Microchipping Your Pet

One statistic that shows the importance of having your pets microchipped is that 

ONE OUT OF THREE PETS

will go missing. However, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), microchipped dogs are returned to their owner around 52% of the time, while dogs without a microchip are returned 22% of the time. That staggering statistic widens even further when looking at cats. Only about 2% of lost cats are reconnected with their owners if they aren’t microchipped. That number jumps up to nearly 39% for microchipped cats. 

As you can see, microchipping your pet will increase the likelihood of their being returned home by a huge margin. In fact, HomeAgain Microchips has already reconnected over 2 million lost pets with their owners! Not only does it help you reconnect with your pet, but it also helps prevent pet homelessness! For each that is returned home, that’s one less homeless pet!

At the end of the day, pet owners want the peace of mind, knowing that if for some reason they get separated from their pet, they’ve done everything they can do to increase the odds of reconnecting with them. That is the biggest reason we recommend pet owners have their furbabies microchipped.

4 TIPS TO PREVENT LOST PETS

We know you love taking your pet on adventures. The only single drawback of having your pet join you is the possibility of them running away or getting loose. Sometimes being outside can bring a whole new set of emotions to your pet. The excitement of new smells and their curiosity can sometimes get the best of them. But not to worry, we gathered a few tips to ease any worry that you may have to help keep your pets safe.

Pet Identification

Your pet should always have a tag attached to their collar that includes the pet’s name, your phone number, and proof of vaccinations. Not only does that information make it easier for someone to contact you, but it also allows them to call the pet by its name, which could help keep it calm, and be assured that your pet is safe to handle, as it’s been vaccinated. An even better idea is to have your pet microchipped. This is a very simple procedure to ensure that your pet can be identified, and you can easily be contacted. While both options are great, to maximize your ability to reconnect with your pet if lost, just do both!

Correctly Sized Collars and Leashes

Your pet’s collar and leash size will play a huge part in keeping your pets within your reigns, but it also directly ties into your pet’s identification. That said, it’s obvious that a collar left too loose will allow your pet to slip out. But how tight is too tight? The general rule to follow is that you should be able to fit two fingers between the collar and your pet’s neck. This leaves adequate room for comfort, but enough tension to keep the collar on. Lastly, some pet owners don’t consider the width of the collar, but it is important that bigger pets have wider, stronger collar and leash.

Proper Training

This one can be tough. It requires that you as the owner stay calm and direct your pet, and your pet to comply. With that in mind, if you plan to take your pet out and about with you, they should know a few commands and be able to react to them without regard to what may be going on around them. For example, if your pet has an instinct to follow a smell, a simple “come” command should override this impulse they have. This is much easier said than done, which is why proper training is crucial.

Be Prepared

If the unthinkable, and horrid situation does arise, and your pet happens to get loose, you’ll need a plan. Many neighborhoods have message boards or Facebook groups. This is a great place to start. After all, the more eyes and awareness, the better chance you’ll have of finding your pet. Make sure you have pictures of your pet, that way people know exactly what to look for.

Dog Microchipping

Our professional microchip ID services can help identify your dog in case he or she ever gets lost, stolen or separated from you.

Your canine companion is a loyal, loving and irreplaceable friend, one that may have an urge to wander and explore and runs the risk of getting lost. Unfortunately, it is all too common for dogs to lose their way back home and end up in a shelter. It is easy to think that it won’t happen, but the reality is that a staggering number of dogs are lost in the shelter system each year because they lack reliable means for identification once they are found. At the Harlingen Veterinary Clinic, we feel that dogs are part of the family, yours and ours, and that is why we recommend every dog receives an identification microchip.

Traditional dog ID tags that hang from a collar are a common sense line of defense, however dog ID tags can easily become separated from your dog. In cases of dog theft, a dog ID tag is the first thing a thief will discard. However, a microchip for dogs is a permanent solution that ensures your dog can be properly identified by a veterinarian or animal shelter, and reunited with you.

A dog microchip comes preloaded in a sterile applicator and is injected under the loose skin between the shoulder blades. Although there is no universally agreed upon location, a dog microchip is usually implanted between the shoulder blades. At approximately 12mm long, it is about the same size as a grain of rice. When performed by a veterinary professional, implanting a dog microchip takes a few seconds and is relatively painless. Once the microchip is implanted under the skin, it will remain for the entirety of your dog’s lifetime.

It is important to understand that a dog microchip is not a GPS device providing real time tracking capabilities. Rather, a dog microchip is a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) device. Unlike a GPS device, a dog microchip doesn’t require power, and it is easily identified by an animal shelter or veterinarian waving an RFID scanner across a dog’s body where the microchip is embedded. The scanner simply identifies the company who made the chip and provides an account number. Once the veterinarian has this information, they will contact the ID company, provide the account number and then the company will contact you based on the information they have on file. Your information is never directly released to the veterinarian or to anyone else.

This brings us to an incredibly important part of dog microchipping: Registration! An RFID chip itself is useless if your registration isn’t submitted and then kept current. Don’t hesitate to ask your veterinarian any questions about the registration process, in order to ensure your dog can be accurately identified by its pet microchip.

