The best way to be sure you’re reunited with your pet if it is lost or stolen is to be sure there is a way to identify your pet when it is found. Collars are a great start but unfortunately they are easily removed by people, and they can fall off or break. It is also common to simply forget to put a collar on your pet before opening the front door which they can sneak out of. Luckily there is a solution that can’t be easily lost or removed. Microchips, which are placed inside of surgical grade glass, can be implanted beneath your pet’s skin and scanned easily with a hand held device by veterinarians, animal control, and shelters.
The microchip requires no batteries and it will not ever require replacing. They’re very small, similar to a grain of rice and they are implanted in a way very similar to a routine vaccination. The chip only stores an identification code which is stored in the manufacturer’s database along with the information you provide. If your pet is lost and recovered then you would be contacted by the shelter, vet, or animal control department that has found your pet. The microchips do not affect travel, cannot be tracked by GPS, and even are required for travel in certain countries.
The implantation process is very simple. A syringe and needle specifically designed for the chip are used to implant the chip. The chip is designed to stay where it is implanted and will stay in place easily. No anesthesia is necessary for this, and some owners will have it done when their pet is spayed or neutered.
There are several brands of identification chips that are FDA approved for implantation in dogs and cats. Some brands can be read by other company’s scanners, and some cannot. Pet owner’s should consult their veterinarian about which brand of microchip is most universally readable in their area.