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Taking care of a pet inevitably raises lots of questions, from how to protect your beloved friend against dangerous diseases to how to make sure you can be returned to you if he wanders away and gets lost. Microchipping is a smart, safe and reliable technique for identifying lost pets, but you may have plenty of questions about it as well.
Here are some answers to frequently asked pet microchipping questions, courtesy of our Leonardtown animal hospital.
What is pet microchip?
A pet microchip is a data chip barely larger than a grain of rice. This unassuming device is encoded with a pet identifier number that responds to the beam of a handheld radio-frequency (RF) scanner.
What does the microchip contain?
Every microchip contains a unique ID number for the animal as well as the contact information of the pet registry service that maintains the database for it. This is all an animal worker needs to access the registry and obtain your contact information.
How does the microchip send its pet identifier information?
The pet identifier chip is passively powered by the beam of an animal worker's RFID scanning device. (Shelters, kennels and other facilities routinely keep such devices in case they must identify a stray animal.) The scan causes the chip to send its information to the scanner's display.
Where does the microchip go?
The microchip is usually implanted just under the skin toward the top of an animal's body. A typical location for dogs and cats would be between the shoulder blades or the nape of the neck.
Does pet microchipping require surgery?
Microchipping doesn't require surgery because the microchip is so tiny that it can fit inside a hypodermic needle. This means we can simply inject it into your pet's body. It's a fast, easy task that our Leonardtown veterinarian can perform at any time.
Does pet microchipping replace the traditional collar ID tag?
Pet microchipping is not a "replacement" or alternative to standard collar-based pet identifier tags. Instead, it should be thought of a backup in case the tag on the collar is destroyed, obscured or torn away. Our Leonardtown veterinarian recommends making use of both pet ID methods.
What kind of maintenance does pet microchipping require?
The microchip itself requires no maintenance and should continue working just fine for the life of your pet. However, it's up to you to make certain that the pet registry service has your correct contact information. If you move or change your phone number, contact the registry service with the updated information right away.
Now that you have a better idea of what pet microchipping is all about, we hope you'll take the next logical step by contacting our Leonardtown Veterinary Hospital at (301) 475-7808 to get further information and schedule an appointment. We're always ready to help you help your pet!