For more than two decades, microchips have been used by pet owners throughout the world. Statistics have indicated that at least 52% of lost dogs and 38% of lost cats have managed to reunite with their owner thanks to their pet microchips. In the absence of a microchip, the probability of reuniting with a lost pet decreases drastically as there is no way to trace the pet owner. So, what is a microchip and how does it work?

A pet microchip is an identifying integrated circuit that is placed under an animal’s skin. This chip is usually the size of a grain of rice and uses RFID to identify farm animals. These chips can be read by scanners and help to detect owners information for a lost pet. However, pet microchips are not meant to be a replacement for collars and tags. They act as a supplemental insurance against permanent separation. These microchips are encased in biocompatible glass or polymer and contain a capacitor, antenna and connecting wire. They do not have a battery or a GPS to track location. When a low-frequency scanner signal is emitted over a chip, electromagnetic induction generates power in the chip’s antenna. This enables the transmission of a personal identification number which can be traced to the owner’s information. 

The implantation process comprises of inserting a hypodermic needle into the subcutaneous tissue, usually between the shoulder blades or at the back of the neck. The sensations are almost similar to vaccinations and usually do not need anesthesia. However, for some pets, the process may be carried out under anesthesia for procedures like spaying or neutering. For pet microchips to work efficiently and serve their purpose, it is imperative that owners keep their records up to date. They need to register their details such as their name, address, and contact information with the pet’s ID number. Failure to do this can render the chip useless. Following every little step right from registering to maintaining your contact information can help you find your pet easily. There may be many reasons why pets get away. Some wander away, get lost or may have some loss of vision or memory issues due to age or health-related reasons. Irrespective of the cause, it is imperative as a pet-owner to make sure that you explore every possible way to make sure that you are united with your pet as soon as possible. 

There are many other uses for pet microchips other than just finding a lost pet. Many farm owners microchip their cattle to distinguish them. Also, some hi-technology farms have microchip detection which enables gates to open only for animals that have specific microchip numbers. 

If you have a pet who you wish to get microchipped but have questions, feel free to speak to our vets at Aquitaine Vet to get all your questions answered. Our team of experts is here to guide you through the various stages of microchipping including registration, information and finding.

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