Every week, the staff at Traditions Animal Hospital receives calls from heartbroken owners looking for thier lost pet. After taking a detailed description of the pet, we ask if the pet has a microchip. Sadly, the majority of lost pets have not been "chipped." Also, the majority of stray/found dogs that are brought in to our hospital have not been microchipped. More pets die from not being identified than from all infectious diseases combined. Having your pet microchipped is an easy way to ensure that your pet has permanent identification. Tags fall off collars, collars fall off dogs, but a microchip is permanent.
Traditions Animal Hospital uses the HomeAgain microchip. This is an in-expensive way to have your pet identifiable if found. Microchips are a tiny computer chip about the size of a grain of rice that has an identification number programed into it. The microchips are placed under the skin of your pet, usually between the shoulder blades using a hypodermicneedle. The process is quick and no more painful than a vaccination. The chip has a unique number, cannot get lost and it lasts a lifetime. If your animal was found by someone and taken to an animal hospital, the humane society or animal control, your pet would be scanned for a microchip to see who the owner is. The owner's name and address are available on a database so the pet can be returned quickly and safely if lost. Here at Traditions Animal Hospital, we feel that every pet should be microchipped. It only takes seconds for a door to be cracked, your back to be turned or a gate to be left open for your pet to disappear. While many pets don't roam far and can find their way back, this is often not the case. The microchip guarantees that your pet is identifiable if found. It is not a tracking device. It serves as a way for your pet to be identified with who he/she belongs to.
What is HomeAgain?
HomeAgain is an advanced lost pet recovery service dedicated to the safety and well-being of your pet. Our system is best utilized when a microchip with a unique ID number is injected between the shoulder blades of your pet, which can be done by a veterinarian if your pet is not already microchipped. Once your pet is microchipped, the next step is to enroll your pet's microchip ID, description, and photo, along with your contact information, in the HomeAgain National Pet Recovery Database, which is critical to reuniting you immediately with your lost pet once he is found.
Once enrolled, your pet is entitled to all the additional benefits of the HomeAgain annual membership, including:
- unlimited updates to your pet or contact information online or by phone
- 24/7 access to our Lost Pet Specialists
- Rapid Lost Pet Alerts and Lost Pet Posters
- Medical Insurance for Lost Dogs or Cats from PetFirst Healthcare
- 24/7 access to the Pet Medical Emergency Hotline
- and more!
How long does the microchip last?
The microchip has no power supply, battery, or moving parts. It is designed with an operating life of over 25 years and is guaranteed for the life of the animal. Once injected, the microchip is anchored in place as a thin layer of connective tissue forms around it. The chip requires no care. It does not pass through or out of the body.
Although the microchip needle is larger than a typical vaccine needle, the general rule is this…your animals will react the SAME way to this shot as they do to any other. No better, no worse. Animals do not over react to it. Their physical performance is not impaired and there is no scarring. You are not injecting any substance that can burn or irritate; the chip is completely biocompatible and non-offensive.
When properly implanted, a small layer of connective tissue forms around the microchip, preventing movement or migration of the chip. Instructions and injection sites will vary depending upon the specie.
Microchip implant in a cat
Puppies are injected between the shoulder blades with a deep subcutaneous (under the skin) delivery of the chip.
Most breeders inject the chip between the ages of five and eight weeks of age. Of course, the injection can also be done at any time after that.
No. When the chip is properly implanted deeply under the skin, no one will be able to locate the chip by touch, even in tiny breeds.
I am planning an international vacation with my pet. What do I need to know?
The following are some helpful links for determining what you need to do in order to take your pet to another country.
- National Center for Import and Export (NCIE) A part of the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), this organization regulates the import and export of animals in the US.
- USDA Pet Export Information From the NCIE, this page contains specific information - including general instructions and links to further information - about the procedures for taking pets abroad.
- Regulations by Country This page contains links to regulations in place in more than 100 countries.
Does my pet have to be microchipped with a HomeAgain® brand microchip in order to utilize the HomeAgain service?
No - pets with any brand of microchip may enroll in the HomeAgain service.
How do I enroll with HomeAgain?
You can enroll any pet with a microchip right from our home page or by calling 1-888-HomeAgain [1-888-466-3242].
