Positive identification is the only way to ensure that you are reunited with your pet if it becomes lost or stolen. A secure collar with tags indicating the home address and phone numbers is a good start. The problem is that collars come off. A thief would simply remove one, and cat collars are designed to "break-away" in case the collar gets hung on a fence or tree limb. Fortunately, there has been technology developed to addresses this concern. A tiny chip contained in surgical grade glass can be implanted beneath the skin and scanned at any time to provide a unique identification number. Veterinarians, shelters, and animal control departments have hand held scanners to check lost pets for a microchip.
The microchip is not powered and never wears out. It is about the size of a large grain of rice and uses electronics that contain a unique identification code. No personal information is held on the chip, and they cannot be reprogrammed. The code on the chip is registered with the manufacturer's recovery database along with the pet owner's emergency contact information. They cannot be located on a GPS or other tracking device. The scanner activates the chip when it is held in close proximity to the pet. There is no problem with taking a microchipped pet on an airplane, and some countries even require a microchip as part of the disease quarantine process.
Implanting the chip can be performed without anesthesia. The procedure is relatively painless. A modified syringe and large bore needle are used to place the glass tube beneath the skin, usually between the shoulder blades. Scar tissue forms around small barbs on the microchip to keep it from migrating out of place. Some pet owners will opt to have this procedure done at the time of spaying and neutering.
Microchipping is the most effective method of positively identifying your pet. Each year, thousands of dogs and cats are reunited with their owners thanks to this technology.
Here at Swann Animal Clinic we take the hassle out of the microchipping process. We take care of registering your pet and getting all your information in the system, which means you can have the confidence that your pet gets put into the system within a few days of getting microchipped. Once you are in the Home Again system, your pet's microchip is registered for the life of the pet, at no extra cost to you. You can however pay an annual fee to Home Again and receive several valuable services each year. You will also be able to go online or contact Home Again to change or update any of your information at any time.
We scan all new pets for a microchip, as part of our first annual exam.