Implanting a microchip into your pet is an excellent way to recover your pet when it is lost. A third of pets go missing every year, with 90% of untagged pets failing to return home. Using a microchip together with a collar tag will give you extra security and peace of mind.
The microchip used to tag your pet is about the size of a grain of rice and is inserted under the skin of your cat or dog usually between the shoulder blades or at the back of the neck in a simple procedure that lasts a few seconds. Horses are also tagged in the neck area while birds carry the chip in their breast muscles. Your details are kept on record together with the matching microchip number, identifying you as the rightful owner of that pet. The details on the microchip can be read using a handheld scanner.
Information held on the microchip consists of:
- Chip number
- Pet owner’s contact information
- Name and description of the pet
- (Optional) Vet contact information and an alternate contact number
Many vets like to scan your pet at every visit to check that the chip can still be picked up, and also to use the number as an identifying reference for the pet, in the same way humans can be identified by a fingerprint, social security or passport number.
The microchips are designed to last 25 years and safely stay put inside your pet without getting lost in its body. Occasionally the chip can migrate from its original position, but it will still be detectable by scanner.
With the increase in the popularity of microchip identification for pets, companies and registries are using universal radio frequencies and registries to simplify procedures.
Finally, always notify the registry if you have changed address or if you have adopted a pet with a microchip.