Our pets are like family, and most of us would do anything to ensure their health and safety at all times. Owning a pet comes with its challenges; one of the most stressful and difficult moments of pet ownership is when your pet goes missing. It can be devastating to families to lose such wonderful companions, although sometimes we are able to get them back. In recent years, pet owners have been going to greater lengths to be reunited with their pets after they go missing. Luckily, technology has kept up with this desire and afforded us the luxury of pet micro chipping. This is a procedure that is beneficial for many reasons, and has reunited pets and owners for years. There are a few misconceptions about pet microchips, and there are risks that come along with the procedure as well. Before you decide to go ahead with the procedure, it is important that you do your due diligence as a caring pet owner and inform yourself of all the pros and cons to having a microchip implanted in your pet.
The first misconception that pet owners often assume about microchips is that they can locate your pet at anytime if they go missing. This is simply not the case; microchips are not meant to track your pet’s location, but only hold information about the pet’s residence and its owner’s contact information so that if the pet is found after being lost, the microchip can then be scanned by animal health professionals (usually at a shelter) and returned to its home. Another misconception is that microchips are large, cumbersome pieces of technology that are implanted under the animal’s skin, and that they likely cause irritation. In actuality, microchips are no larger than a grain of rice that generally causes no disturbance to the animals skin.
The procedure is a medical procedure that should be taken seriously. Although quick, it is not necessarily painless. Your pet will likely need a numbing cream or some type of anesthetic for the procedure. This is a serious consideration for pet owners for several reasons; one, because anesthetic adds cost to your vet bill, and two, because if your pet is being put under for the procedure, this can be accompanied by other health concerns that only you can consider. Another thing to consider is that the microchip does not always stay in the place where it was implanted. If tissue does not secure the implant in place, it can move around to other areas of the body. This is something that should be checked routinely.
Another more serious risk of micro chipping your pet is the potential for your pet’s body to reject the foreign object. Like similar human surgeries, complications can develop when things are implanted in a body that usually wouldn’t be there. This can be due to unique body chemistry or the material of the object itself. The side effects of this can range from inflammation or development of a tumor. The decision to microchip your pet is an individual one, and totally based on your own circumstances. It is a personal choice that should be made under consideration of the risks and benefits, and is not something to take lightly.
While micro chipping comes with several risks, it also can be very beneficial for certain pet owners. If your pet has not been trained well to obey the rule of the front door (i.e. not running outside when the door opens), then you may want to consider whether or not a microchip is the solution. While it is important to train your pet for their own safety, it requires time and dedication, and is not always easy. One of the responsibilities that comes with pet ownership is to ensure that your pet remains safe and healthy as long as they are in your care. If, for you, microchips sound like they would fit your situation the best, then you are encouraged to speak with your trusted veterinarian to talk more in depth about the risks and rewards of micro chipping. Make sure that you are able to ask all the questions you have about the procedure and how it may benefit your own situation.