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Microchip Basics for the New Pet Owner

Are you new to pet ownership? Thinking of adopting a companion in the near future? A microchip is the absolute best way to keep your four-legged friend properly identified! Below, your Westminster, MD vet fills you in on the basics.

What’s a Microchip, Exactly?

A microchip is a tiny computer chip, which identifies your pet via an electronically implanted reference number. This number corresponds to a database where your pet’s contact information is stored. When a lost pet is returned to a veterinary clinic or animal shelter, specialized scanners there can read the chip’s number—that means the professionals will be able to get the lost pet back to the rightful owner!

Why Get My Pet a Microchip?

A microchip has many benefits. Unlike ID tags on your pet’s collar, a microchip can’t be removed by your pet. That means that your pet remains identified at all times, even if an unexpected escape occurs. Another advantage is that a microchip is cost-effective; you only have to purchase one. Even if you move or get a new telephone number, your pet can keep the same microchip—all you have to do is contact the manufacturer and have them update your information.

Can I Track My Pet?

No, microchips do not allow real-time tracking capabilities. This would require GPS technology, which isn’t included in identification microchips. Other devices out there do offer this service, though!

How is the Microchip Implanted?

The microchip itself is fit inside of a small glass capsule. This unit is then inserted under your pet’s skin—typically between the shoulder blades—using a special needle. All your pet will feel is a momentary pinch; it only takes a moment, and can often be done during your pet’s regular veterinary checkup!

Is There Any Risk?

The microchip implant procedure is virtually risk-free. There is a small chance of minor irritation or swelling at the injection site, but these symptoms will most likely go away on their own in a few days. Let your veterinarian know if your pet is having an adverse reaction to their implant.

How Do I Get Started?

Do you have more questions about pet identification, microchips, or the implant procedure? Ready to have your pet outfitted with a microchip for a lifetime of proper identification? We’re here to help! Set up an appointment with your Westminster, MD vet clinic today to have your pet microchipped.

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