Have you ever endured the anguish of a pet slipping out the door and disappearing? Despite our best intentions, dogs get out when we're sure they can't. They run through open doors, dig under fences, hop out car windows and squeeze through tiny little cat doors that you'd swear couldn't accommodate a squirrel, much less your bouncy dog. Unfortunately, 1 in 3 dogs get lost during their lifetimes and not all of them are recovered.
How can you beat the odds of this happening to your pet? Number one priority: have your pet wear an ID tag with a phone number where you can be contacted. Unfortunately, many people forget to check their dog's tags on a regular basis - they often rust, get scratched, or even come totally off, leaving no way for anyone who finds the dog to find you.
More and more pet owners are opting to up their chances of recovering a lost pet by having their veterinarian implant an identifying microchip. In combination with an ID tag, a microchip is your safest bet for getting your lost dog returned to you safely. These tiny chips, when scanned, can be used to identify your dog and who he belongs to. Anyone who's ever lost a dog knows that whatever helps you find him again is worth having. In addition, many countries now require the implantation of an ISO-compliant microchip to allow a dog to enter without undergoing lengthy quarantine periods.
As part of our commitment to our customers, all puppies supplied by Perfect Pedigree Thailand come with an ISO-compliant microchip already implanted and registered in their new owner's name.
Exactly what is a microchip?
A microchip is...
... a tiny computer chip--about the size of a grain of rice--that a vet can implant between your pet's shoulder blades. Each microchip has a unique number, which is entered in an international database. Veterinary hospitals, animal shelters and humane societies have microchip readers that can quickly be run over the dog's shoulder blades, allowing the scanner to read your dog's individual microchip number. The number allows the person scanning your dog to know which database your pet is registered with. They can then call a toll-free number and the database will match your pet's number with your name and phone number so you can be contacted.
Is it truly a permanent method of identification?
Yes, one microchip should last for your pet's lifetime, and once you have sent in the initial registration, your only future responsibility is keeping the registry informed of any changes in your contact numbers. Although a properly implanted chip cannot be lost or damaged, very rarely a microchip will migrate. It is a good idea to have your veterinarian scan your dog each year when they go for their annual exam, to make sure that the chip is still in the correct location.
How microchips work
A microchip is about the size of a raw grain of rice and is made of biocompatible material. Using a large syringe, a veterinarian implants it into the skin beneath your dog's shoulder blades. This placement is permanent. The implantation procedure doesn't hurt any more than any other injection and there's no need for local anaesthetic.
A scanner is then used to check that the microchip is working properly. The scanner uses a radio wave set at a certain frequency to turn the microchip on, then sends a signal to the implanted chip. In response, the chip's number is sent to the scanner. Your contact information is matched to the microchip's number and sent to a registry. Each microchip has a unique number.
What's good about microchips
Is microchipping a new practice?
No, microchipping pets has been a common practice around the world for many years and is becoming more and more popular each year in Thailand. Since 2007, it has been a legal requirement that all dogs in Bangkok are implanted with a microchip. These tiny computer chips are actually quite amazing, as they can hold large amounts of information. There is no worry about duplicate numbers, as there are so many possible combinations that there are billions of identification numbers available--more than enough to make sure each pet has a unique number.
Will it hurt your pet?
No, the procedure is simple and fairly painless, not requiring any anaesthesia. It is much like getting a vaccination and most animals show absolutely no reaction at all.
Worried about cost?
All puppies supplied by Perfect Pedigree Thailand will come with an ISO-compliant Microchip already implanted and registered in your name, free of charge.
At the time of this writing, the average cost to have a microchip implanted falls between 1,000 THB and 2,000 THB including Veterinary fees. There may also be a small one-time fee to register your information with the database, but in the long run, the microchip process is still much less expensive than all the things you would need to do if your pet was lost without any identification.
Are there any downsides?
The only downside to a microchip is that this form of identification will not work unless your pet is taken to someone who has a scanner. Animal shelters and veterinarians are offered the microchip readers for free, or for a very small fee, so 99% of them have readers available. If your pet is picked up by an individual who is not familiar with microchips (and thus does not take your pet in to be scanned) then of course your dog cannot be identified through their chip. This is why we still recommended that all dogs wear collars with your contact information. If someone should find your dog, they can contact you directly.
Should your pet become lost, be sure to notify your microchip provider or registry. Some will send out an e-mail alert to animal shelters, veterinary clinics and other members of their network that are within a certain radius of where your pet was lost (this is sent out immediately when you call them to tell them the pet is lost).
The advantages to a microchip far outweigh any inconvenience or minor expense. To find out more, give your veterinarian's office a call today.