Dog ID tags are the first line of defense in locating and identifying a lost animal. However, microchipping dogs is the second and in some ways more important line of defense for your dog. This is because microchipping dogs ensures that your pet’s identification is never lost, stolen, removed or compromised in any way.

To our knowledge, just about every animal shelter and veterinarian in the United States has the RFID devices to perform a pet microchip lookup. However, there are various dog microchip manufacturers, and because of this not all RFID scanners can detect every microchip for dogs. Therefore, shelters and veterinarians may keep several different scanners on-hand to perform a pet microchip lookup on a dog.

A dog microchip cannot compromise your personal privacy. When the RFID scanner picks up the chip, the chip only provides an identification number that correlates to the chip’s manufacturer. That number is called into the pet microchip lookup and recovery service, and you will be contacted by that service using the contact information on file. This is why it is essential to make sure your registration information is accurate.

A microchip for dogs hurts about as much as having blood drawn. The needle required for the injection causes a pinch during dog microchipping procedures. Because it is only a momentary injection, no local or general anesthetic is required.

Since it is quick and non-invasive, dog microchip cost is very reasonable. We offer pet microchip services for around $60.

Microchipping dogs is considered very safe. As with any medical procedure, there is always a risk of side effects. These include:

  • Swelling at the site of the injection (temporary)
  • Migration of the chip under the skin (rare and usually within an inch of initial location)

It is important to note that side effects have occurred in a very small portion of dogs and are minor. We recommend a dog microchip to every canine owner because any risks far outweigh the potential rewards.

Cat Microchipping

Microchipping is the best way to aid in having your cat returned safely should it become lost.

At Harlingen Veterinary Clinic, we understand that the bond you and your beloved feline friend share is invaluable and irreplaceable. We also understand that by nature, cats are roaming creatures and therefore run the risk of wandering too far from home, or just accidentally losing their way. In fact, a staggering number of cats are lost in the shelter system each year because they lack any means to identify them with. This is why we are happy to offer cat microchip identification services.

Collar ID tags are a wonderful line of defense for lost cat, but collar ID tags can also become physically separated from your pet. However, microchipping cats ensures that they can be properly and quickly identified by a veterinarian or animal shelter. We strongly believe in the value that microchips bring to the cause of lost cats. Therefore, we want to provide you with insight and education about microchipping cats that will help you make an informed decision as to whether or not a microchipping is right for your feline friend.

 

A cat microchip is implanted through a syringe that injects it underneath the skin. Although there is no universally agreed upon location, a cat microchip is usually implanted between the shoulder blades. At approximately 12mm long, it is about the same size as a grain of rice. Implanting a cat microchip only takes a few seconds, and it is meant to last for the entirety of your cat’s lifetime.

Cat microchipping is considered very safe. As with any medical procedure, there is always a risk of side effects. These include:

  • Potential migration of the chip into another location
  • Tumor development at the injection site (although this is extremely rare and no proven cases at this time)

It is important to note that side effects have occurred in a very small portion of cats, and are considered very rare compared to the tens of millions of cats who have received microchips. When it comes to microchips, the potential rewards far outweigh potential risks.

Microchipping cats hurts about as much as having blood drawn. The microchip comes preloaded in a sterile applicator and is injected under the loose skin between the shoulder blades.The needle is required for the injection causes a pinch during cat microchipping procedures. Because it is only a momentary injection, no local or general anesthetic is required. Because it is quick and fairly non-invasive, the cost of cat microchips is very reasonable.

It is important to understand that a pet microchip is not a GPS device providing real time tracking capabilities. Rather, a cat microchip is a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) device. Unlike a GPS device, a cat microchip doesn’t require power, and it is activated by an animal shelter or veterinarian waving an RFID scanner across a cat’s body where the microchip is embedded. The scanner activates an identification number, which is linked in a database to your ownership information.

Once the veterinarian or shelter get the chip’s number, as well as the information about the company that made the chip, they’ll contact that company to find the cat’s owner.

This brings us to an incredibly important part of cat microchipping: Registration!

An RFID chip itself is useless if your registration isn’t submitted and then kept current. Don’t hesitate to ask your veterinarian any questions about the registration process, in order to ensure your beloved feline friend can be accurately identified with his or her pet microchip.

To our knowledge, just about every animal shelter and veterinarian in the United States has the RFID devices to detect a microchip for cats. However, there are various cat microchip manufacturers, and because of this not all RFID scanners can detect every microchip for cats. Therefore, shelters and veterinarians may keep several different scanners on-hand to detect different cat microchip brands. Since cat microchips can migrate, it is a good idea to ask your veterinarian during each checkup to scan the pet microchip to make sure it is still reading, and is also still located where it should be.

It is a great idea to invest in a collar ID tag for your cat. Collar ID tags are the first line of defense in locating and identifying a lost animal. For example, if a neighbor finds you lost cat, they will not likely have a microchip scanner and will simply rely on the collar ID tag. However, microchipping cats is the second and in some ways most important line of defense for your cat. This is because microchipping cats ensures that your pet’s identification is never lost, stolen, removed or compromised.

A microchip for cats cannot compromise your personal privacy. When the RFID scanner picks up the chip, the chip only provides an identification number that correlates to the chip’s manufacturer. That number is called into the pet recovery service, and you will be contacted by that service using the contact information on file. This is why it is essential to make sure your registration information is accurate.

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