Losing a loved family pet is heartbreaking. In order to make being reunited with your pet more likely, we recommend microchipping them.

Microchipping: what is it and what are the benefits?

A microchip is an RFID chip about the size of a grain of rice, which is injected under the skin between a pet’s shoulder blades. The microchip acts as a permanent ID and will last the lifetime of an animal. When the chip is registered, the owner’s contact information is put into a secure database.

The chip is “read” by a microchip scanner. Animal shelters, veterinarians, and animal control officers have these scanners, and use them to find out the serial number of a stray pet’s microchip. The person who scans the chip then calls the microchip company to find out the address and telephone number of the pet’s owner.

If you adopted your pet from an animal shelter or rescue, he or she likely already has a microchip. If you aren’t sure, or if you don’t know if the microchip is linked to your current contact information, we can help! Just ask us to scan your pet for you. There are many brands of microchips, and all of them can be read by the same scanner. Here at Pittsfield Veterinary Hospital, we use HomeAgain microchips.

Some benefits of the HomeAgain microchip include:

Temperature sensing. The newest microchips tell us your pet’s body temperature when scanned, which eliminates the need for a rectal thermometer.

Access to a 24/7 poison control and emergency medical hotline. This allows you to speak with an ASPCA veterinarian at any time. This benefit is free for the first year (a $65 value per call).

Option of premium membership. For an annual fee, the HomeAgain Company will provide additional services in the event that your pet gets lost (notifications to local shelters, flyers, etc.). The poison control and emergency medical hotline is always free for premium members. One year of premium membership is included in the cost of the microchip.

Please keep in mind that even if you do not renew your membership, your pet’s microchip number and your contact information remain in the secure database!

One great benefit of microchipping is the ability to utilize the new microchip-enabled “smart” products, which include:

  • A cat/dog door that unlocks only when YOUR pet wishes to go through it.

  • A cat/dog feeding station which allows access to food only when a specific pet approaches it. This is great for multi-pet households, especially if one pet is on a special diet.

Always remember to notify the manufacturer of your pet’s microchip if you move or change your telephone number! If you aren’t sure who to call, please ask us and we are happy to help you!