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MicroChips for Pets

MicroChips for pets have been around for a while, but there are still misconceptions about the use and usefulness of them. I wasn't going to make an individual page about this subject - but reconsidered when I realized that some people still don't understand the difference between the different type of tracking solutions or tend to get them mixed up. Instead of rewriting stuff that is readily available online, I will just point out the obvious and give you the links to do more research of your own.

To sum it up - the right type of microchip can be a good thing to have inside your pet. It does not get lost, or is not easily taken off and discarded in case of theft or a dog getting lost. Microchips occasionally migrate in the body and won't therefore not scan in the expected areas. Sometimes they stop working. In some dogs they can cause cysts, cancer or sarcomas. They can be surgically removed by thieves that steal dogs/pets for resale purposes to labs, breeding facilities, or on the open market. The ones who steal dogs for fight rings, generally don't bother with the checking or removal of internal micro chips, as the dogs are usually used as bait.

Identifying a lost pet via microchip requires for the "finder" to take said pet to a vet or animal shelter to get it scanned. If they are not willing to do that or are tempted to keep the pet themselves before they can make it to a vet or shelter, it may take a while for lost pets to be identified and their owners found, if ever. We all read about that dog or cat that disappeared during a move, or a thunderstorm, or while traveling with their owners - and wasn't identified for many years afterwards via their chip. Microchipping is a good permanent and/or alternate "back-up solution" - but there are other ways of getting this accomplished quicker and in real time, making it easy for the "finder" to contact you to return the pet, or for you to actually track and find it yourself. 

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Learn About Alternative Tracking Solutions for your Pets!
SmartPhone Tags    &    GPS Tags

Is your dog currently chipped? Did you actually send in the paperwork to register the chip in your name? If so, when was the last time you checked the information to make sure it is current? Have you moved or gotten a different phone# since? They cannot contact you, if your info is out of date or simply no longer applies. So be sure to check into that!

Recommended Reading:

Here's another great article that summarizes the different chips used in the US and why they sometimes don't work, or why certain readers can't read the implanted chips.

Not all MicroChips are created equal. And not all microchip readers read all type of chips. 

In 2004-2006 there was  a huge scandal about readers used by shelters and vets not being able to read Banfield microchips, meaning the chipped animals could not be identified when taken to vets or shelters, and in many cases did not show a chip at all. I believe Banfield now uses different chips so they can be read pretty much with any reader, but be sure to ask if you use them as your veterinarian. There may still be older pets around that have the old chips implanted that will not ID your dog or cat. If you have an older pet that was chipped by Banfield, the next time you go to the vet, be sure to ask them to scan it to be certain. Here is an updated article that adresses this subject in more detail.

Separating Fact from Fiction!

Take a moment to read this excerpt. You can find the entire page here: www.banfield.com

MicroChips + Cancer Articles

Microchips and Cancer - A Review.
DogsNaturally Magazine: Implanted Microchips Cause Cancer
AVMA - this article is so long and boring, I really had to make myself read it twice before I finally found it. While it does include a lot of pertinent information, the cancer and adverse risk info is all the way at the bottom, which you won't get to without drifting off, falling asleep or closing the document before you're done reading it. Scroll almost to the bottom of the page to find it.