Pet Identification Microchip Q&A
- Will it hurt my pet when the microchip is put in?
At Dublin, pets usually have their microchips put in while they are under anesthesia, such as when they are getting spayed, neutered, or having a dental done. It can be implanted under local anesthesia as well but is not the preferred method.The microchip is about the size of a large grain of rice and is administered in a similar way to a vaccine. The tiny chip is implanted under the skin between the shoulder blades using a preloaded sterile applicator.
- How much does it cost?
As of January 2017 at Dublin Animal Hospital, pet microchips are $20 for the chip and $20 for registration, with a total price of $40.00. This price may change in the future.Additionally, if you adopted your pet from a breeder or shelter, there is a good chance they were microchipped already. Be sure to have them scanned at their first veterinary exam to see if they have a chip.
- Why is it important, and how does it work?
It is important for your pets to be chipped because it is one of the most reliable methods of returning lost pets to their homes. ID tags on collars can fall off, be removed, or be so worn they are impossible to read. Having a permanent microchip safely located under the skin will mean your pet can always be identified.
If your pet is found and taken to a vet clinic or shelter, they will be scanned for a microchip. The scanner will pick up the microchip’s unique identification number. The employee then calls the pet recovery service (Dublin uses the HomeAgain National Pet Recovery Database), and that company will call the pet’s owner to let them know the pet has been found and their current location. That is why it’s so important that the owners’ contact information (name, address, phone number) is kept up to date with the microchip manufacturer.
It is especially important for cats to be chipped since they often lose their collars, or do not wear one at all. If they do not have a microchip and are lost, the odds are poor that they will be returned home.
- How do I update the information?
To update your pet’s microchip, you must be the owner who originally registered the microchip. When your pet’s microchip is first registered, you should write down the chip number and create an account with the manufacturer on their website. Once you log into your account, you can update the contact information (name, address, phone number, pet picture, etc).
If you are not the first person to own this pet and they were microchipped before, you must contact the original owner, shelter, or rescue to have them update the information. This is done in the event of pet theft- if your pet is stolen, the thief cannot try to change the ownership information on your pet’s microchip.
- Will I be able to track my pet’s movements with the microchip?
No. The microchip can only be detected using a handheld microchip scanner- it is not a GPS (Global Positioning System).
- Will I ever need to get my pet another chip, and do they ever stop working? Can they fall out?
Pet microchips do not have a power source. When a microchip scanner passes over them, they are given enough power to transmit the microchips ID number. Since there’s no battery and no moving parts, there’s nothing to keep charged, wear out, or replace. One microchip will last your pet’s lifetime. They rarely, if ever, fall out.