What Is A Microchip? How Does It Work?
So, what is a microchip? It’s a little transmitter. A tiny radio-wave device. It doesn’t constantly transmit data, but it will transmit data, when it is engaged by another device.
They are tiny! About the size of a grain of rice. The glass includes a cap that is a polypropylene polymer that encourages the connective tissue surrounding it to hold it in place so that it doesn’t move around once it is inserted. Inside, it contains a tuning capacitor and an antennae coil. It doesn’t contain an energy source. It requires an external reader and energizer to access the information that is inside.
They are made of glass, and that glass material is biocompatible. It is non toxic and doesn’t hurt the animal as far as we know. Some debate exists on this matter, and is being researched even now. There are some early lawsuits alleging links to cancer but, so far, there is only anecdotal evidence to support these claims. Overall, the chips give pet owners a sense of security, and they have reunited pets with pet owners across the globe. Even humans have microchips implanted in their bodies, so that medical professionals can access their specific conditions in case of emergencies.
The chip is implanted, usually by a veterinarian with a special hypodermic needle, between the shoulder blades. It involves some mild discomfort, but even PETA and the AKC have stated that the benefits vastly outweigh the mild discomfort of the procedure.
Some cities are implementing legislature to require pet owners to microchip.
The cost of microchipping is surprisingly low. $25 to $75, if you include the registration fees. There are a lot of companies out there. Even “do-it-yourself” kits available on Amazon. Here is one review from a dog breeder:
“I raise Havanese, and have been microchipping my puppies since day 1. I started with AVID chips, but when I saw these small chips with a number that allows international travel, I had to try them. LOVE them. Once in a while I get a very short beginning of a whimper, unlike the larger chips. LOVE that they come with a collar tag and are programmable (maybe if you buy them by the box). Love all the labels. I keep one on my copy of the contract; put one on the buyer’s contract; and suggest they give one to their vet, groomer, etc.”
The international issue was a problem in the past, the early days of microchipping, but as it grows, more and more universal scanners are being sent to veterinarians and shelters. PETA issues this warning: “Not all sheltering facilities have the technology to scan, and some facilities may not be equipped with a universal scanner. Microchipping is simply an additional safeguard for your animal, not a substitute for responsibly keeping an animal collared, tagged, and safe indoors.”
The success stories for microchipping dogs and other pets abound. According to MicrochipID, “Over 200,000 microchip scanners have been placed with animal care givers across the United States. Nearly all found dogs get scanned for a microchip.”
August 15th is National Check Your Chip Info Day.
Register your pets here and/or update your information to keep them safe from loss, or find them after a natural disaster or a theft. Don’t forget, microchips are a necessary protection, but Pet ID Tags still save more lost pets for their owners, so get your ID Tag Today! Amazon has a lot of super fun designs!
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