If you have ever tried to research lost pet statistics, you may have probably seen the claim that one in three pets will go missing in their lifetime. Just like in any other country, the number of missing pets is gradually increasing in Malaysia. But one thing you can do to increase your chances of being reunited if the worst happens is to microchip your pet. In this article, we will address all concerns about microchipping your cat or dog in Malaysia.
What Is the Purpose of a Pet Microchip?
A pet microchip is not a GPS device, tracking microchip, or any kind of secret surveillance gadget. It is a small, rice-sized, glass-encased microchip implanted beneath the pet’s skin.
This microchip does not require batteries or power, and contains only one piece of information- it discloses a unique number when scanned with a microchip scanner, which is displayed on the scanner’s screen. This unique number can then be entered into the database of the pet microchip registry, bringing up the pet owner’s contact information. This is a reliable and safe way to recover lost pets if they run away from home.
How Does a Pet Microchip Work?
It uses a technology known as radiofrequency technology. Inside the rice-sized microchip are a tiny radio receiver and a transponder. When the microchip reader activates the chip, it responds with a unique bit of data known as the microchip number, which it sends back to the reader. Animal shelters, veterinarians and other organisations use microchip readers to scan stray or abandoned animals for microchips. They can use the chip number they obtained from the microchip scanner to search one of several databases for the owner’s contact information.
The databases store information such as the pet owner’s name, phone number, email address and pet’s name. Therefore, if a stray pet is found, the shelter worker may scan the chip, collect the chip number, and effectively locate the pet owner’s contact information so that the pet can be reunited with their family. Keep in mind that contact information must be kept up-to-date. If you relocate or change your phone number, please notify the pet microchip registry as soon as possible.
Why Should I Microchip My Cat or Dog?
One of the biggest benefits of microchipping your cat or dog is the fact that it is the only way to permanently attach identity to them. This is because the chip is implanted beneath the skin. This eliminates the possibility of a tag falling off or being removed by someone intentionally. It will not break down or need to be replaced.
Although a microchip is not a guarantee that a lost pet will return, it is as close as possible. According to the American Kennel Club (AKC) reports, a chipped pet is twenty times more likely to reunite with its owners than a non-chipped pet. Owners of microchipped pets can travel with their pets more confidently and live without fear of theft or missing pets. The good news is that a single microchip usually lasts a lifetime.
The next significant benefit of microchipping your cat or dog is that pet ownership conflicts are more common than you might expect. A lot of pets have similar appearances, and most ownership conflicts are just cases of misidentification. Unfortunately, there are cases where people who come across stray pets attempt to claim them as their own. Because our pets are unable to communicate which families they belong to, we rely on photographs to authenticate their identity. But since the microchip will be registered with your personal information, it makes it easy to attest that your pet is yours.
How Is a Microchip Implanted into My Pet?
The microchip is implanted under the skin between the pet’s shoulder blades using a needle and special syringe. It works in a similar way to getting a shot. Your pet is positioned for the injection once the needle containing the microchip is loaded into the syringe. No surgery or anaesthesia is needed. After the microchip is implanted, the pet must be registered with a microchip registry.
Is Microchipping Painful for My Pet?
No. The injection of a microchip is no more painful than a typical injection, although the needle is slightly bigger. After the injection, which is like a shot, the chip will not cause your pet any pain. The truth is that they may not even realise it’s there. Microchips are also non-toxic, meaning your pet will not have an allergic reaction to them after they have been implanted.
How Much Does Microchipping a Cat or Dog Cost in Malaysia?
Most Malaysian vets are qualified to microchip animals, the cost of microchipping your cat or dog in Malaysia ranges between RM30 and RM100.
Can I Buy the Pet Microchip and Implant It Myself?
You should take your pet to any veterinarian in Malaysia and request that it be microchipped. A microchip should only be inserted under the direction of a veterinarian since they know how to place it, where it should be placed, and how to manage it if problems arise.
Is There a Tracking Device in the Pet Microchip?
Pet microchips do not include GPS technology. Instead, they rely on passive radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology, which may be scanned for data such as the pet owner’s contact information. This means that though microchips cannot offer your pet’s location if it gets lost, they can assist in your pet’s safe return if it is found.
Will It Store My Pet’s Medical Information?
