Why It's Important to Microchip Pets

on May 04, 2022

microchip your pets

Our fur babies are members of our family. But they don’t exactly memorize their home addresses and phone numbers! Some pets may find their way back home, but as pet parents we have a better way of guaranteeing their safe return--microchipping.

Here’s a quick summary of why it’s important to microchip your pet, including some of the myths out there about this quick, inexpensive procedure.

What is Microchipping for Pets?

A microchip is a capsule about the size of a grain of rice, with a unique identifying code for your pet. The microchip gets implanted with a needle, underneath the skin between their shoulder blades.

Microchipping is so quick and painless that it does not require anesthesia.

Microchips are not GPS, a tracking device, or an active power source. A microchip must be scanned to be “activated” by a reader, also known as an interrogator. This means that not just anyone can see the information on the microchip. The microchip does NOT include your personal information, either. No names or phone numbers there! 

Here’s what happens:

  • Your pet gets implanted with this grain-of-rice-sized microchip.
  • If your pet gets separated from you, they may get “turned in” to a shelter or animal hospital. Or a vet may be called for assistance.
  • The caregiver scans the microchip.
  • The caregiver accesses a database, often the AAHA Universal Pet Microchip Lookup. This search feature is maintained by the American Animal Hospital Association. It is not itself a database! Rather, it informs the care provider of which database to check. ONLY care providers have access to the information in these databases.
  • Once the database is accessed the care provider finds your registered phone number and address.
  • You get contacted to reunite with your pet!

As you can see, microchips protect your privacy, while protecting your pet.

Is It Safe to Microchip Pets?

Injecting your pet with something may sound scary.

However, you should know that microchips are completely safe. The outside of the microchip is wrapped in a little capsule of glass. It’s biocompatible, meaning it will not cause infection.

Microchips are also essentially “inactive” until scanned. There’s no tiny little battery or other electronic device potentially affecting your pets health.

Is Microchipping Your Pet Better than an ID Tag?

Ideally, your pets will have both an ID tag and a microchip. An ID tag will still tell a neighbor whatever information you put on it, such as your pet’s name and your phone number. Such information may reassure anyone who finds your pet that your dog is not a stray

ID tags do have some troubles. For example, they’re not always readable. Also, if anything happened to your dog, he may have lost his collar. 

Microchipping is, therefore, safer and more accurate than an ID tag. 

Giving your dog both a collar with an ID tag and a microchip is the most certain way of ensuring you and your pet get reunited.

Everyone Checks for Chips!

So who will check for a chip if a dog is picked up?

Fortunately, everyone checks for chips! 

Microchips have a universal location--between the shoulder blades. They have many different brands, but they’re all readable by standard devices. These features ensure that a care provider can find you!

If your pet gets lost and taken to an animal shelter, a clinic, hospital, veterinarian or other provider, they can scan and detect the microchip. 

Many veterinarians now standardly scan for a chip when a pet gets a service. This procedure verifies the pet and human relationship.

Chip Your Pet Month

May is National Chip Your Pet Month! This month provides a time to raise awareness about the pet life-saving benefits of microchipping. If you go to the vet or pet service provider in the month of May, you may see signs celebrating the importance of chipping your pet.

Here’s another helpful reminder: update your contact information with your pet’s microchip number annually!

If you fail to register your microchip, the information on it will likely belong to your veterinarian. However, it may have no information and thus be meaningless. Take the time each year to update the database information with your current and correct phone number, address, and any other information. It might just save your pet!

Bad Dog Shares Your Pet Love

Here at Bad Dog CBD we love our fur babies. We want you and your pet to be reunited, should you get separated for any reason at all!

Also check out our online store for treats for your microchipped pet.

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