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Microchipping Your Pet

Is Your Pet Chipped?

May is “National Microchip Your Pet Month” and we want to take advantage of this holiday to educate everyone on the importance of this topic. While in recent years, “microchipping” your pet has become common practice amongst most animal shelters and is even part of wellness packages at veterinary clinics, it will prove useless without proper knowledge on the microchips themselves. Below you will read why microchips are an essential part of pet ownership, what microchips are and do, where you can get your pet microchipped and “who” as in what animals can be chipped! 

What are microchips?

According to the Humane Society of the United States, microchips are tiny transponders, about the size of a grain of rice, that can be implanted under your pet’s skin by most veterinarians and animal shelters. A common misconception about microchips is that they are used as “GPS trackers”, and can pinpoint the location of your missing pet, which is false. Instead, the microchips can be scanned by special “scanners” which will then reveal a microchip number. That microchip number will be used to look up owner information. 

One of the most common mistakes pet owners make is failing to register the microchip to themselves. For example, it is a common practice for animal shelters to microchip their adoptable animals prior to them going home. That animal is now microchipped, however, the chip is likely initially registered to the shelter, not the adopter. It is up to the adopter to register the microchip to their information. It will not be helpful if the chip is left unregistered, the pet gets loose and then the only information affiliated with it, is the shelter it came from. Even if animal shelters have the ability to look up who the animal was adopted to, others who are getting their pets microchipped through vet clinics will not have that luxury. 

Generally speaking, in order to register your pet’s microchip, you contact the company the chip is through. Examples of microchip companies include 24hr Petwatch, Nano Chip, HomeAgain, Smart Tag and Pet Key, but there are so many more! 

“Who” can be chipped?

Most species of pets can get a microchip, even ones you may have never thought of! This includes cats, dogs, rabbits, birds, horses and other livestock, ferrets, tortoises, and even snakes. At Friendship APL, we only microchip our cats and dogs. 

Where can I get my pet microchipped?

As stated above, it has become common practice for most shelters and veterinary clinics to offer the microchipping service. There are also vaccine clinics such as VIP Pet Care, that travels to pet stores, that offer the service as well. While it is not free, most microchipping services are affordable. 

Microchipping should never be your only form of identification for your pet. While microchipping is important, it does require a scanner to verify owner information. We also recommend that your pet wear its microchip ID tag, a dog license if applicable, a rabies tag and a name tag that has basic owner information attached.

Friendship APL

Friendship APLWe are a private, independent, non-profit humane society founded in Elyria, Ohio. We proudly own and operate the largest animal shelter in Lorain County.

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