Elmhurst_iStock_000037815352_LargeBecoming separated from your pet is a scary thought for any pet owner. Our pets rely on us to provide them with food, shelter and love, but how can we protect them in the event that they go missing? Besides a properly fitting collar with current ID tags, a microchip may be the best way to ensure the safe return of your four-legged pal.

How Do Microchips Work?

A microchip is roughly the same size as a grain of rice and is implanted between your pet’s shoulder blades. This pet microchipping procedure takes only a few moments, is relatively pain-free, and is performed here in the office.

The purpose of a microchip implant is to store your contact information so that you are able to be reunited with your pet as quickly as possible, should you become separated from each other. If your lost (or otherwise absent) pet is taken to a shelter or veterinary office, he or she will be scanned to see if there is a microchip present. After the chip is scanned, your contact info appears and allows the veterinarian or shelter worker to contact you immediately.

Microchips are only as effective as the information they have stored, however. A microchip must be registered with a database and the contact information needs to be kept current. This process only takes a few minutes and can mean the difference between being reunited with your furry friend or not.

Are Microchips Safe For My Pet?

In short yes. Microchips are…

Hypoallergenic – The microchip is encapsulated in biocompatible material, meaning that it’s non-toxic and won’t cause an allergic reaction inside your pet’s body.

Safe for your pet – Are you concerned that a microchip implanted in your pet will emit radiation or some other type of damaging energy? Don’t be. Microchips in animals do not have an internal power source, so they lie completely inert in your pet’s body until scanned by the shelter worker or veterinary hospital employee. Once scanned, the chips transmit their stored information (your contact info) to the scanner via radio waves.

Private – Some pet owners worry that their dog or cat’s movements and whereabouts will be tracked if the animal has a microchip implant in place.  Microchips do not utilize GPS technology, so you can rest assured that the location of Fido’s, and your, daily walk will remain private.

Will The Implantation Procedure Hurt My Pet?

Since the microchip is extremely small, we use a hypodermic needle to inject the chip into the animal. The procedure isn’t any more or less painful than a standard vaccination. Most pets don’t notice more than a pinch.

If you have any questions about microchip implants or are ready to take the plunge, please contact the Pet Experts at Elmhurst Animal Care Center! We’re happy to schedule an appointment for you and your fur pal.