10 Mar What is Microchipping?
It’s a nightmare scenario – you arrive home and your furry friend isn’t there to greet you. Unfortunately for many pets, even if they are found safe and well there isn’t always a way to find out where they belong and get them back home.
That’s why many states have made microchipping compulsory – it protects pets, providing a safe and reliable way for a pet to be identified. But what is a microchip? Do they hurt your pet? Are there security concerns?
Here’s everything you need to know about microchipping, and why you should make sure your beloved pet has that added level of security.
What is a microchip?
A microchip is a tiny computer chip, about the size of a grain of rice. Using a needle, the chip is implanted beneath the loose skin between the shoulder blades of your pet, where it stays permanently.
In addition to getting the chip implanted, you’ll need to register your personal contact details with the registry that makes the chip. The chip itself doesn’t have any of your personal information stored – it contains a serial number that’s unique to your pet, and identifies the registry who made the chip.
Microchipping is a simple procedure, no more painful than general vaccinations. There isn’t any special recovery time from the procedure, and the microchip itself is very inexpensive. The microchip is inert and safe, only activating when a scanner is placed over it.
The microchip doesn’t have any additional functions – there’s no way to track your pet, for example, and your personal details aren’t stored on the chip.
How does it help?
If your pet is found, an authorised person uses a handheld scanner to get the serial number and to find out which registry the chip belongs to. They can then get in touch with the registry, who can contact you using your stored personal information so you can retrieve your pet and bring them safely home.
A microchip is a similar concept to a collar with the owner’s information – except it can’t come off, you don’t need a new one each time your details change, your information is much more secure, and it lasts the lifetime of your pet.
What are the limitations?
Your microchip is only as good as the contact information you have stored. If you don’t register your details, or if your details change and you don’t update them, someone who has found your pet may be unable to contact you.
While the chip is implanted in the same spot for most animals, it can sometimes travel, making it slightly harder to find. When you go for regular vet check-ups, it can be helpful to get them to find out if it’s still in the right place.
Keeping track of your pet.
In most states and territories, microchipping your pet is compulsory. Even where it’s optional, it’s a good choice for keeping your pet safe and well in an unexpected event.
No one plans for their pet to become lost, but it does happen. The safest, simplest way to ensure that your pet comes back is to make sure they are correctly microchipped, and your details are up to date in the relevant registry.
Care for your pet even when you’re not there by giving them an added level of security, with a properly placed, correctly registered microchip. It’s the smart, safe thing to do.