Why should you microchip your pet?
According to various studies, pets with microchips are up to 20 times more likely to be reunited with their owners. It is an affordable procedure; it is fairly common and legally mandated for certain pets! The benefits of getting a dog or cat microchip are multi-fold with almost no drawbacks. Every year, there are numerous stories with a happy ending in the press where the pet is located because they had a microchip.
What is a pet microchip?
When it comes to your cat or dog microchip, this is a radio-frequency identification transponder that has a unique identification number and is roughly the size of a grain of rice. When the microchip is scanned by a veterinary professional via a handheld device, it transmits the ID number. The practice is then able to look up the ID number via a database to contact the owner if the pet is lost.
The Procedure for Dog & Cat Microchipping
Dog or Cat microchipping is injected under the loose skin of your pet and has no moving parts. It is no more invasive than a vaccination nor will your pet feel any different after getting a microchip. It does not require any type of surgery nor does it require your pet to stay overnight at a vet practice. The procedure can be completed in a single session by your vet.
Once your pet is microchipped, there are only three things you need to do:
- Make sure the microchip is registered.
- Ask your veterinary practice to scan your pet's microchip at least once per year to make sure the microchip is functioning correctly.
- Keep your registration information up-to-date.
Updating microchip information
Unfortunately, each year we come across lost pets who don’t have updated contact information on their microchip. You should amend the details every time your contact details change so that you can be contacted when your pet is found. Otherwise, the microchip’s purpose is greatly diminished. Please speak to your vet on how you can keep the information up to date.
When should I microchip my pet?
If your pet is young and not microchipped, then we recommend that you have a discussion with your vet on the best time to microchip your pet. Some puppies and kittens microchipping may cause them to flinch as the chip is implanted, however, the pain is minimal and will recover just as quickly as when they receive their vaccination.
Do I need to get a new pet microchip if I move countries?
European countries generally use a 134.2-kilohertz chip. In North America and a few countries, 125 and 128-kilohertz chips are common. The International Standards Organization, or ISO, has recommended a global standard for microchips. The global standard is intended to create an identification system that is consistent worldwide. The ISO standard frequency is 134.2 kHz.
Keep in mind that even if the frequency is correct, each country maintains different databases, therefore you will need to register with the national database where you live.