PetPlace https://www.petplace.com Fri, 21 Sep 2018 18:49:59 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.7 https://www.petplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/petplace-favicon.png PetPlace https://www.petplace.com 32 32 How to Acclimate a Cat to a New Home https://www.petplace.com/article/cats/pet-care/cat-care/how-to-acclimate-a-cat-to-a-new-home/ Fri, 21 Sep 2018 18:49:59 +0000 https://www.petplace.com/?p=19271 Do you know how to acclimate a cat to a new home? Adjusting to a new home can be very difficult for a cat, especially when it is a stray who has gotten used to living outdoors. During the initial adjustment period, you will need patience and understanding to help your new cat feel more […]

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Do you know how to acclimate a cat to a new home? Adjusting to a new home can be very difficult for a cat, especially when it is a stray who has gotten used to living outdoors. During the initial adjustment period, you will need patience and understanding to help your new cat feel more at home.

Start by thinking about your cat’s previous experiences. If you have a kitten, it may have recently been separated from its mother and litter mates. The cat may have had to deal with the transition of a shelter, or the stress of being spayed or neutered. An adult cat may have been separated from a familiar home and has been forced to break his bond with his human companions or other household pets. In every case, the cat will need to adjust again to totally new surroundings.

How do you acclimate a cat to a new home? It may take several weeks for your cat to adjust to his new living situation. Here’s what you should do during the adjustment period. Keep the cat indoors. The cat needs to get used to you as his new provider of love, food, and shelter. It is not uncommon for cats to display behavior problems during this adjustment period, but these problems should disappear in time. Your cat may hide under the furniture. If he does, just sit and talk quietly to the cat. Make sure that there are food, water, and a litter box nearby.

When you take your cat out of the carrier, immediately show him the location of the litter box. Provide a bowl of water but don’t feed him immediately. Don’t overwhelm the cat with attention. Allow him to acclimate to his new surroundings on his own terms.

It is best to introduce your cat to his new home gradually. Begin by restricting him to one room. During this time, isolate other animals from your new cat and supervise your children when they interact with the cat. Try to spend a few hours with your cat as he settles into his new home. You may want to place a cozy cat bed in a quiet corner of the room.

If you have other animals in the home you will need to introduce them gradually. Remember, the cat is being introduced to a territory already claimed by your resident pet, so you need to take both of their feelings into account. The ability of animals to get along together in the same household depends on their individual personalities. There will be one animal who dominates. It will take a week or two for a successful transition. It may be a little hectic but be patient. Things will most likely work out in time.

Here’s how you can introduce your new cat to other animals in the home according to Dr. Monique Chretien.

Cat-to-Cat Introductions

You should put your new cat in a private room during his first week in his new home. Your resident cat should not be allowed to enter this room or to stay at the door hissing.

  • After a week has passed, allow your resident cat to explore outside the door of the room where the new cat is residing.
  • Only when all signs of aggression (hissing, growling) are absent, open the door a crack. Use a doorstop or hook to secure the door. Wait for the hissing and growling, if any, to disappear.
  • If you have a large carrier or crate, place the new cat in it. Then bring it into your main living area. Try simultaneously feeding both cats treats or delicious food so that they associate each other’s presence with a pleasurable experience.
  • Once the cats are comfortable in this situation, allow them to interact under your supervision. If there are any signs of aggression, you might have to limit their exposure to 5 or 10 minutes, or perhaps go back to the separation phase.
  • Gradually increase the time the cats spend together as long as they are not aggressive to each other.
  • Remember cat play can be pretty rough.

Your cats will be more likely to get along if they are happy in their environment. Make sure there are plenty of hiding places for your cats. Place the food, water and litter boxes out in the open so the cats will not feel trapped when they eat, drink or use the litter box. Make sure that you have one litter box per cat, plus one extra litter box. (So if you have two cats in your home, you should have three litter boxes.)

Cat-to-Dog Introductions

Follow the above guidelines when introducing a cat to a resident dog. At the time of the first introduction, apply a leash to the dog and occupy it with some obedience exercises (sit – stay) with food treats as a reward for calm responding.

  • Don’t ever let the dog rush toward the cat, even if only in play.
  • Provide your cat with a variety of escape routes and high hiding places that are easily accessible at all times. Your cat must be able to get away from the dog whenever necessary.
  • Slowly allow the dog and cat to spend more time together but always supervise them until you are absolutely sure there is no threat of danger to either of them.

Cat-to Bird or Small Mammal Introductions

Cats are natural predators, so keep your small furry friends safe by housing them in an enclosure that cannot be opened by an agile paw. Keep them in a room that is off limits to your feline family member when not supervised. Follow the same protocol with your feathered friends but be careful where you choose to keep them. Birds have some restrictions on where they can be kept for health reasons (not in direct sun or draft).

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Should You Try Taking in a Stray Cat? https://www.petplace.com/article/cats/pet-care/cat-care/should-you-try-taking-in-a-stray-cat/ Fri, 21 Sep 2018 18:39:28 +0000 https://www.petplace.com/?p=19268 If you are thinking about taking in a stray cat, there are several things you should keep in mind. First of all, you must determine if the cat is stray or feral. A stray cat is a cat that is lost or separated from its owner, or it has been given up by its owner. […]

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If you are thinking about taking in a stray cat, there are several things you should keep in mind. First of all, you must determine if the cat is stray or feral. A stray cat is a cat that is lost or separated from its owner, or it has been given up by its owner. A stray cat is socialized to human companionship. A feral cat is a cat that lives outdoors in a colony of feral cats. These cats will hide from humans and avoid human contact. These cats cannot be domesticated. (You should never try to pick up a feral cat.)

Taking in a stray cat is a big decision. It’s not as easy as simply opening your door and your heart to the new cat. Here are a few things to consider.

  • Since the cat has been living outdoors, it most likely has fleas, ticks and other pests that they’ve picked up while roaming in the wild.
  • The cat may be overdue for worming medication and vaccinations.
  • If the stray is a tom cat, you will want to have him neutered before bringing him into your home or allowing him to continue roaming your property.
  • If the cat has been living outdoors for some time, it may be necessary to re-introduce him to life as a pet. You will need to teach him to use the litter box, and not to scratch with his claws.
  • If you are taking in a stray cat, start with a trip to the vet.
  • You will also have to socialize the cat with any other cats, pets or people in the home.

A stray cat is a cat that has been socialized to people at some point in their life, but has left or lost their domestic home – and human contact. While living outdoors, a stray cat is more likely to live alone than in a colony of other cats. In many cases, a stray cat can become a pet cat once again. Stray cats that are re-introduced to a home environment after living outdoors may require a period of time to re-acclimate. They may be frightened and wary after spending time outside away from humans, but they can re-adjust to living with humans and can be adopted as companions.

On the other hand, a feral cat is a cat who has never had any contact with humans – or their contact with humans has diminished over time. A feral cat is most likely to live in a colony of cats. A feral cat is fearful of people and survives on its own outdoors. It is very unlikely that a feral cat will ever become domesticated, and it cannot be adopted. However, kittens born to feral cats can be socialized at an early age and adopted into homes.

If you are thinking about taking in a stray cat, the first step is to trap it. Evaluate the cat’s behavior to determine if it is a stray or if it is a feral cat. A feral cat cannot be touched, even by a caretaker. He will likely move as far back in the cage as possible and will appear tense. When trapped, a feral cat will likely ignore all people, toys, and possibly even food.

If you determine that the cat is feral, you should contact a local organization for Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR). They will spay or neuter the cat, vaccinate it, and return it to its outdoor home. To learn more about this process, go to What Is a Feral Cat?

If the cat is a stray, you should start with a visit to your veterinarian. First, have the cat scanned for a microchip. It could be that he has a family that is looking for him and wants him to come home. If you can’t find the owner, you may choose to adopt the cat. Have the veterinarian give him any necessary treatments or vaccinations before bringing him into your home. If you already have a cat or other pets, the new cat will have to be acclimated to the home. To learn more about this, go to How to Acclimate a Cat to a New Home.