If your pet is not microchipped, find a veterinarian in your area and ask them to implant your pet with the HomeAgain® microchip. The next step then is to enroll your pet. Once your pet is enrolled, you'll have access to the portfolio of services provided by HomeAgain to keep your pet safe and sound.
HomeAgain is a proactive pet recovery service that actively helps you look for your pet. Once informed of a missing pet, HomeAgain immediately sends out Rapid Lost Pet Alerts to veterinarians and shelters surrounding the area in which your pet was lost. HomeAgain also supplies you with an easy-to-personalize "Lost Pet" poster that you can print and post in the neighborhood. And with HomeAgain, Lost Pet Specialists are always available to help you, 24/7.
Does HomeAgain really work?
Today, more than 5 million pets are enrolled with HomeAgain. In fact, over 94% of pets reported to us are reunited with their families. Since we began, HomeAgain is responsible for reuniting more than 500,000 lost pets with their owners.
What if my pet is found and I am unreachable at the contact number on file with HomeAgain?
When you enroll your pet, we will ask you to provide contact information for an alternate, like a relative, close friend, or a veterinarian, in case you are unreachable when your pet is found. HomeAgain will call the alternate contact if you cannot be reached. It is critical that you keep your contact information - as well as the contact information for your alternate contact - up-to-date with HomeAgain.
What if my pet is turned in at a shelter that isn't equipped with a scanner?
Virtually all veterinarians and shelters (over 50,000 nationally) are equipped to scan your pet should he become lost.
Is it safe for my pet to have a microchip, a foreign object, inside his body?
Veterinarians have been implanting microchips in animals for years, and the process has been proven to be very safe. The microchip is made out of an inert, biocompatible substance, which means it won't cause an allergic reaction or degenerate over time. In addition, HomeAgain® is the only microchip on the market today that has the Bio-Bond™ patented anti-migration feature to help ensure that the microchip stays in place. Extensive testing and long-term use have shown the HomeAgain microchip is a safe and permanent method of identification for pets.
My pet always wears a collar with an identification tag. Is microchipping really necessary?
All pets should wear collar tags with their name and the phone number of their owner or veterinarian. Tags, though, may become worn and impossible to read or may slip off. Collars themselves can break or slip off. Tattooing pets with a number is another method of identifying pets; however, veterinarians and pet rescue experts say tattoos can blur over time, and they can be altered. A microchip is the only form of pet identification that is permanent, with a unique number that cannot be altered or removed.
My cat never goes outside. Does she really need a microchip ID?
It's wonderful that you're keeping your pet safe inside, but a guest or a handyman could easily leave the door open, or a screen could come loose from an open window. There's also a possibility that your house could be damaged in a heavy storm, flood, or other natural disaster, causing your cat to run away in fear. Pets can even be stolen - particularly exotics or purebred animals. No matter how closely you watch your favorite animal friend, there's always a chance they can get out, and if they don't have any ID, they will be extremely hard to find.
The microchip doesn't have an internal battery or power source. In fact, most of the time it's inactive. When the microchip scanner is passed over it, the microchip gets enough power from the scanner to transmit the pet's ID number. Since there's no battery and no moving parts, there's nothing to wear out or replace. The microchip will last your pet's lifetime.
How big is the microchip?
The microchip is about the size of a grain of rice (12mm). You cannot see the microchip after it is implanted under the skin of your dog or cat.
How are pets microchipped?
Your veterinarian will implant the microchip in your pet. The procedure is simple and similar to administering a vaccine or a routine shot. The microchip comes preloaded in a sterile applicator and is injected under the loose skin between the shoulder blades. The process takes only a few seconds, and your pet will not react any more than he would to a vaccination. No anesthetic is required.
Why is microchipping the preferred method of identifying pets?
All pets should wear collar tags imprinted with their name and the phone number of their owner or veterinarian. Tags, though, may become worn and impossible to read or may slip off. Tattooing pets with a number is another method of identifying pets; however, veterinarians and pet rescue experts say tattoos can blur over time, and they can be altered. A microchip is the only form of pet identification that is permanent, with a unique number that cannot be altered or removed.
The HomeAgain WorldScan™ scanner reads all known microchips that are currently sold in the U.S., including the 125 kHz (non-encrypted), 125 kHz (encrypted) 128 kHz, and 134.2 kHz radio frequencies.