One out of three pets will get lost at some point in their lifetime. Without identification, 90% will not return home. The AVID Microchip is a safe, non-migrating microchip with an unalterable 9 digit code which lasts the entire life of your pet. AVID states that approximately 1,400 pets with microchips are reunified with their owners per year, saving them from euthanasia. If your lost pet is brought to a veterinarian’s office, an animal shelter, or was recovered by animal control, all agencies are trained to scan all pets upon receiving them.

Microchipping is a very simple, inpatient procedure that takes just a few seconds and can be done during a regular checkup, or even while your pet is under anesthesia for another procedure such as spay or neuter surgery. If you have not already had your pet microchipped, you can schedule an appointment for that alone as well. During the procedure, our veterinarian uses a hypodermic needle to inject a tiny, bioglass capsule that contains the microchip under your pet’s skin, usually right between the shoulder blades. The capsule is only about the size of a grain of rice, so after the initial and temporary discomfort of the needle injection, your pet forgets about it. The discomfort level is about the same as your pet’s vaccinations: a very temporary discomfort for a lifetime of protection! Currently, microchips can be placed in a variety of pets including reptiles, dogs, cats, horses, ferrets, and birds.

Once inside, the microchip settles into and starts bonding with the subcutaneous tissues so that it does not generally shift more than a few millimeters from the injection site. Technicians are trained to scan the entire lost pet just in case the microchip has migrated further than usual. The microchip contains a code very similar to the barcodes on merchandise at the grocery store.The code can be read by a radio frequency identification (RFID) scanner if your pet is brought to a shelter or a veterinary clinic. Once the code is known, it can be traced through the national registry to locate the owner’s contact information.

The microchips we use are built to last a lifetime. This means contact and identification information is contained within your pet—unlike traditional tags that can get lost, stolen or worn down. Keep in mind, though: legible, up-to-date tags with your phone number on them can still be used by anybody on the street who finds your pet, so keep them updated and attached to your pet as well. Having both identification methods on your pet maximizes your chances of being reunited!

After a microchip is inserted in your pet, there is a registration form that must be filled out and mailed in along with a one-time registration fee. It is vitally important for you to remember to contact the registry and update your contact information if you ever move or go on an extended vacation with your pet. Without this registration the chip is rendered useless. The AVID FriendChip is part of the AVID Pet Recovery System, and they work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to facilitate the recovery of lost pets.

If you have further questions about pet microchips or would like to schedule an appointment for microchipping, contact our office at your convenience.