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A Pet Microchip for Dogs and Cats Can Be Lifesaving

A pet microchip for dogs and cats can help countless animals find their way safely home to be reunited with their owners. This tiny, affordable device is implanted into your pet so it can provide critical identity information to shelters that receive lost or missing pets. Since many shelters have no alternative but to destroy unidentified animals that are not claimed or adopted, finding the owners can actually save these pets' lives.

Our Veterinary Center Provides Mircochipping for Your Pets

A pet microchip for dogs and cats is a data chip containing a unique ID number. At the time of implantation, this ID number is reported, along with the pet's contact information, to the chip manufacturers, who store the information in their permanent database. The microchip is approximately the size of a grain of rice, meaning that it is small enough to inject subcutaneously (just under the skin) in the vicinity of the shoulders. This surprises some owners who assume that they must schedule an expensive surgery to have such a device implanted. 

The chip requires no power source; a handheld radio-frequency scanner supplies the necessary power to extract the information when its beam touches the animal. Many animal shelters nationwide have such scanning devices and will routinely scan any pet that comes into their possession in an attempt to locate the owner. The person doing the scanning then checks the displayed ID against the chip company's database of registered pets. On confirming an ID match, the chip company provides the necessary contact information to alert the owner of the pet's recovery.

Microchipping can not only help save pets from being destroyed, but it also performs a service for the nation's busy animal shelters. The more quickly an animal's identity can be determined, the less time he spends caged at the facility. This frees the shelter's limited food, housing space and other resources for other pets that may need them.

Our veterinary team at Peninsula Dog & Cat Clinic highly recommends a pet microchip for dogs and cats as opposed to traditional identification methods such as external tags. Tags, or the collars they are attached to, can easily be torn off during a fight, passage through a tight space, or as a deliberate act of theft -- and once this occurs, identification becomes all but impossible, especially over long distances. A microchip remains securely in the body for life, and since it does not require an internal power source it will always respond to a scanner's RF beam.

We advise owners to microchip a puppy or kitten as part of the animal's early-life wellness care, around the same general time as core vaccinations and spay or neuter surgery are administered. The earlier the device is implanted, the sooner owners can rest easier about their new pet's well-being.

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