pet’s skin with a needle and syringe. The standard injection site is between the shoulder blades, and there is no anesthetic involved when implanting the microchip. While the chip can migrate from the initial injection site, trained technicians know to scan a pet’s entire body before determining whether your pet does or does not have microchip identification.

How are pets found?

More often than not, pets are recovered at animal shelters. Whether your pet was brought into a veterinarian’s office, an animal shelter, or was recovered by animal control, all agencies are trained to scan all pets upon receiving them. After scanning the implant site with a radio frequency identification (RFID) scanner, the technician will be able to see a unique identification number that coordinates with your contact information, your pet’s name, your pet’s veterinarian, and the animal shelter they were adopted from, if any. You will then be contacted and informed of where you can pick up your pet.

If you have further questions about pet microchips or would like to schedule an appointment for microchipping, contact our office at your convenience.