This blog post is dedicated to the magnificent ID microchip! I wanted to write about this tiny little powerhouse of identification because we get so many questions, and there seems to be some confusion about what it means to have a microchip and what benefits are available.
First and foremost - the basics: What is a microchip?
A microchip used for identification of your pet is a small little capsule of information. It’s just a tiny bit bigger than a grain of rice. It is injected under your pets skin, using a syringe similar to those that we use for regular injections, but with a bit larger needle. This can be done during a nurse or doctor visit. These chips have an individualized number that can be found using microchip readers. They don’t have an energy source and they are not GPS enabled. They are a benign little piece of intelligence that can help your pet find their way home should they be lost or, sad but true, stolen.
How does this microchip work to find your pets way home?
Since the microchip is permanent, there is no fear of losing a collar or other ID. When pets are found - by veterinary clinics, animal control or other organizations, the first thing we often do is check for a microchip. The scanner is used to obtain an identification number - different chips have different number patterns, but there are universal readers that can pull a number from any chip. Once the number is obtained, a national registry is contacted and information linked to the chip is used to contact you.
HomeAgain Microchips are the brand that Pikesville AH uses, though there are many other brands out there. When you first purchase the chip, you are automatically registered for life in the National Pet Recovery Database. For the first year - this also includes the added benefits that Homeagain provides. These benefits include Emergency Medical Hotline with ASPCA poison control, Travel Assistance for pets that are found, Rapid Lost Pet Alerts and Lost Pet Specialists that will also help you to create LOST PET posters. After the first year, your chip will remain in the Database and you can continue to take advantage of the other benefits with a small annual fee. One call to the ASPCA poison control is significantly higher than the annual fee you pay Home Again!
If your chip is not a Home Again chip, it can still be registered with them. Of course, be sure to check with your microchip provider to see what benefits they may have available to you as well.
Visit www.homeagain.com for more information about the chips, benefits and of course, as always - we are here for you!
If you have any further questions or concerns, we would love to hear from you.
Until next time!