For more information about adopting stray cats, go to How to Turn a Stray Cat into a Pet.

To learn more about stray cats, read the article Surprise Visitors: What to Do With a Stray Cat.

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What Is a Feral Cat? https://www.petplace.com/article/cats/pet-care/cat-care/what-is-a-feral-cat/ Fri, 21 Sep 2018 18:32:31 +0000 https://www.petplace.com/?p=19265 What is a feral cat? A feral cat is a cat that has had little to no contact with humans. They are usually unapproachable by people. These cats have been born into or adapted to outdoor life without human contact, living together in loose families organized as colonies. They hunt wildlife as food, including mice, […]

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What is a feral cat? A feral cat is a cat that has had little to no contact with humans. They are usually unapproachable by people. These cats have been born into or adapted to outdoor life without human contact, living together in loose families organized as colonies. They hunt wildlife as food, including mice, birds, and lizards. These cats are not socialized enough to be handled by humans, and for that reason, they cannot easily be placed into a traditional pet home – if at all.

If you are wondering what is a feral cat, you should know that these cats cannot become loving companions – and most will never relish human companionship. They tend to stay away from humans. They hide during the day. Feral cats will find it difficult or impossible to adapt to living as pets in close contact with people. If you adopt a feral cat, you will find that it is very difficult to socialize.

Cats roam outside in most neighborhoods in the United States. Many of these cats are community cats that may be feral. According to the People for Ethical Treatment of Animals, it is estimated that there are between 60 million and 100 million feral cats living in the United States. The Humane Society estimates the number of outdoor cats at about 30 to 40 million. These cats are most often the offspring of cats who were lost or abandoned by their owners and they are not socialized to humans.

Community cats typically live in a colony that occupies and defends a specific territory where food and shelter are available. They may live near a restaurant dumpster, under a porch or in an abandoned building. But if these cats are feral, you will rarely see them because they hide from humans.

How to Help a Feral Cat

If you can’t adopt a feral cat, what can you do to help? Many experts believe that the best way to help our feral cat populations is through neutering programs that will reduce their numbers.

A female cat can become pregnant as early as 5 months of age. That one cat can have two or three litters of kittens a year. In seven years time, a single female cat and her kittens can produce 420,000 more cats. And as the feral cat population grows, so do the problems that are associated with it. So the feral cat population in a neighborhood can rapidly increase if cats are not spayed and neutered.

That’s why so many people including the ASPCA and the Humane Society believe that the best way to help feral cat colonies is through Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) efforts. TNR is a nonlethal strategy for reducing the number of community cats and improving the quality of life for cats, wildlife and people. By catching these feral cats and neutering or spaying them, we can help to reduce the number of unwanted cats. Through TNR efforts, these feral cats will be humanely trapped, examined, vaccinated and surgically sterilized by veterinarians. The tip of one ear is surgically removed as a universally recognized sign that the feral cat has been spayed or neutered. Then the cat is returned to its home environment. These cats will no longer reproduce or fight over mates, and their nuisance behaviors are greatly reduced or eliminated.

Afterward, volunteers may provide food and shelter and monitor the health of these cats. Once neutered, these cats tend to gain weight and have fewer health issues. And with fewer females in heat, fewer tom cats are attracted to the area, meaning fewer risky catfights.

While many people advocate for TNR, others believe it is best to relocate feral cats or to put them down. Relocation is not an effective solution. Feral cat colonies are established in areas where resources like food, water, and shelter are available. If you move a feral colony, it won’t be long before another colony moves into this prime real estate and take its place. Also, a relocated cat may try to find its way home, perhaps suffering an accident or death along the way.

If you’re thinking about adopting a feral cat, think again. Feral adult cats are wild animals that simply cannot be tamed. You should never try to handle or pick up a feral cat. However, feral kittens that are under the age of eight weeks old can often be socialized and introduced into a human home.

So, what can we do to help feral cats?

