Traditionally, a collar and tag around the neck of your cat or dog was the sole means to identify your pet and you as your pet’s guardian—a passable precaution should your pet get lost. But now a microchip—a tiny bit of semiconducting material encoded with a registered ID number—improves upon the customary collar and provides further levels of security. How does it work? In a process akin to a routine injection, for a one-time fee, a veterinarian implants an encoded microchip approximately the size of a grain of rice just below the skin, between your pet’s shoulder blades. If your pet gets lost, the chip can be scanned to reveal your pet’s registered ID number, which will be linked in a pet-recovery database to your contact information. Keep in mind that, though it’s advisable for your pet to continue wearing her collar with tags, a microchip can’t get lost or become unreadable.
Both cats and dogs can be microchipped. Even indoor cats (typically collarless) should be microchipped—they can slip out unnoticed or bolt if they are severely startled for any reason. Microchipped pets are much more likely to be recovered and reunited with their families than are other lost cats and dogs. A microchip, while it doesn’t give your pet’s location (it’s not a tracking device), can permanently store the registered ID number in a secure pet-recovery database, where your contact information can be updated as often as needed.
Our wellness clinics in Chelsea will offer free microchipping for cats and dogs throughout the year; dates and details TBD.
For further information, visit these sites: