Should You Microchip Your Pet? 3 Facts About Microchipping

Your pet belongs to you as soon as you pick them out, take them into your home, and begin taking care of them. But how can you make sure that anyone else knows that your pet belongs to you if they happened to get out of the house and get lost? It used to be as simple as buying a collar and tags, but today's pet owners have other options, like microchipping. Microchipping is becoming more and more popular among pet owners for good reason, but some still have reservations. Take a look at some facts about microchipping that may convince you that it's the right choice for your pet.

Microchipping is Safe

Most pet owners simply want what's best for their pet. They want their pets to be safe and healthy, and it's easy to balk at the idea of an unnecessary elective procedure if you're worried about potential negative side effects. However, microchipping is a very safe procedure.

Microchipping is a noninvasive procedure that requires no anesthesia. Your veterinarian can easily take care of it when you bring your pet in for vaccinations or spaying or neutering. As long as your animal is healthy and stable, there's a very low risk of side effects. The most common side effect is movement of the chip from its original spot, which can decrease the chance of the microchip being read if your pet gets lost, but isn't usually dangerous for your pet. Your vet should check the site at your pet's regular checkups to make sure it hasn't moved.

Microchipping is Effective

Once you've established microchipping isn't a danger to your pet, you may still want to know how well it works. After all, why bother if it isn't going to increase the chances of your pet being returned to you if it becomes lost? But you don't have to wonder. Pet owners should know that there is solid evidence that microchipping your pet increases the chances that you'll be reunited with your pet.

A national study showed that dogs were two and a half times more likely to be returned to their owners if they were microchipped. And that's not all. The return rate for cats was 20 times higher for microchipped felines than for those without microchips. Either way, you're significantly more likely to get a lost pet back if you use a microchip and keep your microchip registration information up to date, but cat owners should be especially aware of the difference in return rates between microchipped and non-microchipped cats.

Microchipping is Affordable

One more concern for pet owners is the cost of the microchipping procedure. This is understandable – pets are expensive, and some costs can be prohibitive. But microchipping is very affordable. The typical cost for microchipping is between $25 and $60. You may also pay a small fee to register the pet in a microchip database. This cost is usually less than $20.

If you adopt a pet from a shelter that requires microchipping, the cost may be folded into the overall cost of adopting a pet. If money is tight, you may also be able to find veterinarians that will perform discounted microchipping, which is usually between $20 and $30.

Why take a chance with your pet? Talk to your veterinarian about whether microchipping is right for your furry friend. Visit a clinic like Seattle Emergency Veterinary Hospital for more information.