grey and white dog running in leaves

The last thing you want is for your cat or dog to get away from you and get lost. Unfortunately, up to 8 million animals will end up in an animal shelter every year, and only 15-20 percent of dogs and 2 percent of cats are reclaimed by their owners. May is National Chip Your Pets Month. One way our animal hospital in Chicago helps prevent this awful problem of lost and untraceable pets is the simplest and most effective — microchipping. If you haven’t yet microchipped your pet, here’s what you should know:

Getting Your Pet “Chipped”

Whether during an outpatient exam visit, while sedated for a surgical or dental procedure, or even during a very brief “tech” visit, the experienced professionals at our animal hospital in Chicago will use a sterile implantation device to insert the chip deep under the skin, typically in between the shoulder blades. Many pet owners choose to have this done at an early age while their pet is getting spayed or neutered, but this procedure can be done at any age and during a visit for any reason. The process is so quick and nearly unnoticeable for your pet, it can usually be finished within seconds. And then, as easy as pie, your pet is microchipped.

How Does the Chip Actually Work?

In order for the microchipping process to be successful, your lost pet can’t just stroll down the street and be found by a satellite or your smartphone. Whoever finds your pet must take him or her into a shelter or veterinary hospital. Handheld scanners are then used to find the chip under your pet’s skin and retrieve the number. Each individual microchip has a different pre-programmed, trackable number on it. As soon as your pet’s microchip number is registered to you after implantation, your contact information will be available through a database and call center, and you can be informed of your pet’s whereabouts if it’s ever lost. Our microchips aren’t just for pets that stay within the United States. Village West Veterinary only uses the highest quality, international frequency microchips so you can travel with your pet all over the World, have a chip required for legal access to many countries, and know that your pet can also be “scanned” in those countries if it ever gets lost and needs to be found.

Keep Registration Current

One of the most important parts of getting your pet microchipped is ensuring your registration information is updated. There’s no use in microchipping your pet if your contact information and address aren’t current. Make sure to fill out all necessary paperwork at the time of implantation, and with any changes along the way, so you can be more readily reunited with your pet if he or she ever gets lost.

Contact Village West Vet Today!

To get started with the microchipping process, contact our animal hospital in Chicago to set up an appointment. We’re conveniently located in the Ukrainian Village on the near West side of Downtown Chicago. We’re central to the Gold Coast, West Loop, Wicker Park, Bucktown, and Logan Square neighborhoods, and all points beyond and in between. If your pet isn’t microchipped, maybe it’s a good idea to plan for that today. Your pet will thank you!