In order to effectively identify wild roaming bison, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service implants them with inert microchips. In fact, various types of animal research use similar information gleaned from these chips. They do not transmit GPS or have an internal power source, but these biocompatible chips have likewise been instrumental in the identification of loads of species – especially lost or missing pets. 

From llamas to parrots, ferrets to frogs, pets are routinely microchipped. It might not ever get scanned, but a pet microchip can facilitate a swift return home.

An Added Layer of Protection

A pet microchip cannot substitute a snug-fitting collar with an ID tag attached to it. After all, this method is usually the most common way that pets are returned to their rightful owners. However, since collars can slip off or be removed, the chip provides an added layer of protection if your pet becomes separated from you.

Always There

Injected between the shoulder blades, a pet microchip is approximately the size of a grain of rice. You might be able to feel the chip beneath the outermost layer of skin, but it won’t move, get lost, degrade, or come out. 

It can be implanted while a pet is already undergoing a dental exam or surgical procedure, but it can also easily be done without anesthesia. It closely resembles the sensation of a routine vaccination.

Weird Science

When scanned by a specific chip scanner, radio frequency technology “sends” a unique number to the handheld scanning device. This number is then entered into a national microchip database. The microchip company will then contact you with the whereabouts of your pet. 

Only the Beginning

It is mandatory practice at most shelters or rescues to implant a pet microchip prior to adoption. Perhaps the most crucial component of a pet microchip is registering your name, address, phone number, and email with the chip manufacturer. If you ever move or change your name/number, it’s important to inform the company.

Some Pitfalls

It’s imperative that the chip is always updated with your current contact information, especially if a pet has been rehomed to you. If chip information isn’t updated in the database, previous owners may be contacted if/when a pet’s chip is scanned.

Troubleshooting a Pet Microchip

We recommend having your pet’s microchip scanned at their yearly wellness exam. That way we can ascertain that the right contact information is in the database. Another option is to simply call the chip manufacturer to ensure your pet’s chip is up to date.

Lifelong Method

A single pet microchip is designed to last through the animal’s entire life. When faced with the prospect of being irretrievably lost, stolen, or worse, a pet microchip can make all the difference. 

As always, if you have any concerns or questions regarding the practice of microchipping, we encourage you to contact us at The Whole Pet Vet Hospital and Wellness Center