Pet Microchipping FAQ

Curious About Microchipping Your Pet?

Microchipping your pet is probably the most effective means of having your pet returned to you, should he or she become lost or separated from you for any reason. Below are some of the most commonly asked questions about microchips. If you have further questions regarding the benefits of microchipping your pet, give us a call, or discuss them with your veterinarian the next time you’re in.

What is the Process for Microchipping My Pet?

The microchipping process involves a small chip, about the size of a large grain of rice, that is  placed beneath the skin of your pet’s shoulder blades. Once inserted, the chip should remain in place for the lifetime of your pet. The microchip is then programed with your name, contact information and any important medical data (such as allergies, diabetes, etc.).

If your lost pet is found and taken to a shelter or veterinarian for care, your pet’s information can be accessed by a vet or rescue agent using a special scanner. The number displayed on the scanner will then be traced back to the pet owner’s contact info.

Will the Microchip Cause My Pet Pain?

The chip is placed underneath the skin using a needle in the scruff area where there is extra skin. There is a small pinch on insertion (similar to a vaccination); however, most animals do not seem to mind the injection at all. If your pet is due for a surgery soon, ask your veterinarian to implant the chip while your pet is under anesthesia so he or she doesn’t feel a thing.

Once in place, the chip causes your pet no discomfort.

Will a Microchip Increase the Chances of My Pet Being Found?

According to the American Humane Society, an estimated 5 million pets will be lost this year and a staggering 1 in 3 pets will be lost at some point during his or her lifetime. Only 17% of dogs, and a mere 2% of cats, will make it back to the loving arms of their owners.

HomeAgain, a leading manufacturer of microchips, states that microchipped pets have an 85% greater chance of being returned to their owner than a pet that is not microchipped.

But My Pet Already has a Tag on His Collar Do I Really Need a Microchip?

If you think the tags on your pet’s collar are enough, think again. Personalized tags can be removed by anyone, can easily become worn and become illegible, or even fall off – especially if your pet’s collar breaks away in an emergency or dog fight.

Microchipping is the single best failsafe you have when it comes to protecting your pet.

My Pet Already Has a Microchip, Do I have To Do Anything?

It is extremely important that you make sure that your pet’s microchip is registered once it is placed. Some microchip providers will register the chip for you, but not all. Unfortunately, it’s not always explained that the chip must be registered to be effective.

If you know your pet’s microchip information, log on to the provider’s website or call and make sure the information is correct and up to date. If you are unsure of your pet’s microchip number or don’t know if your pet has a microchip, give us a call. Most veterinarians (including us) will scan your pet for free and give you information on who to contact to register the chip, should they have one.

If you move, change phone numbers, or have to give up your pet, it is important to make sure the microchip information is updated as well. Once the microchip is registered, it is linked to you for the lifetime of the pet, unless you take action.

For more information on how you can microchip your pet, or to schedule an appointment to have your pet scanned for a microchip, contact the staff at Berkeley Veterinary Center in Bayville, NJ.