Is Your Pet Microchipped?

Millions of pets are lost each year and tragically, few are reunited with their owners.  Many lost dogs end up in shelters where they are adopted out to a new home or even euthanized.  It is important that your pet have some form of identification on them at all times.  Collars and tags are essential, but sometimes they can fall off or become damaged.  So wouldn’t it be nice to have  some form of permanent identification on them in case they lose their collar and tags?

We are living in a technology based world today, a world where people have needs that they want to be taken care of through technology.  Some people have self needs while some have needs for loved ones.  In today’s world when people are probably more concerned and caring about the pets than maybe even family members, they want their pets’ needs taken care of as well.  This growing need of pet lovers gives rise to a demand of some technological solutions for pets’ safety and security.  So because of this microchips and pet GPS technology has arisen.

Microchips are a pet identification system that is made of silicon and other inert “biocompatible “ materials that are nontoxic and hypoallergenic.  These rice sized chips are impregnated with a code that is individual to your pet and implanted into the flesh between the pet’s shoulder blades.  These chips use radio frequency identification technology that do not actively transmit information.  Because of this, they have no batteries so they last for the lifetime of the animal without replacement.

Microchips are very affordable for identifying most of the pets.  A common misconception is that they are a GPS-tracking device.  This is not true.   Although there can be some discomfort in the implantation, it is relatively short in duration, similar to a vaccination.  The microchips are virtually impossible to remove or be altered.  There are a few minimal shortcomings of the microchips though.  Since there are so many different chips on the market, many of them have different frequencies.  So some shelters may not have a reader to access the information.  Also, sometimes on rare occasions, microchips can migrate from the implantation site making it hard to find and read.  Opponents of microchips claim that studies indicate that microchips are a direct cause of cancer.  There has been no conclusive evidence to support this claim.  Lastly, the microchip is only as good as the registration, so it is important to have the information recorded in a recovery service.

In contrast, GPS devices are actively linked to real-time satellite receivers or cell-phone modems.  They are worn outside of your dog’s body and are GPS tracking devises.  They are the size of a business card and are attached to a collar.  They transmit the exact locale and even directions how to get there once you call or text the device.  They can also alert you when your dog strays.  The GPS device is relatively more expensive than microchips and some require monthly subscriptions.  The GPS unit may be too big and heavy for small dogs to wear.  Some areas have little or no cell-phone coverage or internet connectivity and since the GPS is attached to the collar, the device can be lost along with the collar.

So the next time your are thinking about getting technological help for your pets’ safety, think clearly about what is it that you exactly want from the device and then make an informed decision that meets your needs.  Both are a lot better than the lost pet poster found on the fences and telephone poles.

For more information, or if I can answer any questions or concerns, please contact my office.