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What is a microchip?
A microchip is a small, electronic chip about the size of a grain of rice, that is enclosed in a glass cylinder. The microchip itself holds a unique Identification number registered to only your pet. Passing a scanner over the pet will reveal the number.
The Benefits of Microchiping
When an animal is found and taken to a shelter or veterinary clinic, one of the first things they do is scan the animal for a microchip. If they find a microchip, and if the microchip registry has accurate information, they can quickly find the animal's owner.
A study of more than 7,700 stray animals at animal shelters showed that dogs without microchips were returned to their owners 21.9% of the time, whereas microchipped dogs were returned to their owners 52.2% of the time. Cats without microchips were reunited with their owners only 1.8% of the time, whereas microchipped cats went back home 38.5% of the time. (Lord et al, JAVMA, July 15, 2009) For microchipped animals that weren't returned to their owners, most of the time it was due to incorrect owner information (or no owner information) in the microchip registry database – so don't forget to register and keep your information updated.
Implanting the Microchip
The microchip is simply implanted beneath the surface of your pets skin between the shoulder blades. It is injected using a hypodermic needle that is slightly larger than those used for routine vaccinations. No surgery or anesthesia is required—a microchip can be implanted during a routine veterinary office visit. If your pet is already under anesthesia for a procedure, such as a spay or neuter, the microchip can often be implanted while they're still under anesthesia. The process is similar to a routine shot, takes only a few seconds, and your pet will not react any more than they would to a vaccination.
How long does it last?
The microchip has no power supply, battery, or moving parts. It is designed with an operating life of over 25 years and is guaranteed for the life of the animal. Once injected, the microchip is anchored in place as a thin layer of connective tissue forms around it. The chip requires no care.
Register your pet here.
Microchip information provided by AVMA.org