Contact your local Humane Society to see if they have a TNR program. If they don’t, they may know of a local program they can refer you to. A little cash donation to these programs will go a long way toward helping feral cats. Shelters can perform a spay or neuter surgery for under $20. So a small donation on your part can really help. These programs are usually run by volunteers, so get involved and donate your time. There are many ways that you can help.

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Should You Feed Stray or Feral Cats? https://www.petplace.com/article/cats/pet-care/cat-care/should-you-feed-stray-or-feral-cats-2/ Fri, 21 Sep 2018 18:23:12 +0000 https://www.petplace.com/?p=19262 Should you feed stray or feral cats? That’s a good question, but the answer is not always black and white. In some areas, there are laws and ordinances about feeding stray or feral cats – if you feed the cat, you own it. Some areas even impose fines or other punishments for feeding stray or […]

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Should you feed stray or feral cats? That’s a good question, but the answer is not always black and white. In some areas, there are laws and ordinances about feeding stray or feral cats – if you feed the cat, you own it. Some areas even impose fines or other punishments for feeding stray or feral cats.

Before deciding whether or not to feed the cat, it is important to note that there are differences between stray cats and feral cats. A stray cat is a cat that previously had a home. The cat has either moved out, gotten lost, or has been given up. Stray cats are familiar with humans and can be friendly. A feral cat, however, is one that has never had a home. A feral cat is more likely born and bred from a feral line or colony. Feral cats will not be familiar with people other than something to be wary of and as a potential source of food.

Stray cats may be friendly and approach you for food or attention, or they may be too scared to let you get close. However, if you put the food down for them they will usually eat immediately. You should always use caution since you don’t know how the cat is going to react.

Feral cats may approach you when they are extremely hungry, but they will only eat the food you’ve given them once you’ve walked away. If you’ve been feeding a cat for several days and can still not approach or touch the cat, it is probably feral. Don’t try to handle a feral cat. Most feral cats cannot be adopted because they are simply too frightened of people.

Feeding a stray cat has its pros and cons. If you decide to feed a stray cat, you have plenty of options. They would probably enjoy dry or canned cat food or some tasty tuna fish. Also, give the cat plenty of fresh water.

What to Do with a Stray Cat

If you’ve found a stray cat, you have many options.

  • You may decide to keep the cat, which will require that you take the cat for proper veterinary care.
  • You can Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) the cat. This will ensure that the cat cannot contribute to the ever-expanding stray and feral cat population.
  • You can find a suitable home for the cat. You may have better luck rehoming the cat once you’ve taken it for vaccines, deworming, flea treatment and spay or neutering.
  • You can take the cat to a shelter or Humane Society where it will be placed for adoption.

If you find a stray or feral cat, it is a good idea to contact local shelters in your area. If they cannot or will not respond to your situation, look for groups that handle feral cat populations. If none of these resources are available to you, you may decide that you want to manage your own feral colony.

If you decide to feed a stray or feral cat on your property, it may potentially upset your own cat. By feeding the stray cat you are essentially inviting an intruder into your cat’s territory and giving them good reason to keep coming back. You should consider the impact that feeding a stray will have on your own cat’s happiness before deciding to feed it. If your cat seems not to be bothered by the stray cat, it may not pose such a problem.

To learn more about stray cats, read the article Surprise Visitors: What to Do With a Stray Cat.

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Surprise Visitors: What to Do With a Stray Cat https://www.petplace.com/article/cats/pet-care/cat-care/surprise-visitors-what-to-do-with-a-stray-cat/ Fri, 21 Sep 2018 10:11:50 +0000 https://www.petplace.com/?p=19257 Have you ever wondered what to do with a stray cat? You’ve probably wondered if these cats have a home. You may also wonder whether or not you should feed these stray cats. These cats could have an owner who lets them outside, or they could be stray or feral cats that live in the […]

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Have you ever wondered what to do with a stray cat? You’ve probably wondered if these cats have a home. You may also wonder whether or not you should feed these stray cats. These cats could have an owner who lets them outside, or they could be stray or feral cats that live in the community. Depending on their situation, you can help these cats in many different ways.

