May is National Chip Your Pet Month, which serves as an important reminder to have your pets microchipped if you haven’t already. Microchips help increase the chance of being reunited with lost pets.
How Microchips Work
Microchips are small implants that are placed in pets’ skin, typically between the shoulders. These implants contain important contact information that can help veterinary clinics or animal shelters get in touch with you if your pets are lost. The information on these microchips is the registration number and a contact number for the registry that your pets are on, which depends on the brand of microchip they have. Veterinary clinics and animal shelters scan pet microchips to get this information, then contact the registry in order to find contact information for the owners.
Benefits of Microchips
Microchips offer another way for other people to contact you if they find your lost pets. Although your pets might wear collars with ID tags, these collars can fall off or break. Having a microchip means that your pets can be brought to a clinic or shelter that has the right scanning device for these implants. After contacting the registry, the clinic or shelter can get in touch with you to let you know where your pets are. Microchipping is generally not a painful process for pets, and there’s only a very small risk of any adverse reactions or side effects.
Where to Get Microchips
Veterinary clinics usually provide microchipping services. Local animal shelters sometimes offer this service as well. You can expect to pay a small fee that’s typically $50 or less to have your pets microchipped. Keep in mind that you’ll have to make sure that your pets are registered with the microchip company.
How do you know if your adopted pets have microchips or not? When you bring them to a vet, you can have them scanned to see if they already have a microchip and which brand it is. If they don’t, you can arrange to have them get microchips at the vet’s office. If they do, keep in mind that you’ll need to contact the microchip company and update your pets’ information on the registry with your name and phone number.
Microchips offer important benefits, but they shouldn’t replace ID tags. Making sure that your pets have both ID tags and microchips gives them the best chance of being returned to you if they get lost.