Safety of Identifying Lost Pets Through Microchip

A microchip implant is a small chip device that identifies the dog's owner and home contact information. These are also embedded into cats, horses, parrots, and other animals. The chip is about the size of a large grain of rice and uses radio frequency identification (RFID) technology. Some chips are added as ear tags to identify farm and ranch animals. The device is used by millions of Americans as preventative care in case their pet goes astray.

The Benefits

Most animal control officers, veterinarians, and animal shelters look for these devices to return lost pets to their frantic owners. This also helps avoid expenses for medical care, housing, food, and out placing. They are also used by kennels, breeders, and rescue groups, including humane societies, to identify pets. Some countries require the device in imported animals to match the vaccination records. The main benefit is that an owner, who cannot find their pet, has a faster way of being notified that their best friend is found and can be returned home safely.

How the Device Works

The device is usually implanted by a vet or at a shelter. After confirming the pet doesn't already have a device, the vet injects the device with a syringe and records the unique identification number. A test scan then ensures the correct operation. This process takes a few moments and does not hurt your pet. The owner then completes an enrollment form with the identification and the owner's contact information, pet's name, and description. It also includes an emergency contact and any medical information about your pet. The form is sent to a registry and then circulated to related device members.

Implant Location

In most household pets, the device is inserted below the skin at the back of the neck, just between the shoulder blades. In Europe, the pet has the device inserted in the left side of the neck. You can often feel it under the skin, as the thin layers of connective tissue form around the implant and hold it in place. This may feel like a small lump of tissue at their neck. Depending on the animal or bird, there are other locations the device may be implanted, such as a breast muscle on a bird.

The Device Components

The device has no internal power source and remains dormant until it is powered by a scanner. The implant contains three elements, namely the chip, a coil inductor, and a capacitor. This includes a unique identification data number and electronic circuits to encode the information. The coil is the secondary winding of a transformer that receives power inductively coupled to it through the scanner. The chip then transmits its data back through the coil to the scanner so it can be read by the recipient.

Global Usage

The device is not universal; however there are legal requirements in the United States, New South Wales, Australia, and Japan. The U.S. uses the National Animal Identification System for ranch and farm animals, alongside domestic pets. In 2012, Northern Ireland became the first part of the United Kingdom to require devices in individual pets. By 2016, all dogs in England will mandate that the device be embedded in all pets.

All domestic pets should have a microchip implanted, which is a pain free device that sits just under the skin, on the neck. This device has a unique identification number connected to the homeowner's contact information, a photo of the pet, and any medical details. The objective of this device is to safely return stray household pets to their worried owners. Having this device on pets helps keep the costs down for rescue shelters who would otherwise have to house the pets if the owner's cannot be found.

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Recent Comments & Questions

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How much does it cost to microchip your dog?

Depends where you get it... Usually ranges from $15 to $50. It usually is implanted behind a shoulder and is relatively painless. I got my English Bulldog microchiped for $25
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