Many cities across the country, Albuquerque included, require companion animals to have permanent identification. When you adopt from a shelter, your new family member comes microchipped. Otherwise, you’ll need to have a veterinarian do it. It’s a simple, safe procedure that helps keep pets and their humans together.

What They Are and How They Work

The microchips used in pets are minuscule vessels that hold all the information needed to get lost pets home. They sit protected inside non-toxic, hypoallergenic capsules the size of rice grains.

Each chip holds a unique registration number linked to a microchip registry company. The chips do not hold any personal information about pet owners. If your lost pet is picked up or taken to a shelter or veterinarian, authorities will scan the microchip. They’ll get in touch with the registry company so you can be reunited with your pet.

The Procedure

Microchip placement is simple, quick, and minimally invasive. Veterinarians use a needle applicator to implant the chip between pets’ shoulder blades. It’s similar to a simple vaccination.

Safety and Durability

The chances of pets suffering side effects from microchipping are minute. While it’s possible for masses, migration, or rejection to occur, they are extreme rarities. By far, the risks of pets never returning home outweigh the risks of microchip side effects.

Aside from being safe, microchips are made to last. They won’t wear out or break, and they have a 25-year lifespan. That means once it’s in it stays in. It never needs removal, repair, or replacement.

Owner Responsibilities

Once implanted, your pet’s microchip requires registration. Veterinarians will usually recommend a microchip registry company and provide paperwork. Sandia Animal Clinic recommends AKC Reunite. You’ll also receive a tag with your pet’s registration number.

While microchips are amazing little devices, it’s best to have backup identification such as tags or collars embroidered with owner information. When pets become lost, they don’t always end up in the hands of people who will scan for microchips. Visible owner information makes it easy for a neighbor to connect with you in the case they find your lost pet.

Millions of pets go missing every year. Aside from it being the law, having proper identification on your pet is essential. Microchips are safe, effective, and result in countless happy reunions of pets and their humans.

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