A microchip can be the most important gift you ever give your dog or cat! It provides us pet owners with a peace of mind that if our pets ever become lost, they will hopefully be found. Microchips give your dog or cat a permanent, lifetime ID that he or she needs for the best chance to come home. Here’s what you should know about microchips, and why it’s important to get one for your dog or cat.
What Is A Microchip?
The microchip was invented by Jack Kilby and Robert Noyce. By definition a microchip is “an integrated circuit or set of interconnected electronic components, such as transistors and resistors, that are etched or imprinted onto a tiny chip of a semiconducting material, such as silicone or germanium.” Microchips do not hurt your pet or cause any more discomfort than a vaccination. They do not require surgery. They are simply implanted with a one-time insertion from a syringe. It is designed to make sure that it doesn’t move, once its been injected inside your pet. Once the microchip is implanted, pet owners can enroll their pet’s special microchip ID code along with contact information. Enrolling your dog or cat is what makes it possible for your pet to be positively identified should he or she ever go missing.
Registering Or Updating Your Pet’s Microchip
If your pet should ever go missing, they have a better chance of being found and returned home if they have a microchip. ID tags on collars are great, but many times collars fall off when dogs or cats are wandering the streets, so a microchip is your best bet! Enrolling your pet’s microchip and keeping contact information up to date is crucial. So don’t forget to enroll your pet when they first receive their microchip, and to update any contact information if you move, change phone numbers, or switch your veterinarian. If your pet ever becomes lost, whoever finds them can take them into an animal shelter or clinic to get their microchip scanned and can read Fido’s unique ID code to track you down. This is often done by staff calling the appropriate registry with your pet’s ID code. Once contact information has been retrieved, you will be contacted and arrangements will be made to reunite you with your pet. When enrolling or updating your pet’s microchip you may have the option to include the following information:
- Pet’s name & date of birth
- Pet’s physical appearance (color, markings, breed, gender, spayed or neutered, etc.)
- Any medical conditions or other important things that should be noted
- Pet owner’s contact information (first and last name, phone number, address)
- Alternate contact information (additional contacts, phone numbers, addresses) This is helpful because you can list both pet owners or an emergency contact if you happen to travel a lot or are hard to reach.
- Veterinarian contact information (vet’s name, phone number, address, etc.)
Bringing Your Lost Pet Home
If your pet runs away from home or becomes lost, a microchip is their best bet at returning home safely. If you haven’t microchipped your dog or cat you should seriously consider it! It is well worth the money to know that should your pet ever go missing, he or she will have a better chance of being reunited with you and your family.
You can ask your local veterinarian for help if you need assistance registering your pet’s microchip. The following databases allow you to register your pet’s microchip quickly, and membership to these databases may even include additional features like 24/7 lost pet specialists, lost pet alerts, personalized lost pet posters, 24/7 emergency medical hotlines, travel assistance for found pets, and renewable membership on an annual basis. You can also usually update contact information at any time for a small fee.
What Is A Microchip?: History of the Microchip Inventors.about.com