August 15th is National Check the Chip Day! This day was created by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) as a reminder for pet owners to microchip their pets and to keep the information on the chip updated.
Is your furry friend microchipped, or are you still a little unsure about how it actually works? Here are a few answers to some of the most pressing microchip related questions:
Q: How do pet microchips work?
A: A pet microchip is about the size of a grain of rice. The chip has a unique number which is exclusively associated with your pet. In the event of your furball getting lost or being snatched or even picked up and taken to a vet or shelter, a staff member at one of these facilities can scan your pet to check if they’re microchipped. The scanner will beep and display the pet’s unique number which can then be entered into an online registry containing the owner’s contact details. Now man and best friend can be reunited!
Q: How are pet microchips implanted?
A: Pet microchips are mostly implanted under the skin, in between a pet’s shoulder blades. A qualified vet numbs the pet’s skin with a soft pinch, followed by a quick injection. The procedure only takes a few seconds to complete.
Q: How old should a pet be?
A: 8-weeks+ is purr-fect!
Q: Is pet microchipping painful?
A: Microchipping is no more painful than a typical injection. It might be a little sore when the needle enters the skin, but the pain goes by so quickly that most animals do not even realise what has happened.
Tip: If you want to distract your pet for a few seconds while they receive the injection, just feed them a tasty treat.
Q: How much does it cost?
A: Pet microchipping won’t leave you flat broke. It’s a relatively inexpensive procedure that will cost you between R150 and R450 once-off. Note: some companies charge a small annual fee.
Q: How long does the chip last?
A: Fur-ever! Most microchips are guaranteed to last the lifespan of the animal. The information on the chip however needs to be updated by the owner should details such as contact numbers or addresses change.
Q: Can you track a pet with a microchip?
A: Unfortunately, you can’t track your microchipped pet because it is not a GPShttps://www.petmd.com/dog/pet-microchipping-faq#TrackMicrochip device. Think of pet microchips more as permanent cat or dog ID tags. Although a dog ID can help by providing a way to reunite lost pets with owners, you should also have your pet microchipped in case pets lose their tags or collars.
Q: How do you update the info associated with the chip?
A: Your vet will supply you with a unique number for your pet’s microchip. Ask your vet for the details of the microchip manufacturer, visit their website and submit the unique number online. This will allow you to make changes to the contact information associated with your pet’s microchip in the online databases.
To sum things up: A pet microchip can alleviate your separation anxiety and increase your chances of being reunited with your beloved fur child if he/she goes missing. The expense and effort to microchip is definitely worth the peace of mind you will enjoy afterward. If your pet isn’t microchipped, now is as good a time as ever to make an appointment with the vet. Here’s to responsible pet parenting!
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