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Microchipping Your Pet: What You Should Know

microchipping your pet
Dr. Rick Coufal, DVM

Dr. Rick Coufal, DVM

Dr. Rick Coufal is the founder and lead veterinarian for Ponderosa Veterinary Clinic. Coufal graduated from State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences in May of 2000.

American Humane estimates that approximately 10 million pets are lost every year in the United States and only 15 percent of dogs and 2 percent of cats without identification are reunited with their owners. As any pet owner knows, accidents can happen, and pets can escape in an instant. This is why it is critical to microchip your pet. A microchip provides an additional source of identification for your dog or cat in the event that they wander outside and get lost.

At Ponderosa Veterinary Clinic, we are proud to provide compassionate services while empowering pet owners with transparent information so they can make the most informed decisions for their pets. As a vet in Colorado Springs, we want our patients to have the knowledge of what microchips are, how they work, and why it’s important to microchip your dog or cat to keep them as safe as possible.

What is a microchip?

A microchip is a radio frequency identification transponder no larger than a grain of rice that can be used to identify your pet if they are lost. Once the microchip is inserted, it carries a unique identification number that can be used to identify your lost pet and contact you when they are found. The microchip is injected under the skin between your pet’s shoulder blades and is done in your vet’s office during a routine appointment or during a scheduled surgery.

How does a microchip work?

A microchip contains a unique identification number for your pet. Your pet’s microchip is not a GPS or tracking device, nor does it require a battery. It is activated when a microchip scanner is passed over the area. Radio waves used by the scanner activate the microchip to display the identification number that allows animal care facilities, such as veterinary offices or animal shelters, to contact you and let you know your pet has been found.

Picture of a black and white cat standing still as a microchip scanner is waved over their shoulder blades.

Is microchipping safe?

Microchipping your pet is completely safe. Microchipping dogs and cats have become the standard in the veterinary medical industry. The microchip is inserted using a sterile, preloaded syringe no larger than a vaccination syringe. The microchip is permanent and allows for your pet to have a unique identification number in the event they are lost.

Is microchipping painful?

The process of microchipping your pet is virtually painless for them. The microchip can be inserted at a routine veterinarian appointment and requires no anesthetic for your dog or cat. The process is very fast, and the microchip stays in place for your pet’s entire life.

Some pet owners also ask their veterinarian to place a microchip in their pet during another surgery procedure, like a spay or neuter. If you would like to microchip your pet during a spay or neuter, make sure to talk to your veterinarian about their microchipping services.

Benefits of microchipping

Microchipping your pets is the most reliable way to be reunited with your pets if they are lost. The procedure is safe, easy, and affordable. Even indoor pets can accidentally escape outside, and wearing a collar with contact information does not provide a permanent identification solution like a microchip.

Additional benefits of microchipping pets include:

  • Permanent identification for your pet that beats wearing a collar
  • Lifetime identification for your pet that never needs to be replaced
  • An increased chance of reconnecting with your pet when they are found
  • Only authorized parties have access to the microchip information
  • Microchipping is virtually a painless procedure for your pet that is quick and affordable

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What type of information is in the microchip?

Similar to a barcode, a microchip contains a unique identification number for your pet. Depending on the microchip registration, some databases allow you to store information about your pet, such as certain medical information.

  1. Should I be concerned about privacy?

You do not need to be concerned about your privacy. The information you provide to the microchip registry is only accessible to authorized parties. This is why it is important to update your information so animal care facilities can contact you. Information that is not updated, like a phone number or address, will make it much harder for you and your pet to be reunited.

  1. Where do I go to get my pet microchipped?

Microchips are important to make sure your dog or cat can be reunited with you in the event that they get lost. Your local veterinarian will be able to insert your pet’s microchip, so you should contact them with any questions you may have about the process.

Microchip Your Pet with Ponderosa Veterinary Clinic

Accidents can happen, and your pet can easily slip outside through an open door or gate. Microchipping is the best way to keep your pet safe in case they get lost. The microchip is permanent and unique to your pet to ensure they are properly identified by animal care facilities when they are found. 

At Ponderosa Veterinary Clinic, microchipping is one of our most popular services. As a vet in Colorado Springs, we provide affordable microchipping for pets to keep your furry friends as safe as possible. If you have questions about our microchipping services or would like to set up an appointment to microchip your pet, contact Ponderosa Veterinary Clinic today!

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