There are bicycles that pedal for us, trash cans that re-order food, phones that locate lost keys, and umbrellas that forecast the weather. Even if you’re not especially gadget or app-savvy, technology is present in most aspects of our busy modern lives. And if our lives are made easier, simpler, or faster via the latest development, well, maybe that’s a good thing.

In the case of pet microchips, an added layer of security is not just a good thing – it’s downright amazing! No longer a futuristic fantasy, these tiny chips are instrumental in reuniting lost pets and their people.

A Pain Like No Other

One of life’s most harrowing experiences is losing a pet. While most separations are entirely accidental, there are certain methods, like microchipping, that aim to prevent a pet getting lost, injured, stolen, or re-adopted.

Dedicated pet owners recognize the importance of their pet’s safety and security. To that end, pet microchips provide a type of “insurance” against total, long-term separation. While a collar and ID tags are necessary, tags can become illegible and collars can come off.

How Pet Microchips Work

Pet microchips do not track your pet’s location and do not contain a GPS or battery. Instead, they’re simply an electronic repository of key contact information. Encased in a glass cylinder, pet microchips are only about the size of a grain of rice. Because they’re so small – and are inserted just below the skin’s surface – pet microchips do not cause any pain.

The sensation of having a chip implanted is similar to a routine vaccination. However, to reduce a pet’s discomfort, many pet owners opt to microchip a pet while under anesthesia (such as during a spay/neuter procedure).

The Importance of Scanners

When a chip scanner passes over the implantation site (usually between the shoulder blades), the chip transmits a unique identification number to the scanner’s screen. This number is then keyed into a national database. When pet owners register their pet’s microchip with the manufacturer, their personal contact information is connected to and displayed with the microchip ID number.

What About My Privacy?

Of course, everyone is concerned about having their information compromised. Pet microchips only contain the information you want to disclose in case of a separation. Once your pet is microchipped, you must register the chip using the information of your choice. Currently, only about 58% of all pet microchips have been registered.

If you move or change your phone number, it’s really important to call your pet’s chip manufacturer and update your contact information. Otherwise, when lost, found, and scanned, your pet may not be able to return to your new home.

There’s Always Time

Pet microchips are essential to responsible pet ownership, and they’re easy to implant. In fact, it can be done at your pet’s next visit.

Please let us know if you have additional questions or concerns. Northpark Animal Hospital is here to help you and your pet enjoy a lifetime of happiness together.