First of all, how do you know that the cat is a stray? If the cat is wearing a collar, it definitely has an owner. The cat may just have wondered too far from home. Also, the cat could have a microchip that would identify its owner. Stray cats are usually very lean and they may have rough fur coats or an appearance that is generally unhealthy. Quite often, a stray cat will be afraid of strangers, so helping them might prove to be a challenge.

If you’re wondering what to do with a stray cat, here are the guidelines set forth by the Humane Society of the United States.

  • If the cat has identification, try to contact the owner.
  • If you can get the cat into a carrier, take them to a veterinarian or animal shelter to be scanned for a microchip.
  • Contact animal shelters, veterinary offices, and rescue groups to let them know about the cat you’ve found. Someone may have filed a lost-cat report that is a match.
  • Ask neighbors and mail carriers if they’re familiar with the cat.
  • Post signs and place free ads in local newspapers.
  • Create a “found pet” profile at The Center for Lost Pets.

It’s helpful if you can provide shelter for the cat while you search for its owner. If you can’t find the owner, you can try to find a good home for the cat, or you may want to adopt it yourself. But if you take the cat home with you, make sure that you have them checked by a veterinarian before you introduce them into your home with other cats.

Feral cats, on the other hand, should not be handled. Most feral cats can’t be adopted because they are simply too frightened of people.

If you happen to find a litter of unattended kittens in your neighborhood and the kittens are not old enough to be weaned, do not touch them or remove them from the nest. Their mother could be hiding from you – and if you handle her babies, she may be less likely to return to them. Wait a while and see if the mother cat returns. If she does not return, the kittens have probably been abandoned. In that case, you will want to begin bottle feeding the kittens and seek veterinary attention.

When you’re wondering what to do with a stray cat, it’s only natural that you would wonder whether or not you should feed the cat. We’ll tell you more about that next.

Should You Feed Stray or Feral Cats?

Should you feed stray or feral cats? That’s a good question, but the answer is not always black and white. In some areas, there are laws and ordinances about feeding stray or feral cats – if you feed the cat, you own it. Some areas even impose fines or other punishments for feeding stray or feral cats.

Before deciding whether or not to feed the cat, it is important to note that there are differences between stray cats and feral cats. A stray cat is a cat that previously had a home. The cat has either moved out, gotten lost, or has been given up. Stray cats are familiar with humans and can be friendly. A feral cat, however, is one that has never had a home. A feral cat is more likely born and bred from a feral line or colony. Feral cats will not be familiar with people other than something to be wary of and as a potential source of food.

Stray cats may be friendly and approach you for food or attention, or they may be too scared to let you get close. However, if you put the food down for them they will usually eat immediately. You should always use caution since you don’t know how the cat is going to react.

Feral cats may approach you when they are extremely hungry, but they will only eat the food you’ve given them once you’ve walked away. If you’ve been feeding a cat for several days and can still not approach or touch the cat, it is probably feral. Don’t try to handle a feral cat. Most feral cats cannot be adopted because they are simply too frightened of people.

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Puppy Diaries #8: Mastering the Perfect Puppy Social Interaction https://www.petplace.com/article/dogs/pet-care/dog-care/puppy-care/puppy-diaries/puppy-diaries-8-mastering-the-perfect-puppy-social-interaction/ Thu, 20 Sep 2018 16:18:08 +0000 https://www.petplace.com/?p=19254 Dear Diary, Now that we’ve made it through the first seven months and are into Sommer’s eighth month, I find that most of my time and training is focused around refining her behavior. And by “refining,” I mean “trying to make her behavior palatable to other humans … and dogs.” I don’t add “dogs” lightly. […]

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Dear Diary,

Now that we’ve made it through the first seven months and are into Sommer’s eighth month, I find that most of my time and training is focused around refining her behavior. And by “refining,” I mean “trying to make her behavior palatable to other humans … and dogs.” I don’t add “dogs” lightly. One of the main challenges we face is that while she loves people, she’s not so sure about her fellow canines. I get it. She’s smaller than most dogs, and as we all know, it’s a dog-eat-dog world. Still, part of growing up is facing your fears and gaining confidence in the process, right? This month, I decided to work on puppy social interactions, so that Sommer and I could feel free to go out and explore the world. As an eight-month-old pup, Sommer needs exercise, so I was excited to put the off-leash dog park, puppy play dates and nice long walks around our neighborhood on my agenda. Boy, was I ever surprised when the events I looked forward to ever since she was a tiny pup turned out to be some of the most challenging I’d ever needed to manage!

