How Does Pet Microchipping Work?
Keeping our animals safe is one of the biggest priorities of any responsible pet owner. Nevertheless, studies show that more than 10 million dogs and cats are lost or stolen in the United States every year. We think of our animals as extensions of our own family, and so whether your furbaby runs away or is stolen, losing a pet can be a heart-breaking experience. Fortunately, there is something that you can do to help improve the chances of being reunited with your furriest family member in the near future – pet microchipping.
What is pet microchipping and how does it work?
Microchips are used across a range of industries and for a variety of purposes. In pet microchipping, they are tiny radio frequency identification devices (RFIDs) that are about the same size as a grain of rice. The microchip is completely inactive unless it comes into close contact with a microchip scanner. These are tools that most veterinary offices and pet shelters now have. The scanner emits a series of electromagnetic waves that will activate the dormant chip, causing it to broadcast a radio signal with a unique reference number. This reference number relates to an individual entry on a secure database that is the property of the microchip provider.
When you choose to microchip your pet, you will be assigned this unique reference number and your details will be recorded onto the secure database. Therefore, when your pet is found and scanned, the person scanning her will be able to look up your contact details and let you know that your furbaby has been located.
While it is primarily dogs and cats that are microchipped, the process is also highly effective in other types of pet such as tortoises, iguanas and even snakes!
If I choose to microchip my pet, are my personal details safe?
We live in an era where identify theft is rife and as such, we have to be increasingly conscious of who has access to our personal information. Rest assured that your details are not placed on to the physical chip that is inserted into your pet’s body – a unique reference is the only information present on this.
Your private details will be entered onto a database that is accessible online. However, microchip providers work closely with internet security companies to ensure that your information is as secure and protected as possible.
Do microchips need replacing?
Microchips have no working parts, so you do not need to worry about wear and tear. In virtually all instances, the original microchip inserted into your animal’s body should last her for the duration of her life.
What happens if ownership of my pet changes?
If you need to pass ownership of your pet to someone else, you must remember to contact the microchip provider so that the details can be updated on the database. There may be a nominal charge for doing so depending on who your provider is.
Benefits of pet microchipping
Pet microchipping offers owners a selection of benefits that far outweigh the slight cost usually charged for the procedure. These include:
- Increase the likelihood of reuniting a lost pet with the owner
- Identification of the owner in the case of a pet who has become lost/stolen and not survived, so that they can be informed and grieve
- Deterring potential thieves if they are aware that a pet has been microchipped
- Settling ownership disputes should two parties try and claim an animal as their own
Pet microchipping is not yet required by law in all states, but it is a very useful practice that could prove invaluable should your animal become lost or stolen in the future. Contact the experienced team of Port Royal Veterinary Hospital and schedule an appointment in our Port Royal, SC clinic today.