If you’ve ever owned a pet, then you know that there are a few things that you’ll be strongly pressured to do for them: Get them spayed or neutered, switch to a high-quality food, and brush their teeth regularly. You’re also told that you should have them microchipped too.
While the first three are undeniably good things, what about microchipping? Is it really as valuable as many people say? Are there any risks involved?
We’ll answer all those questions in this guide.
What Exactly Is Microchipping?
A microchip is a tiny device — about the size of a grain of rice — that’s implanted just underneath your pet’s skin (usually between the shoulder blades). The electronics are housed inside a bio-glass sleeve, which is completely safe for both pets and humans.
When viewed under a special scanner, the chip emits a radio frequency that reveals the name of the microchipping agency, along with a special number.
If a vet, animal control officer, or the like calls the agency and gives them the number, they’ll find your information and contact you to let you know that your lost pet has been located.
It’s important to note that this only works if you register the microchip with the agency. Otherwise, they won’t have your information, and they’ll have no way to reach you.
The Pros of Microchipping
As you might expect, given how strenuously microchipping is pushed on pet owners, there are quite a few benefits to microchipping. Let’s start with the most obvious.
The Cons of Microchipping
While microchipping clearly has multiple advantages, it’s not without a few drawbacks. We’ve listed the main ones, so it’s up to you to decide if the rewards are worth the risks.
The Costs of Microchipping a Pet
Microchipping is a relatively inexpensive procedure, especially considering the benefits involved. However, that’s not to say that there aren’t any costs involved.
If you have the procedure performed by your vet, it will most likely cost you between $40 and $50. However, some of that will likely be due to the cost of an office visit, so you might be able to save money if you have the chip implanted while you’re there for another reason, such as a routine checkup.
You might be able to have the chip implanted more cheaply by a rescue group or an animal shelter, so if money is an issue, it’s worth shopping around beforehand.
Also, if you adopt from a rescue group or animal shelter, your pet may already be chipped. That will save you some money (if it’s not included in the adoption fees), but it’s essential that you switch the registration information with the microchipping company so you are contacted instead of the previous owner.
Will You Have Your Pet Microchipped?
Microchipping a pet is quick, easy, and relatively inexpensive, and the benefits usually outweigh the risks. We’re big fans of it, but the decision is still a personal one, so you should give it a bit of thought before you march your pet into your vet’s office.
Keep in mind, though, that there are few things as gut-wrenching as losing a beloved family pet, so if a microchip can keep those feelings at bay, it’s likely worth every penny.
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Featured Image Credit: Pixel-Shot, Shutterstock