The Facts About Microchipping Your Pet

Every year, pets are lost – and without identification, 90 percent of them are never returned to their owners. Proper and permanent identification is the only way to ensure the return of a lost dog or cat to the rightful owner. While collars and ID tags are a good start but they can easily be removed, or the pet can get away from its owner when it is not wearing a collar.
A microchip is about the size of a grain of rice. It only takes seconds to inject, safely and permanently, under your pet’s skin. Microchips can be injected in cats, dogs, horses, birds, exotic animals and fish. Once implanted, the microchip remains inactive until read with a scanner.

When scanning for a microchip, the scanner will send a low frequency radio signal to the chip, providing the power needed for the microchip to send its unique code back to the scanner and positively identify the animal. The ID number is stored permanently inside the animal, under the skin, where it cannot be lost. The microchip ID number is scanned and traced through a computer database, and if registered your pet can be returned to you.

Microchips provide a permanent, non-alterable way of identifying pets, without disturbing the animal’s coat or appearance in any way. Microchips last a lifetime.

Sometimes new owners forget to send in the registration, so the animal is tracked back to the person who implanted the chip – usually a breeder, pet store or shelter. The seller has to go through their records to determine which animal received that chip number and who purchased the animal. This can be a frustrating, time-consuming chore. Prepaid registration cards can prevent this from happening.

A prepaid registration card may set up the direct registration to the new owner at the time of sale. The breeder purchases the cards and when an animal is sold, the card is filled out with the new owner’s information. The breeder collects the registration fee and sends in the card to transfer the registration to the new owner. This way, when a lost pet is scanned, the new owner will be contacted directly to claim their animal.

Whichever method is used for the registration, it is an important step to ensure the return of the animal to the proper owner. Time is critical to an animal waiting in a shelter. Make sure to annually update your most recent contact information on your pet’s registration information.

The AKC, Canadian Kennel Club, UKC, and the USDA accept microchips. A microchip is a simple, safe and cost-effective way to protect your pet’s well-being. By providing them with this permanent identification, you can help ensure their timely return to you if they ever become lost.

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