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Microchipping Pets: What Every Pet Parent Should Know

August 18th, 2014 by Cherished Companions Animal Clinic

Susan wants to know about microchipping pets - like her new puppy!

So you’re thinking about microchipping pets in Castle Rock… 

The question is, does this form of pet identification make sense for your dogs and cats?

Here are useful things to know about microchipping pets, so you can make a good decision for your pet family.

What is a pet microchip?

A pet microchip is a way to identify your dog or cat if he or she gets lost or stolen.

If your pet is found, the microchip proves it’s your pet. It gives people a way to contact you.

As long as you keep your microchip registration up-to-date, it’s an almost fail-proof pet identification system.

Unlike a pet collar or ID tag, it can’t get lost.

A pet microchip is good across the country, so if you travel and your dog or cat gets loose, there’s a better chance of identifying your pet if found.

Max is a good candidate for a pet microchip because he is always escaping from the fence.

How does microchipping pets work?

Microchipping pets is a relatively quick process.

Our Castle Rock veterinarians place a little pellet about the size of a grain of rice under your pet’s skin.

The pellet contains a unique pet identification number. It can be electronically scanned to identify your dog or cat.

If your pet is found, the identification number is entered into a national pet recovery database to find your contact information.

What do pet parents need to do?

There are two things you need to do to complete the process of microchipping your pet:

  • First, you have to register your chip. (Scroll down to learn how.)
  • Second, you need to keep your contact information up-to-date with the microchip registry.

Otherwise, this pet identification system may not work.

How can I find out if my dog or cat already has a pet microchip?

The best thing to do is to ask your breeder, pet store or adoption group — or look in your paperwork.

Typically, in the Denver area, local animal shelters are great about microchipping pets. The pets we see that have been adopted from shelters usually have microchips.

It’s much more common for families who have purchased purebred dogs to come into our veterinary clinic for pet microchipping services.

We also can scan your pet to see if your dog or cat already has a microchip.

Clyde, a rescue cat, is no stranger to microchipping pets.

What’s the best age to consider microchipping pets?

Typically, at our Castle Rock veterinary clinic, we recommend waiting until you spay or neuter your pet. That way, your pet is under anesthesia in a restful state.

For most pets, getting a microchip is about the same as getting a vaccination shot.

At many animal shelters, microchipping pets is an early event.

Many puppies and kittens get them when they’re as young as eight weeks old.

What should we expect during and after the microchipping procedure?

Our veterinarians shave and scrub a small spot on your pet’s skin to ensure a sterile procedure.

If your pet has long hair (or long fur), we’ll try to implant the chip in a subtle place under the hair, so the spot isn’t noticeable.

Following the procedure, you may notice the small, shaved area and a little dab of temporary glue to keep the chip from coming out.

Typically, the hair or fur grows back within a few weeks.

Occasionally, pets can have mild to severe reactions after the pet microchip is put in, and the chip needs to be removed. This is rare, though.

Is there annual care involved?

No, the procedure to implant the pet microchip is a one-time event.

Microchipping pets is often completed in purebred dogs.

How do I register a pet microchip?

You can register your microchip with the Microchip Registration Center. The registration should stay active for your pet’s entire life.

There’s a one-time fee for registration. There are no annual fees or renewal fees.

The Microchip Registration Center is a universal registry, so you can register any brand of microchip.

(Our veterinary clinic typically uses the HomeAgain brand of microchip.)

Your pet will be registered with two databases:

  • The Microchip Registration Center
  • The National Pet Microchip Lookup Tool (AAHA) – the online search engine used by shelters and vets.

To learn more about registering a pet microchip, visit the Microchip Registration Center website.

How do I update a pet microchip?

Great question! It’s important to keep your contact information up-to-date.

If you remember which microchip registry you used, head to that website to update your information.

For example, if you got a HomeAgain microchip and you registered on the HomeAgain website, you can check your microchip status and log in to update your data.

If you aren’t sure where you registered your pet’s microchip…

You may want to visit a website with a universal registry to find out if you can create a new account.

Related articles that may interest you

Microchip your furry friend

And rest a little easier! Call our Castle Rock veterinarians at 303-688-3757 to schedule microchipping. Or:

Book your visit here

Cherished Companions Animal Clinic is a veterinary clinic in Castle Rock, Colorado. Specializing in the care of cats and dogs, our goal is to help you and your pet feel more comfortable, keeping your stress to a minimum.

This article is intended to provide general guidance on microchipping pets in Castle Rock. If you have specific questions or concerns, please contact your local veterinarian. (If you live in or around Castle Rock, CO, we welcome your call.)

 © 2014, Cherished Companions Animal Clinic, All Rights Reserved

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