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FAQs About Microchipping Pets

May 15 2024

In the month of May, we focus on spreading awareness about the significance of pet microchipping. If your pet hasn’t been chipped yet, we strongly advise getting this done as soon as possible. Microchips establish a crucial link between you and your cherished furry companion. Read on as an Rancho Santa Fe, CA veterinarian provides valuable guidance on the importance of microchipping your beloved pet.

Are Microchips Truly Effective?

Definitely! They have helped facilitate many reunions between lost pets and their worried owners. If your beloved pet ever goes missing, it could potentially be a lifesaver for your furry companion!

Many people are unaware of how frequently pets go missing. About one in three get lost at least once in their lives. There is typically a surge in missing pet reports following New Year’s Eve and July 4th. This is because numerous pets have a tendency to escape when confronted with the cacophony of loud noises and fireworks. Fido and Fluffy have a tendency to wander off if someone unintentionally leaves the door open.

What Are Microchips, Exactly?

A microchip functions much like a permanent identification tag. It is usually placed just beneath the skin, between the shoulder blades, in dogs and cats.

These chips are different from the ones commonly found in computers, phones, and many kitchen gadgets nowadays. Pet microchips are extremely small, similar in size to a grain of rice. They contain just one piece of data: an ID number. These utilize a technology known as passive radio-frequency or RFID transmission. The microchip, also referred to as a transponder or a PIT (passive transponder tag), remains inactive until it is scanned by a specific device. The scanners use low-frequency radio waves to activate the chip, and will display its unique ID number on the screen.

Can A Microchip Help Me Track My Pet?

Unfortunately, microchips do not come with built-in GPS capabilities. The power supply is the primary obstacle in this scenario. This isn’t likely to change, at least unless scientists discover a way to harness the energy from Fluffy’s purrs and Fido’s tail wage.

Luckily, there are GPS tags on the market for your furry friends. These are wonderful devices! Many pet owners have already found these to be helpful in locating their lost pets.

Just thoroughly research and thoughtfully evaluate your available options before making a purchase. Consider numerous crucial factors.: the device’s waterproofing capability, the technology it utilizes, the battery life, the coverage range, and any subscription costs that may be involved. For instance, while some of these gadgets make use of wi-fi, others depend on satellite technology.

What Is The Process For Performing The Microchipping Procedure?

Your Rancho Santa Fe, CA vet will gently and skillfully insert the chip under your pet’s skin using a hypodermic needle. It is commonly performed in conjunction with neutering or spaying, but you have the option to schedule it as a separate procedure.

Are Pets in Pain During the Microchipping Process?

No. For Fido and Fluffy, it’s as if they’re getting a shot. Complications are extremely rare. When it comes to recovery time, a few ear scritches, a nap, and a treat should cover it. (Naturally, if your pet is also getting surgery, they will need a recovery period for that.)

We also do want to mention that, here at Santaluz Animal Care, we are dedicated to the Fear Free method, which entails making appointments as easy as possible for our furry patients. 

What Is The Lifespan Of Microchips?

Microchips generally have a lifespan of 25 years, surpassing the average lifespan of dogs and cats by a significant margin. Over time, pet owners of animals with longer lifespans, like birds and horses may need to replace the microchips.

Do Smartphones Have The Capability To Scan Microchips?

No. There is a fundamental mismatch between phone technology and microchips.

What Are The Consequences If My Microchipped Pet Is Stolen?

Microchips are incredibly valuable in legal proceedings due to their ability to provide undeniable evidence of ownership, which is crucial in court.

Is There Anything I Should Do To Maintain My Pet’s Microchip?

Keeping your records current is crucial, but there’s no need to worry about the chip itself. Microchips are typically not active. They require no maintenance. (Note: Unfortunately, you won’t be able to install updates that will prevent Fluffy from scratching your sofa or keep Fido from chewing on your shoes.)

Regularly having your pet’s veterinarian check the chip is recommended to ensure it is functioning correctly and is still properly positioned.

Is There An Ongoing Cost For Microchipping My Pet?

Not necessarily. Some, but not all, companies charge for services. It varies from one company to another. Feel free to reach out to your veterinarian in Rancho Santa Fe, CA for further details.

My Pet Has A Microchip. Now, What Should I Do?

The next step is to finish the chipmaker’s registry. This is absolutely crucial! If your contact information is outdated or missing, your chip will be ineffective. It is important to regularly update your information to ensure that your contact details are always current and accurate.

What Do The Numbers On Microchips Indicate?

The statistics surrounding lost animals are quite alarming. A study conducted by Ohio State University provided valuable insights into the matter.

  • In comparison to stray dogs without microchips, microchipped dogs had a much greater likelihood of being reunited with their owners (52.2% vs. 21.9%).
  • Cats with microchips were much more likely to find their way back home than cats without chips (38.5% vs. 1.8%).
  • Most dog and cat owners with microchipped pets were easily reached, with a slightly higher percentage of dog owners (74%) compared to cat owners (63.5%).
  • Most cat owners, 61%, and dog owners, 76%, wanted their pets back.
  • Many times, owners couldn’t be located due to inaccurate or disconnected phone numbers. Approximately 35.4% of the cases under observation consisted of those specific cases. Furthermore, an additional 24% of the owners did not respond to any calls or correspondence. Approximately ten percent of the chips were not properly recorded, while around seventeen percent were logged in a database that was not affiliated with the chip manufacturers.

What Are The Additional Benefits Of Microchips?

There are several great advantages. For instance, some pet doors can be linked to specific chips. That means you can let Fido go in and out of the yard without any unwelcome visitors, such as raccoons or stray cats, coming back in with him. You can also get pet dishes that are specially made to only open for specific chips. This is a useful aid if you have multiple pets and some of them require specialized food.

Which Animals Are Most Commonly Microchipped?

Microchipping is a widely practiced procedure for dogs and cats. However, many other animals, such as ferrets, tortoises, birds, horses, and reptiles, can get chips.

If My Pet Has A Microchip, Do I Still Need ID Tags?

Absolutely! They are required in many different places. Regardless of whether they are mandatory in your region or not, they continue to hold great importance. If someone happens to come across your furry companion, they serve as a simple and easy way for them to get in touch with you. (Note: Consider adding the word REWARD to the tag to increase the chances of your pet being returned.)

Book an Appointment at Our Rancho Santa Fe, CA Pet Clinic

Are you interested in setting up an appointment to microchip your pet? Don’t hesitate to reach out to us, your trusted veterinarian in Rancho Santa Fe, CA, for all your veterinary needs and care. We’re here to help you!

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