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Microchips 101 for New Cat and Dog Owners

November 1, 2016

Are you new to cat or dog ownership? Microchips are a major part of pet healthcare that you may not be familiar with. Your pet might even have one already! Look no further—your Oconomowoc, WI veterinarian goes over the basics below.

What’s a Microchip?

A microchip is a tiny computer chip on which a number is implanted electronically. The chip itself is fitted into a small glass capsule, which is then inserted under your pet’s first few layers of skin.

When a lost pet is returned to an animal shelter or a veterinarian’s office, specialized scanning devices there can read the number on the chip. This number corresponds with the chip manufacturer’s database, where your contact information is stored. In this fashion, the lost pet can quickly be returned to the rightful owner.

Why Get My Pet a Microchip?

Microchips are the most secure way to identify your animal companion; many pet owners use microchips and ID tags in tandem to ensure their pet’s proper identification at all times. Even if a pet manages to chew through or rip away a collar containing ID tags, they’re still identified via the microchip!

Another advantage of microchips that you may not be aware of is the ability to update them easily. If you move or get a new phone number, there’s no need to purchase an entirely new chip. All you have to do is contact the chip manufacturer to have your information updated.

Can I Track My Pet?

No, microchips do not allow a pet owner to track their animal’s movements in real-time. They simply provide a number that identifies your particular pet. There are other devices on the market, though, that do offer tracking capabilities.

What’s the Implant Procedure Like?

The microchip capsule is inserted under your pet’s skin using a specialized syringe; the chip is often placed between a pet’s shoulder blades. Barbs on the capsule cause scar tissue to form around it, securing the chip in place under your pet’s skin.

The whole procedure only takes a moment, and it’s virtually painless for your pet. Much like a regular vaccination, all they’ll feel is a slight pinch before it’s all over.

How Do I Get My Pet a Chip?

Are you interested in learning more about microchip identification? Ready to outfit your pet with one? Contact your Oconomowoc, WI animal hospital today to set up an appointment.