Microchipping – Why it’s so Important

Even though May almost over, it’s not too late to remind our fellow pet owners that this month is #ChipYourPetsMonth! Does your pet have a microchip? Did you know that thousands of stray animals arrive at shelters across Ontario every year, and that microchipping greatly increases the chances they will be reunited with their owners?

A microchip is a small, electronic chip about the size of a grain of rice. The chip transmits an identification number when scanned by a microchip scanner. Unlike identification tags or collars, microchips are a permanent form of identification that is tamper-proof.

At Wellesley Animal Hospital, we perform microchipping regularly. It is a safe, fast, and effective. After applying a mild topical numbing cream to improve comfort to the area, the microchip is injected under the skin between the shoulder blades using a sterile needle. No surgery or anesthesia is required – a microchip can be implanted during a routine veterinary care visit.

If a pet gets lost and is taken to a shelter or veterinary clinic, one of the first things we do is scan the animal for a microchip. If one is found, and if the microchip registry information is up to date, we can quickly find the pet’s family. In a study of 7700 stray animals at shelters, dogs without microchips were returned to their owners 21.9% of the time, versus 52.2% of the time for microchipped dogs! (Lord et al, JAVMA, July 15, 2009). Some pets had microchips but did not get reunited with their owners, mostly because of incorrect or no owner information in the microchip registry database – so make sure your contact information is current and up to date in the manufacturer’s microchip registry!

For pets that previously had a microchip implanted at Wellesley, rest assured that we input the contact information on your behalf at the time the microchip is placed – but if you ever move, please ensure that you update this information in the registry. This database can be accessed at here.

Our team would be happy to answer any other questions you have about microchipping and your pet! Please contact us by phone at 416-966-1830, or email at wellesleyanimalhospital@gmail.com.

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