By: Jody Smith | Reviewed by Dr. Clayton Greenway, B.Sc., DVM | Jul 5, 2018
Having a pet go missing is a situation no pet parent ever wants to be faced with. If you are on the fence about microchipping your pet or need more clarification for a particular concern you have reached the right place! Here we go over 8 benefits of microchipping your pet.
A microchip is permanent and has its own identifying number for your pet. You might also want to add a tag to the collar that has the phone number for the microchip database.
A microchip is made of surgical grade glass, and it’s about the size of a grain of rice. There won’t be any allergic reaction or other side effects to microchipping a dog due to its inert and biocompatible composition.
Insertion of a microchip is more like an injection between the shoulder blades and less like surgery. No anaesthesia is needed. And often, a pet will get the chip while another procedure involving anesthesia is being performed.
You won’t have to get another chip. Nothing will wear out. It has no moving parts that can malfunction, and no battery that can die and need replacing or recharging.
Scanning a chip will only give access to a unique set of numbers which leads to a microchip company who will give your contact information to the vet or other staff.
It’s up to you whether or not your personal contact information is given to the person who finds your pet. Or you might prefer to have the microchip company be a go-between agent with the person who found your pet.
It’s always possible to update your data, and your pet isn’t physically involved in the process. Be sure to contact the microchip company if you move or if any other information changes. Giving them information for one or more secondary contacts such as friends or family is a good idea in case you are not readily available.
The microchip requires no maintenance and never has to be replaced. In general, it costs anywhere between $25 and $50 Canadian.
Sometimes the cost may even be covered in the adoption fee or by the breeder. Some vets will charge less if it’s implanted in the same visit as some other procedure, e.g., dental work or neutering.
There may be an additional fee to register with the microchip company. This also entitles you to add other contacts, post photos and descriptions of your pet, and to update your information whenever necessary.
According to a study cited in an article on Ollie Blog, 73% of stray dogs and cats with microchips were located and went back home.
An article on Woodridge Veterinary Clinic’s website reported that the return of microchipped pets happens 30-50% more often than pets who don’t have chips. Keeping your information current with the microchip company, of course, is vital.
Certainly, a microchip needs a scanner to be of any use. But almost all vets and animal control services in Canada have scanners. Microchip manufacturers make universal microchip readers available to the shelter community that can read microchip numbers from different companies. And the companies do it for free or at minimal cost.
When an animal is taken to a vet or a shelter, it is scanned in case it has a microchip number. The microchip company is contacted for the owner’s information. The registered owner is then contacted.
Keeping our pets safe and at home is paramount. According to an article on EZ Heart & Soul Rescue & Sanctuary, 1 out of 3 pets will get lost at one time or another. Of these lost pets, only 1% will be found and returned to their homes. So when it comes to protecting your pet, it makes sense to use as many measures as possible. When ID tags are combined with a microchip, success rates increase by 50%.
Disclaimer: healthcareforpets.com and its team of veterinarians and clinicians do not endorse any products, services, or recommended advice. All advice presented by our veterinarians, clinicians, tools, resources, etc is not meant to replace a regular physical exam and consultation with your primary veterinarian or other clinicians. We always encourage you to seek medical advice from your regular veterinarian.