Monday, June 25, 2012

Microchipping Your Pet

Accidents happen. The gate isn’t closed all the way, a guest leaves the door open a moment too long, you forget to shut the screen. It only takes a second. What about a natural disaster? In California we don’t have to contend with hurricanes and tornadoes but we do have earthquakes.  

One thing you can do to help ensure your pet’s return is to have them microchipped.  People often bring in missing pets to our office to be scanned for microchips. The pets with a registered chip are usually reunited with their ecstatic owners the same day if not within minutes. Pets without microchips or current ID tags end up having to stay the night at the shelter where, hopefully, their loving family will locate them. A microchip, in combination with a collar and current ID tag is the best way to be sure your pet will come home again.

The facts do not lie:

  • 30-60% of lost pets in shelters are euthanized because they cannot be properly identified and returned to their owner.  Only about 14% of dogs and 4% of cats who end up in shelters are returned to their rightful owners.

  • Less than 25% of all animals that enter shelters are adopted by new owners.

  • About 2 million pets that are reported missing each year may be victims of theft.

  • Collar tags are a great way to identify lost pets and reunite them with their owners, but they can easily come off or be removed.

  • Tattoos are difficult to remove from an animal, but they are still not 100% reliable. Tattoos can be altered, fade, or blur, and are not always easy to read.

  • Reading a microchip is far easier than trying to read the tattoo of a frightened stray animal.

  • Microchipping is permanent, completely unalterable, and does not change or harm the appearance of the animal in any way.  The procedure is safe, inexpensive, fast and virtually painless for the animal.

  • There are about 50,000 microchip scanners currently in use by shelters, veterinarians, and municipal organizations in the U.S.

Recently the development of microchip implants to assist in pet identification has become widespread. These are small chips, about the size of a grain of rice. Each chip has its own unique number encoded in it, which can be detected with a hand-held scanner. 

The procedure is simple: with a pet completely awake the chip is injected with a syringe under a pet’s skin over the back of the neck like any other injection. This may be done at the same time that other injections, such as immunizations, are given and takes no more time to do than a regular injection.

Each microchip comes with a registration form that Bishop Ranch Veterinary Center & Urgent Care will fill out for the pet owner and submit to the national registry. This will register their pet and link it with the code number for that microchip. In the event that the pet is subsequently lost and taken to an animal shelter the microchip can be scanned there to identify who the pet is so it can be returned quickly to its owner.

Dogs and cats of any age can receive a microchip. After implantation the microchip remains in place under the skin for life. It is so small that in most pets it cannot be detected at all without the use of a scanner. Microchips have not been shown to cause irritation to the skin where injected.

An office visit fee is not required in order to have a microchip implanted in your pet. Please contact us at 925.866.8387 or email us at with any questions about microchips. We will be happy to help you! For more information about the HomeAgain Pet Recovery Service, please visit on the World Wide Web.

1 comment:

  1. I really agree with your post that microchips are very essential for our pet while they lost. These chips useful to find the pet easily.