Should we get our older dog microchipped? I’m concerned that it could cause more harm than good–what’s even in those things? Also, he doesn’t go far from home, so I don’t feel the need to track him. Please advise if we should get him chipped and what the advantages are.
To chip or not to chip in Cottage Grove
The month of May just so happens to be “Chip Your Pet Month,” so this is a valuable question this time of the year. With growing technology in the veterinary field, new measures of protection for companion animals are now available to owners at a low cost. Microchipping, one of the newest ways to locate and identify lost animals, is growing in popularity and efficiency.
A microchip is a glass encased device that bears an identification number unique to every marked animal. Once the microchip is inserted under the animal’s skin and registered with the devices company, the microchip can be activated with a scanner at a veterinarian’s office or local animal shelter. With no batteries or power source required to activate a microchip, this device will provide a permanent identity for your pet that will last their entire lifetime. Contrary to popular belief, a microchip can’t track your pet–it’s merely an internal source of identification.
Many owners protect and identify their pet with a personalized collar. While this method can certainly help identify your pet, there are many strong advantages in microchipping your animal. For instance, pet collars may fall or slip off, and personalized tags may become unreadable after several years. Microchips do not face any of these challenges and have no chance of being removed, no matter where Fido wanders off to.
Dr. James Barr, Clinical Assistant Professor at Texas A&M’s College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, explains the biggest advantage microchipping has over other methods of identifying animals, “The biggest advantage is that a microchip can’t be lost. It allows access to detailed information about the pet and its owner with a quick phone call to the company,” he said. Barr also adds that most microchips can be installed at veterinarian offices and sometimes even spay and neuter clinics. He further explains that the process of installing a microchip is very quick and does not hurt the animal, contrary to what some owners might believe.
Microchips, which are about the size of a grain of rice, can be installed into dogs, cats, horses, ferrets, and most other mammals. Finally, do not forget to register your chip to your name and phone number. If you move to another address or change phone numbers, you will be required to update this information with your microchip’s company. A microchip will only bring your pet home if your contact information is kept up to date.
Although personalized collars have been traditionally used as a method of identification in pets, microchipping is on the rise of becoming the modern solution for lost animals. Even if your pet has been microchipped, providing a collar for your pet is still important for providing quick and easy identification. Especially as dogs get older and might not know how to get home, if inadvertently let out of the house or yard, you can rest easy knowing that if your dog gets lost, with a microchip, he has a much better chance of making his way home.
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Pet of the Week
Meet Brinkman. This American Bulldog/terrier mix was found near death in the Garden Oaks area and was lucky enough to be rescued and nursed back to health. At about 3 years old, Brinkman is toy obsessed and also loves to swim! He’d make an excellent boating partner or beach companion. Up to date on all shots and neutered, all he needs now is a loving family…could that be you? If so, contact Love Molly Rescue at: www.thelovemollyfund.org.