Understanding pet microchipping
Over the past decade, the use of pet microchips has significantly increased, becoming a fundamental part of pet ownership. This blog aims to provide an in-depth understanding of pet microchipping, its advantages, and the potential concerns associated with it.
What is Pet Microchipping?
Pet microchipping is a procedure that involves implanting a small electronic chip the size rice under the skin of an animal. The microchip is usually inserted between the animals shoulder blades at the back of your animales neck.
This chip carries a unique identification number. If your animal gets lost and picked up by anyone or taken to a shelter or a vet, they can use a special scanner to retrieve this ID number. The ID number is linked to a database that includes the pet's name, owner's name, and contact information. This information is pivotal in reuniting lost pets with their owners.
Benefits of Pet Microchipping
1. Permanent Identification: Unlike collars and tags that can be removed or lost, a microchip provides a permanent method of identification. It remains functional throughout the pet's life and doesn't require any maintenance.
2. Efficient Recovery: Microchipped pets are statistically more likely to be back with their owners if they get lost. The simple scanning process helps quickly identify the pet's family.
3. International Standard: Most microchips comply with international standards, making them readable worldwide. This feature is especially beneficial for families who travel with their pets.
4. Proof of Ownership: In cases of ownership disputes, a registered microchip provides clear evidence. This can be useful when dealing with stolen pets.
5. Simplicity and Safety: The implantation process is quick, similar to a routine vaccination. The procedure causes minimal discomfort to the pet and is generally safe with rare instances of side effects.
Concerns About Pet Microchipping
Despite its numerous advantages, pet microchipping does raise a few concerns that potential pet owners should be aware of:
1. Misconception about GPS Tracking: A common misconception is that microchips function as GPS trackers. However, this is not the case. They do not provide real-time location data, and they can only be scanned when the pet is found.
2. Potential Health Risks: Although extremely rare, there have been instances where microchips have caused tissue reactions, migration, and, in isolated cases, cancerous growths. It's crucial to consult your vet about these potential risks.
3. Scanning Limitations: Not all scanners can read all microchips, leading to potential compatibility issues. However, universal scanners are becoming more commonplace.
4. Privacy Concerns: Like any system that uses personal data, microchip databases are subject to privacy concerns. Ensure that the microchip company has strong data privacy measures in place.
5. Registration and Updating Information: A microchip is only as good as the information linked to it. It is the pet owner's responsibility to register the id chip and keep the contact details updated.
The Microchipping Process
Microchipping is a simple and quick process performed by a veterinarian. The chip is loaded into a sterile applicator and injected under the pet's skin. The process is akin to a vaccination shot and usually doesn't require anesthesia. The microchip itself doesn't have a battery; it's activated by the scanner's radio waves and transmits the unique ID number to the scanner.
Once the chip is inserted, the vet will provide information on how to register the chip. Registration is a crucial step; without it, the microchip is just a number with no link to the pet owner.
The benefits of microchipping pets are compelling. It offers a reliable and effective method of ensuring that if your beloved pet gets lost, there's a higher chance they will be returned home safely. However, it's crucial to note that a microchip shouldn't be looked at as a substitute for a collar or tags. These items remain your pet's primary means of identification should they ever become lost.
While concerns about health risks and privacy are valid, the advantages of microchipping largely outweigh the potential downsides. Like any other decision related to your pet's health, the choice to microchip should be made after consulting with your vet and considering your unique circumstances.
In the end, microchipping represents an additional layer of security for your pet. For any pet parent, the comfort of knowing you've increased the odds of a safe return if your pet gets lost is priceless. Remember, it's not just about finding your lost pet; it's about getting them back home, where they belong.
- Ezra Cohen