Should I Microchip My Pet? A Pet Relocation Specialist Shares Her Story
Why Microchip Your Cat?
Pet travelers and pet owners in general often find themselves faced with a question: Should I get my pet microchipped? It's normal to feel uncertain about this matter, but we're happy to help clear things up.
Recently one of our own Pet Relocation Specialists went through the microchipping process with her cat Leo, and she was kind enough to share her thoughts about how everything went. Read on for a firsthand account of Leo's microchipping experience told through the eyes of a caring pet owner just like yourself.
If you’ve been on our Facebook page recently, you may have seen a photo or two of my little guy, Leo. I adopted Leo in August of 2011 when he was two years old. This sweet boy had been in a foster home and had been in and out of adoption catteries for his whole life.
When I found him and fell in love with him, he had been one of the “kitties in the window” at my local pet store for seven weeks. I adopted him from the rescue group who had been taking care of him the very day that I met him. I am so unbelievably happy to give this sweet little guy his forever home!
Leo has become more and more brave since I got him and has started getting very curious about what is on the other side of my front door! Leo is an indoor cat, so I don’t let him go outside. In light of his new found curiosity for the great outdoors, I decided that it was time to get him a microchip!
I really wanted the peace of mind of knowing that if little Leo slipped out the door and got lost, my contact information would follow him wherever he went and couldn’t fall off (like a break-away collar is smartly designed to do). It took us two years to find each other – I want to be sure we don’t get separated again!
I had a lot of questions when getting him microchipped, so I thought I would share my experience in the hopes that it will be helpful to those of you who are considering getting a microchip for your pet.
How do I get my pet microchipped?
I took Leo to our local vet for his yearly vaccinations and had the microchip implanted during that visit.
How much does it cost?
Prices vary, but my vet charged $35.
How is it done?
The whole process is so quick and simple! Since the chip is so tiny (maybe the size of a grain of rice) it is injected under the skin between the shoulder blades. It is as quick and simple as giving a shot.
Does it hurt?
If it does, Leo didn’t show it! My vet likes to put an ice pack on the area to numb it a bit before implanting the chip because the needle is a bit bigger than a regular needle (like the kind used for vaccinations). They held the ice on Leo’s back for a moment and then injected the chip. Leo didn’t even flinch!
How do I know what my pet’s microchip number is?
Right after implanting the microchip, my vet scanned Leo to make sure it worked. He then compared the number with the package that the chip came in to be sure that it was exactly the same. He then gave me the (now empty) package and some documentation, and that’s it!
How does it work?
If little Leo ever goes on an adventure without me, the person who finds him can take him to any vet who has a microchip reader (just about all of them do now). With the wave of a funny looking wand, the chip is read and the vet can call the company who issued the chip (HomeAgain, in my case) to retrieve my contact information.
Do I need to do anything else?
Keep your microchip information up to date if you move or change your phone number! I once found a lost dog and took him to an emergency vet right away to have his chip read. Because his owner hadn’t updated her contact information on his microchip, it took a couple of days of hunting down her information to find her. Had her information been up-to-date with the microchip company, she only would have been without her sweet pup for a couple of hours instead of a couple of days.
When we got home from the vet, Leo got a treat, of course! After gobbling it up, he was back to doing his favorite things – sitting in the windows, sleeping on the couch and playing with his cat nip toys.
Now, every time I come home, I have more peace of mind knowing that if Leo slips out the door as I’m walking in, he has an unbeatable way of making sure he can get back home to me.