Did you know that today, August 15th, is Check The Chip Day? It wouldn’t be much of a surprise if you didn’t: after all, it’s not exactly a federal holiday. However, microchips are extremely important safeguards for our furry friends, and they have facilitated the reunions of many lost pets and their humans. If you’ve already gotten your pet chipped, that’s great! However, it’s still important for you to remember to check the chip. A San Antonio, TX vet offers some insight on why in this article.
When you get your furry buddy chipped, your vet will use a hypodermic needle to inject the chip beneath your pet’s skin. With dogs and cats, the chip is usually placed between the shoulder blades. Although it is rare, chips can sometimes move around, and may slide out of position. We recommend having your vet check the chip during your pet’s regular appointments. It’s just good to make sure that it’s still where it’s supposed to be.
Chips do not actually transmit information, at least not the way a wifi or Bluetooth device would. They use radio waves, and only ‘transmit’ a single ID number, which is associated with your account in the chipmaker’s database. Chips don’t require any maintenance. However, they can occasionally malfunction, which is all the more reason to have it checked.
Checking the chip isn’t only about checking the physical device. It’s just as important to make sure that your records are up to date in the chipmaker’s registry. That unique ID number we mentioned above is correlated to your records in the manufacturer’s database. If your pet ever runs off and is brought to an animal shelter, or perhaps a clinic, the staff will likely check for a chip, using a special scanner. If your information is incomplete, missing, or out of date in the registry, the chip will be useless. And while we hope that none of our patients ever go missing, this is one area where it’s just best to err on the side of caution. As many as one in three pets get lost at some point in their lives!
Please do not hesitate to reach out to us with any questions or concerns about your pet’s health or care. As your San Antonio, TX animal clinic, we are always happy to help!