August 15th is Check The Chip Day. This is one topic we love to spread awareness about! Microchips are tiny devices that can be ‘installed’ in pets in just a few minutes. Though they are only about as big as a grain of rice, microchips have facilitated thousands of joyful reunions between wayward pets and their worried owners. A Fort Collins, CO veterinarian offers some information on microchips in this article.
As mentioned above, microchips are very small. They do not actually contain your pet’s records or your contact information, though this may become possible in the future, as technology develops. Currently, each chip has its own unique ID number. This can be read with special scanners, which are used by animal clinics and veterinarians that take in lost pets. If a chip is found, that ID number can be used to find the owner’s account–and contact information–in the chipmaker’s registry.
Microchips are usually used on cats and dogs. However, many other animals, such as horses and even birds, can also be microchipped. The process is very quick and simple: the veterinarian will use a hypodermic needle to place the chip under your pet’s skin. That’s it! This is often done at the same time as spay/neuter surgery, though it can also be scheduled by itself. Ask your vet for more information.
Chips don’t actually need any specific maintenance, and you don’t have to worry about your pet getting a virus. However, it is recommended that you have your veterinarian check the chip during your pet’s regular appointments. Occasionally, a chip will move or malfunction, so it’s just good practice to ‘check the chip’ every now and then.
Getting your four-legged pal chipped is very important, but there’s another step in the process. You’ll need to fill out your records in the chipmaker’s database, and make sure that your information is correct and up to date. If you have your furry buddy’s microchip number, you can try using the AAHA Universal Pet Microchip Lookup Tool here to do so. Be sure to update this information if you move or change your contact info. The chip won’t do any good if your data isn’t correct!
Please do not hesitate to reach out if ever we can be of assistance. As your local Fort Collins, CO animal clinic, we are here to help!