When friends told me about our local off-leash dog park, I thought we’d found nirvana. I’ve never visited any other dog parks, so I’m not in a place to compare, but as I researched it online, I found it was fully fenced and 18 acres in size, with hiking trails circling a grove of tall oak trees. The day we first visited, I pulled up in the parking lot and counted four extended-cab pickup trucks parked nearby, which gave me the feeling that this was the place for athletic and sporty pups who regularly flush out pheasants. But I was excited to check it out, and I was prepared with my leash and poop bags at the ready. More than that, I had prepped myself to toe the line between being a neurotic helicopter dog parent and keeping a close eye on Sommer.

Unfortunately, what I had prepared for wasn’t what I encountered. At about 15 pounds, Sommer is a small dog, and to larger, sporting dogs, she must have looked like something fun to chase. In her first encounter, a large Goldendoodle sniffed her, which made her frightened and start running in terrified circles, barking in higher and higher pitches. The Goldendoodle took off in hot pursuit. The faster Sommer ran and the more she barked, the more the dog chased her. The dog was definitely not getting her “stand back, I don’t like this” message. No, what kicked in was the dog’s prey drive. I finally was able to scoop her up and take her back to the car.

The next time we visited, I noticed that she was shaking visibly, but that was par for the course: She shook with nerves when we went to the vet, doggy daycare of the groomer, and even the pet store. On our second visit, we had some fun, but she always seemed on edge. I liked it though, because she got lots of fresh air and exercise, and so did I. On our third visit, she had another run-in with a larger dog, and I started to question the wisdom of our exercise routine. I consulted a trainer, who shocked me by saying that under no circumstances should we return to the dog park. She warned that small dogs can become aggressive by being put into traumatizing situations when they are pups. “Have you ever passed by a Chihuahua sitting on its owner’s lap, and it automatically bares its teeth and growls at you, even though you’ve done nothing, not even approached it?” she asked me. I nodded. “That’s what can happen if you keep going to the dog park.” Needless to say, we never returned.

Puppy playdates were another activity that seemed like they should have been fun but turned into a challenging puppy parenthood adventure. We have a very kind and patient neighbor who has two mini golden doodles who are about a year and a half older than Sommer. Although they are smaller than Sommer, Sommer’s typical behavior upon meeting them was excited nonstop barking and chasing. It was as if she was doing unto them what had been done to her at the dog park. It was tiresome, as I wanted to catch up with my neighbor while the dogs played, but we could hardly hear each other over the din of Sommer’s incessant barking.

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What is a Pet Microchip Scanner? https://www.petplace.com/article/general/pet-care/what-is-a-pet-microchip-scanner/ Mon, 17 Sep 2018 15:24:40 +0000 https://www.petplace.com/?p=19237 What is a Microchip? The microchip is a tiny computer chip or transponder about the size of a grain of rice. It stores an identification number and transmits that information through radio waves to the appropriate scanner. Typically, the microchip number contains 10 characters, making available 275 billion separate codes. This makes it highly unlikely […]

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What is a Microchip?

The microchip is a tiny computer chip or transponder about the size of a grain of rice. It stores an identification number and transmits that information through radio waves to the appropriate scanner.

Typically, the microchip number contains 10 characters, making available 275 billion separate codes. This makes it highly unlikely that the same identifying code will be used more than once. Rest assured that your pet will have a unique microchip code. Learn more about How Pet Microchips Work here.

Microchips are composed of a silicon chip and tiny antenna encased in biocompatible glass. The microchips come pre-loaded in a syringe, and the needle is inserted just under the skin between the shoulder blades where the microchip is implanted. The entire procedure takes less than 10 seconds and is only as painful as a vaccination injection.