Pet microchips are not to store your pet’s medical information. Although there are microchip registries that will allow you to save your pet’s medical records in their systems, you are better off keeping that information on file or contacting your pet’s veterinarian. You need a file to keep such information.
Is There Any Maintenance Needed After the Microchipping Was Implanted?
Microchips themselves do not require any maintenance. However, in order for a microchip to function, it must be registered and your current contact information must be kept in the microchip registration database. An unregistered microchip is useless.
Is Microchipping Suitable for All Breeds of Cat and Dog?
Microchipping, according to veterinarians, is safe and suitable for all breeds of cat and dog, including small breeds.
What Is the Best Age to Microchip a Cat or Dog?
Though there’s no specific reason why you can’t have your pet microchipped soon after birth, microchipping animals once they reach the age of eight weeks, is standard practice in most shelters, and most veterinarians also agree with this timeline. The earlier you get your pet microchipped, the earlier it is protected if it runs away or becomes lost. This is why many veterinarians advise getting your pet microchipped earlier. Each puppy, dog, kitten, or cat is assessed for conditions such as health, weight, and size before being microchipped.
Which Pet Microchip Is the Best in Malaysia?
When it comes to choosing the best microchip, it’s important to keep in mind that not all microchips’ frequencies are the same. Pet microchips are generally available in three frequencies, including 125 kHz, 128 kHz and 134.2 kHz. Many of the microchip scanners can only read one or two frequencies, but there is also a universal microchip scanner that can read all frequencies.
If you are applying for a Malaysia Pet Passport, your cat or dog shall be microchipped with a 15-digit ISO 11784 chip that is non-encrypted. ISO, or the International Standards Organization, has approved and recommended this international standard for microchips.
What Are the Side Effects of Microchipping Cat or Dog?
Even though negative microchip side effects in pets are extremely rare, it is crucial to be aware of all possibilities if you decide to microchip your pet. Although it is uncommon, a microchip inserted incorrectly can have serious negative consequences for your pet. According to a database maintained by the British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA), only 391 side effects were recorded out of four million microchipped pets.
The most common side effect is a swelling that appears under the skin where the chip was inserted. Your pet may swell a little after being injected with a microchip, just like your arm may swell after being injected. This is a common and minor side effect of procedures of this type. Almost all medical procedures that involve needles have the potential for swelling afterwards, so this is not a side effect that is only associated with microchips. Generally, this is a minor side effect that usually doesn’t disturb the cat much. Most of the swelling that occurs resolves on its own after a few days. Consult your veterinarian if you observe any abnormalities at the place where the chip was inserted.
Can Microchips Cause Tumours in My Pet?
As microchips become more popular and are endorsed by animal shelters and veterinarians, we have begun to hear rumours that they can cause tumours. These arose from reports that laboratory rats and mice developed tumours caused by foreign bodies. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), microchip-associated tumours have been reported in two dogs and two cats, but in at least one dog and one cat, the tumour cannot be directly associated with the microchip itself. According to the studies, the chance of your pet developing a tumour as a result of its microchip is very low.
How Do I Know Whether My Adopted Pet is Microchipped?
Softly feel your pet’s skin between the shoulder blades and neck to see if it has a microchip. Check if you can feel a small, solid object about the size of a grain of rice just under your pet’s skin. If you can feel it, that means your pet is microchipped. However, even if you can’t feel a chip, your pet may still have one; consult your veterinarian or an animal shelter.
Is Microchipping Mandatory for Cat or Dog in Malaysia?
While pet microchipping is not compulsory in Malaysia, it is important to note that strict rules apply when travelling with a pet to or from Malaysia. Your pet must be microchipped to enter Malaysia, most countries also require pets to have microchips fitted before entering their countries.
You may find the pet travel rules and regulations of the other destination country here.
Conclusion: Microchipping Your Cat or Dog in Malaysia
As you can see pet microchip is one of the best ways to prove the identity of your pet and to get it home fast if it gets lost. However, never underestimate the power of a collar and tag also as this is the quickest and easiest way for people to contact you. Of course, an external ID can be damaged or fall off, if you pair it with a permanent microchip, your pet will have two layers of protection to get home.
With the high number of pets getting lost each year, microchip protection almost guarantees your pet will not be euthanised or put up for adoption if it is taken to a shelter. You should contact your vet for more information about microchipping your cat or dog in Malaysia.
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