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Getting Your Pet Microchipped
May 1, 2024

It’s National Chip Your Pet Month! People may differ slightly in the specifics of their pet care routines, but all pets will gain from this. If your pet gets lost, having a microchip ‘installed’ can significantly improve your chances of getting back together. Continue reading for tips on microchipping your pet from a nearby Potomac, MD veterinarian.

Getting Your Pet Microchipped

Having your pet microchipped is a very routine procedure. If you haven’t had it done yet, we recommend scheduling it ASAP. 

As for the procedure, it’s very simple. Your vet will insert the chip beneath your furry pal’s skin using a hypodermic needle. 

Combining this with spay/neuter surgery is pretty common. Given that the animal is already at the clinic and sedated, this makes sense. You may also schedule it on its own, though. For more details, ask your Potomac, MD veterinarian.

Will The Microchipping Process Hurt?

No. This is a really easy and quick process. It’s no different for Fido and Fluffy than getting a shot. Recovery time would consist of, well, a toy and a treat. Maybe a nap. (Note: if your pet is getting fixed, they will need to recuperate from that.)

What’s The Lifespan Of Pet Microchips?

Microchips endure roughly 25 years, on average. That is considerably longer than a dog or cat’s typical lifespan. People with pets that live longer than that—like some birds— would eventually need to purchase fresh chips.

Microchip Basics

Essentially, microchips function similarly to a permanent identification tag, but they are inserted into your pet. It is usually positioned slightly under the skin, in between the shoulder blades, in dogs and cats. These create an imperceptible connection between you and your animal buddy.

How Pet Microchips Function

Microchips use passive radio-frequency identification, or RFID, technology. The microchip, commonly referred to as a PIT (passive transponder tag) or transponder, is typically dormant. 

Chips are only made active when they are scanned by a specific device. These scanners produce low-frequency radio waves that trigger the chip to transmit its distinct ID number, which will appear on the scanner screen.

Although dogs and cats most often get microchipped, quite a few other animals can also get chips. Rabbits, birds, horses, cattle, ferrets, tortoises, and reptiles are all on that list.

Can A Microchip Track My Pet?

No. GPS technology is not integrated into microchips.  Given that the power supply is the obstacle, this is unlikely to change … at least until researchers figure out how to run a microchip off of Fluffy’s purrs and Fido’s tail wags. 

However, you can purchase GPS tags for your pets. These are a fantastic new invention. Many pet owners have already used these to find their straggling animals. You’ll want to go over all of the options before purchasing one, though. Companies and products vary greatly here. A few things to consider include subscription costs, waterproofing capability, technology utilized, battery life, and range. 

Are Pet Microchips Scannable by Phone?

No, they are not. This is also unlikely to change, because microchips and the technologies used in phones are incompatible in the end.

What If A Microchipped Dog Is Stolen?

This is one of the main justifications for microchipping. Microchips are among the most reliable ways to establish ownership. They can hold up in court, and also can’t easily be removed, as collars can.

It’s still very important to take other precautions to keep your pet safe. Keep Fido leashed whenever he isn’t in a fenced area. As for Fluffy, we would just advise keeping her inside.

Do Microchips Need Maintenance?

No. Generally speaking, microchips are idle most of the time. They don’t require upkeep or modifications. Having said that, you might want to have your pet’s chip checked by a veterinarian at their regular check-ups to make sure it remains in place and is functional.

You’ll also need to keep your pet’s records up to date.

Is There A Subscription Fee After My Pet Is Chipped?

Certain companies do provide packages with additional fees. On the other hand, a lot of locations also provide a one-time, lifetime fee. For more details, ask your Potomac, MD veterinarian.

What Do I Do After My Pet Is Microchipped?

You’ll need to enter your information in the chipmaker’s register. This is very important! The chip is useless if your contact information is out-of-date or absent.

Keep this in mind in case you move or change your number.

Why Is Microchipping Important?

Microchips are like a lifeline between you and your best friend. Although many people hate to even think of their cherished pets going missing, this occurs more often than you may imagine. Actually, over one-third of pets get lost at least one time during their lifespan.

Many people believe that their beloved and devoted pets will never run off. Sadly, that isn’t the reality. Remember that scared animals might flee quickly. There is typically a significant rise in lost pet reports following New Year’s Eve and July 4th, when a lot of terrified pets run from the noise and fireworks.

What Are Some Pet Microchip Statistics?

The statistics of lost pets are very alarming. Ohio State University’s most recent study provided some clarification on this subject.

  • About 74% of chipped dog owners and 63.5% of cat owners were contacted.
  • 74% wanted their animals back (61% for cats and 76% for dogs).
  • 52.2% of microchipped dogs were returned to their owners. Only 21.9% of all stray dogs were.
  • Compared to unchipped cats, microchipped cats had a 21.4-fold higher chance of returning home (38.5% vs. 1.8%).

The most common reason why owners couldn’t be located was that the phone numbers were disconnected or inaccurate. Approximately 35.4% of the outcomes that were tracked consisted of those cases. Twenty-four percent of the owners never answered their letters or calls. Of the remaining chips, about 10% were unregistered and 17% were registered in a database that wasn’t the chipmakers’.  

What Other Advantages Do Microchips Offer?

Some products can be connected to Fluffy and Fido’s microchip. One example would be pet doors. If you have a fenced yard and a chip-linked pet door, you can let your pet come and go as they choose, without having to worry about coming home to discover a raccoon in your kitchen cupboard or the neighbor’s cat sleeping in your laundry. 

There are also pet bowls that will only open for a specific chip. This can be useful if you have several pets and one or more of them require a particular diet.

Do I Still Have To Put ID Tags On My Pet?

Definitely! Nowadays, these are mandated by legislation in many countries. They are still crucial even if you reside in a place where they aren’t required. If someone were to find your furry friend, this would be the most convenient way for them to get in touch with you. (Note: to encourage people to return found pets, we advise writing the word REWARD on the tag. This can make a big difference, as it motivates people to return your pet.)

Contact Your Potomac, MD Pet Hospital

Does your pet need to come in? Are your furry pals due for an appointment? Contact us, your Potomac, MD pet hospital, anytime.