Finding Fido: Why Microchipping Your Pet Protects Them from Becoming Lost

A very filthy puppy

There is possibly nothing more frightening than realizing your dog or cat got out of the house. You have looked everywhere, enlisted the help of your neighbors, and posted fliers about your missing pet. Still, no word.

This scenario occurs among millions of pets each year, and the likelihood of being found is not the best. That is, unless your pet is better protected through microchipping.

The team at East Sacramento Veterinary Center is here to let you know that microchipping works and the best way to ensure a happy return, should your pet become lost.

The Microchip

Microchips sound pretty technical, right? And in a way, they are. But they are safe and effective, and possibly one of the best ways to prevent pets from ending up in shelters (along with spaying and neutering) or being injured.

A microchip is a tiny integrated circuit that is about the size of a grain of rice. Microchips are not like a GPS unit. They cannot track your pet as they move. They rely on a passive radio frequency that can be scanned by a corresponding wand or unit that is placed over the area where the microchip is located. This is to acquire a special identification number assigned to your pet.

How Is It Implanted?

Some of the concerns we get from pet owners is that they fear the implant will cause their pet pain. Actually, the process is easy, quick, and the discomfort is similar to any routine vaccination a pet receives.

The microchip is implanted between the shoulder blades and below the nape of the neck. No anesthesia is required and most pets don’t even notice or react to the implantation. Microchips are contained in a biocompatible capsule that is nontoxic. The microchip remains in place and doesn’t “float” through the body, as some pet owners have asked.

How Does It Work?

Because the microchip contains a number that is assigned to your pet, animal shelters or most veterinarians can scan the chip using a reader or wand. After they get the pet identification number, they will call the manufacturer who has your pet’s information in a database. As long as your name and contact information is current, the company will call you and let you know where to get your pet.

Important Things to Note

While the microchip is highly effective, you must maintain accurate information in the database to have your pet safely returned to you. If you move or change phone numbers, it is important to contact the manufacturer and have them update your latest information so you can reunite with your pet.

Microchips can be an incredible tool in getting lost pets back to their owners. Without a microchip, only 2% of cats are reunited and 22% of dogs. But if a microchip is present, the likelihood of being found increases to 22% for cats and 52% for dogs. That’s a big difference!

The bottom line is that microchipping can help pet owners find their pets should they become lost. It’s an easy, effective way to give you peace of mind to know your pet will always be safely with you. For more information on pet microchipping, please call us.