Losing a pet is a common fear for all pet owners.
In the past, tattoos and identification collars were commonly used by owners to help them find their lost pet. However, there’s nothing to prevent the tattoo from fading or the collar from breaking, making the task finding your pet much more difficult.
Fortunately, a new technology has been introduced into the pet world and has proven to be extremely successful. It's called microchipping!
What is a microchip and how does it work?
Microchips are radio frequency identification transponders that are inserted under the skin while protected by a thin bioglass shell. These microchips are extremely small and contain identification numbers that can help you identify your dog or cat if it runs away.
Most animal shelters and veterinary clinics have various scanners that can read most microchips. In most cases, each new animal is systematically scanned to verify the presence of a microchip. This identifier will then be put into a registry and matched with the owner. It’s therefore more likely that a missing animal will be found by its owner. Even better, the microchip does not require batteries or electricity to operate!
Do note however that the microchip cannot detect the location of the pet. It is only used to identify your pet at the shelter or veterinarian's office.
Is it dangerous for the animal?
On the contrary! The microchip is about the size of a grain of rice and is infiltrated into the animal with the same procedure as a simple vaccine. This process is very quick and your canine or feline will not even need anesthesia. In addition, the microchip is both hypoallergenic and long-lasting because it is powered by the electromagnetic field that the scanner emits.
However, rest assured that at your pet's annual visit, your veterinarian will usually scan the microchip to ensure that it is still functional, as a safety measure.
How much does a microchip cost and at what age should I have it done?
The Quebec Veterinary Medical Association (QVMA) estimates that the procedure for microchipping in a veterinary clinic costs approximately $70.
Your pet will be better protected if it is microchipped as soon as possible, in case it runs away and gets lost. That's why many veterinarians recommend microchipping your puppy or kitten as early as eight weeks of age.
So, is that all I have to do?
Yes, and no. To ensure that your pet is found, you must make sure that all pertinent information, such as your phone number and address, is up to date in the registry.
To make it even more likely that your pet will be found, you can add emergency numbers in case you can't be reached when your pet is found.
Remember, it's never too late to microchip your pet! Contact your veterinarian now for more information.