6 Common Microchip Misconceptions

Cat Facts posted on June 15 2016 by
June is National Microchipping Month and whether your pet is already microchipped or you’re considering getting one, we’re here to clear up some common microchip misconceptions.
Misconception 1: My pet has an ID tag, so I don’t need a microchip.

All pets should wear collar tags imprinted with their name and your phone number, whether or not they also have a microchip.

Many cats don’t wear collars or identification tags, or they become separated from their collar once lost. Only a microchip can provide permanent identification that cannot fall off, be removed, or become difficult to read.

We like to think it won’t happen to us, but in the United States, about 1 in 3 pets gets lost at some point in its life. Fewer than 2% of lost cats without microchips are returned home, according to one microchipping company, and if a cat is microchipped, the return-to-owner rate is 20 times higher than if the cat isn’t microchipped.

Misconception 2: A microchip is a tracking device.

A microchip is not a GPS tracking device; it cannot track your lost pet and tell you its location. Instead, microchipping is way to identify a pet’s owner in the event it is lost.

The device is a small, electronic chip enclosed in a glass cylinder about the size of a grain of rice that is inserted under your pet’s skin. It’s a radio-frequency identification (RFID) implant that contains a unique identification number linked to your information and stored in an online database.

When a microchip scanner is passed over your pet’s implant, the microchip uses power from the radio waves emitted by the scanner to transmit the identification number. Because RFID doesn’t require a power source like a battery, you don’t have to worry about keeping it charged or replacing it—it will last the lifetime of your pet.

728 x 90_Leaderboard_Google

Misconception 3: Microchipping requires surgery or anesthesia.

The microchipping procedure is simple and similar to administering a routine shot.

The microchip comes preloaded in a sterile applicator and is injected under the loose skin between the shoulder blades. The process takes only a few seconds and your pet should not react any more than it would to a vaccination—no anesthetic required.

Only a qualified veterinarian should perform a microchip implantation. Many veterinary clinics keep microchips in stock, so it’s likely that your pet can be implanted with a microchip the same day as your appointment.

Misconception 4: The shelter microchipped my pet, so we’re protected.

Many people adopt pets that have already been microchipped by a rescue or shelter. New owners mistakenly believe that the microchip is linked to their name and information upon adoption, but in fact the chip is still linked to that organization’s information.

Any time you adopt a pet that is microchipped, find out where it is registered and update the registration to link your new pet to your information. You may have to pay a small fee to update the information or learn that there is an annual fee you are now responsible to pay.

Misconception 5: If a pet is microchipped, any scanner can read it.

Competing microchip companies use different radio frequencies to send ID numbers to scanners, and until recently there was no universal scanner that could read all frequencies. This was quite problematic if your pet was microchipped at a frequency the vet or shelter’s scanner could not read; it would appear to them that there was no microchip at all.

Fortunately, it is increasingly true that if your pet is microchipped, vet offices, shelters, and rescues will have a scanner that can detect your pet’s microchip. In fact, many microchip companies now make universal scanners and distribute them to shelters at little or no cost.

Misconception 6: Once your pet’s microchip is implanted, your work is done.

The biggest misconception about microchips is that once implanted, your pet is protected, but there’s one more key step. Too often, lost animals are taken to shelters, scanned for microchips, and the ID number leads nowhere because the microchip was never registered.

Register the microchip to connect its ID number to your information. Complete the registration through your particular microchip company or through any of the universal databases that allow registration of any brand’s microchip. Some services charge a fee upon registration, annually, or each time you update information. No matter where you choose to register your pet’s microchip, make sure you do it and keep the information up to date.

Ask your veterinarian to scan your pet’s microchip at least once per year to make sure the microchip can be detected.

Comment

Related Posts

Scented vs. Unscented Cat Litter: You may have an opinion, but what does the research say?
Should you use scented or unscented litter? Questions about cat care—especially those to do with the litter box—tend to bring up strong opinions. Even the indifferent are strongly so, throwing up their hands and saying, “does it really matter—it’s just the litter...
Cat Talk: The Language of Cat Sounds
Chances are, if you’re a cat parent, you’ve been known to let out a meow on occasion—or many occasions. The deep desire to communicate with our feline friends is in all of us cat lovers. What is my cat thinking? What is he saying to me? Does my cat really love me? One thing that
The Big Fat Truth about Cat Obesity and How to Fix It
Guest post by Kristen Levine   Kristen Levine Pet Living is the place for stories, science & advice for living happier and healthier with pets.   The cat’s out of the bag: across the country our feline friends are fighting the battle of the...
Open vs. Enclosed Litter Boxes: Uncovering the Truth
For most cat owners, our kitties become part of the family. We share photos on social media, and we recount our babies’ furry little antics to anyone who will listen. Even when it comes to managing challenging behaviors, we tend to confer...
How Many Cats Is Too Many Cats?
Guest post by Kristen Levine   Kristen Levine Pet Living is the place for stories, science & advice for living happier and healthier with pets.   The decision to adopt a cat is a serious one, but it’s so easy to stop thinking and let your heart take over! A stray shows up on your doorstep and
5 Cat Myths and Misconceptions Debunked
From the moderately harmful to the downright bizarre, myths about cats have arisen across the globe and throughout time. It’s time to dispel these feline misconceptions once and for all! 1.  “Black cats are bad luck.” Anyone who has loved a black cat knows that this is one superstition that doesn’t hold up. This pervasive
Copyright: © Automated Pet Care Products. All Rights Reserved