After injection, the tissue surrounding the microchip reacts to this new substance and forms a casing. This helps prevent migration of the microchip. Since the microchip is made of biocompatible material, rejection is uncommon and infection at the site is very rare.

Learn more about pet microchips, how much they cost and how they work – go to All About the Pet Microchip: Is it Worth it? 

What is a Pet Microchip Scanner?

The microchip scanner is used as a power source for the microchip to receive the message encoded in the chip. The scanner uses electromagnetic energy to empower the chip to transmit its message through radio waves, which are normally at specific frequencies for each manufacturer of microchips. For this reason, in the past, not all scanners could read all brands of microchips.

In an effort to address this potential problem, in 1996, the International Standards Organization published that universal readers must be produced. That has allowed for the scanners to identify chips from various manufacturers.

Scanners are often provided to animal control, humane shelters and other rescue organizations at no cost in an effort to ensure that every stray dog or cat is scanned and those with chips are reunited with their owners. Veterinarians can also purchase scanners for use in their hospital.

What are the Types of Pet Microchip Scanners?

Companies that make and sell microchips generally also have a scanner. The most common are the AVID and HomeAgain scanners. There are also independent companies that make universal scanners that will read the various types of microchips.

The Controversy Over Chips and Pet Scanners

Several years ago, there were multiple types of chips and scanners that read them. A problem was created when one company (Banfield) introduced a chip incompatible with other readers. Since then, the chip is not being made. Learn more about it this article: Confused about Microchips?

The current companies that produce microchips are good and compatible with other scanners. AVID and HomeAgain are great options. Some areas of the country seem to have more of one brand of chips than others. Ask your vet for advice what chip is used most commonly in your area and which they recommend.

Below is information about the two microchip companies mentioned above:

  • AVID® – For more information on AVID® microchips, visit them here or call 1-800-336-AVID.
  • HomeAgain® – For more information on HomeAgain® microchips, visit them here or call the HomeAgain Pet Recovery Service at 1-866-PET-ID24 (1-866-738-4324).

Should You Have a Microchip Scanner In Your Home?

Most pet owners that have a pet with a microchip do not have a scanner. You don’t need one at home. The only time you need a scanner is if you find a lost pet and at which time you can take them to your local vet clinic or shelter where they have a scanner.

Registering Your Pet

Even if your dog or cat has a microchip and is properly scanned, without an accessible and accurate database, this information will not return your pet to you.

When contacted with the identification code of a missing pet, the database personnel can retrieve the pet’s information. Each microchip that is sold is registered to the veterinary hospital or shelter that purchased it. It is the responsibility of the veterinary hospital and you to record your pet’s unique microchip identification number in his record and notify the microchip database.

In addition, you can register your pet in your own name for faster notification when your lost pet has been found. There is a charge for this service. These microchip databases are usually available 24 hours a day and are even accessible via the Internet. But remember, the database, as with computers, is only as good as the data it contains. Annual confirmation of your pet’s microchip information is strongly recommended.

How Pet Microchips Can Help You Find Your Missing Pet

Does your pet need a microchip? Learn more in these articles – go to Microchipping for Your Cat’s Safety or Should You Use a Dog Microchip?

Additional Articles that May Be of Interest About Pet Microchip Scanners

All About the Pet Microchip: Is it Worth it?
How Do Pet Microchips Work?
Should You Use a Dog Microchip?
How Much Should You Expect For Dog Vet Costs?
Low-Cost Spay/Neuter Clinics vs. Your Local Vet
What is Pet Insurance?
How Does Pet Insurance Work?
Questions To Ask When Choosing A New Vet
One Dog, Three Vet Visits – Pet Insurance Helps!
Pet Insurance: What It Covers & What It Doesn’t
A Major Investment: The Costs Associated with Dog Ownership

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How Do Pet Microchips Work? https://www.petplace.com/article/general/pet-care/how-do-pet-microchips-work/ Mon, 17 Sep 2018 15:06:14 +0000 https://www.petplace.com/?p=19233 The benefit of having your pet microchipped is to ensure that you are reunited with your dog or cat in the case your pet is lost. Most pet owners that experience the loss of a pet believe that would never happen to them. That is…until it does happen. Dogs and cats are adventurous creatures that […]

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The benefit of having your pet microchipped is to ensure that you are reunited with your dog or cat in the case your pet is lost. Most pet owners that experience the loss of a pet believe that would never happen to them. That is…until it does happen. Dogs and cats are adventurous creatures that will often escape and run through an open door if the opportunity exists.

