I’m back again this month to talk about something very important, microchipping. Did you know that around 8 million animals end up in shelters every year? Sadly, only 15-20% of dogs and less than 2% of cats are reclaimed by their owners. Microchipping is one of the ways to increase the chance of being reunited with your lost pet!

A microchip is a tiny transponder, about the size of a grain of rice that is implanted into the skin. The chip has a unique number on it that can be picked up and read by scanners used by veterinary offices, animal shelters, and animal control officers. Implanting the microchip is easy and relatively painless. A large gauge needle is used to place the chip under the animal’s skin, usually between the shoulder blades. It hurts about as much as having blood drawn, but is as quick as giving an injection. Doing the registration paperwork takes more time than the implantation.

Completing the registration paperwork accurately and keeping it updated is a very important part of the microchipping process. When the chip is scanned it displays the chip number and contact info for the company that the chip is registered with. The company is then contacted and they release the contact info for the pet. If that information is not available or up to date, getting your pet home can be hard to do. Tri-County Small Animal Hospital will enroll you in the registry and this is included in the total price of the microchip.

A common misconception with the chips is that they are almost like GPS devices. The chip does not provide the location of your pet when they are found. It is up to the individual or agency that has your pet to follow the proper steps to contact you. Using a microchip in addition to identification tags on the collar adds an extra level of protection in case the collar is lost. This can help ensure that your pet is returned to you!

Currently Tri-County Small Animal Hospital is using the microchip company, Save This Life. They provide an aluminum tag that is stamped with the pet’s microchip number. That number can be searched in Google and then an alert (in the form of a text and/or email) is sent to the owner with the location of where the pet was found. The chip is also readable by all universal scanners. If you have any questions in regards to the microchips and how they work you can check out https://www.savethislife.com/ or call us at the hospital (865) 435-1374.

Until next time,

Bella the clinic cat