Some pet owners consider microchips for their pet and want to know more. A common question is “how do pet microchips work?” We will review how pet microchips work and how they can help you find your pet.

How Do Pet Microchips Work To Help You Find Your Pet?

A microchip is a radio-frequency identification (RFID) implant that stores information such as a unique registration number. RFID was originally created as a Soviet-era espionage tool. Today, RFID technology is used commonly to identify pets.

RFID uses radio waves to send data between two devices, the chip, and the scanner. The chip stores data only. The chip does not transmit data. This is important as microchips are commonly confused with chips that transmit data such as GPS information.

The size of a chip is approximately the size of a grain of rice. When a chip is implanted under the skin, a handheld scanner is waved over the skin which reads the radio frequency of the chip and displays this information on a screen which is often a registration code or number. Once this number or code is recorded, the chip company is contacted and given the registration number. The company will look up that number and share the contact information associated with that number such as the name and phone number of the owner so they can be contacted about their lost pet.

Have you wondered if a pet microchip is right for you? Learn more – Should You Use a Dog Microchip? or Microchipping for Your Cat’s Safety.

How Big A Range Microchips Have?

There is confusion about the function of a microchip. A microchip is not the same thing as a GPS chip. A pet microchip is not a tracking device. It does not allow you to see where your pet is or track your pet and does not have a range.

On the other hand, GPS tracking devices that do allow you to track your pet but are totally different from a microchip. GPS uses the Global Navigation Satellite System to provide tracking using a grid of satellites by exercising microwave signals that are transmitted to GPS devices. The GPS tracking provides information on location, time, direction and speed.

It is important to make this distinction between an RFID microchip and a GPS tracker.

What Kind Of Pets Can Get Microchips

All kinds of pets can get microchips which include dogs, cats, rabbits, birds, exotic animals, and many more. The most common pets that get chips are dogs and cats.

What Happens When A Pet Gets Lost?

If your dog or cat escapes the yard or your home and is found, this is generally what happens:

  • The lost pet may be found by a Good Samaritan, police officer, or an animal control officer. They proceed to take the found pet to a local vet clinic, shelter, or humane society.
  • The pet is generally examined to determine if there is a collar or tag on the pet that identifies the pet and the owner. If there is a tag and identification, that owner is contacted.
  • If there is no tag on the pet, the pet is scanned with a handheld microchip scanner to determine if he or she has a chip. If a chip is found, the code or registration number is displayed on the scanner screen. Learn more about What is a Pet Microchip Scanner here.
  • At this point – two possible things will happen.
    the company that the chip is registered to is called to find out the owner’s contact information that often includes the name, address, and phone number. If the chip is registered to you, your information will be provided.
  • If the chip is not registered to you and only to the shelter that placed the chip or your veterinary clinic, they will be contacted. If it is a weekend or holiday, there may not be someone available to provide the owner information until the next business day.

Pet Microchip Recommendations

The following are recommended for microchipping:

  • It is recommended that all dogs and cats be microchipped. Even those pets that do not venture outside may escape one day. You never know when the guy fixing your furnace or plumbing will leave the door open!
  • Register your pet. This is critical to ensure the chip company has your name and phone number. This may require that you pay an additional fee but that is worth it!
  • Even if your dog or cat has a microchip, it is recommended that your pet also have a tag that has his name and your phone number as well as an identifier on the tag that indicates the type of chip.
  • Periodically test the chip. During your routine annual exams, ask your veterinarian to scan the chip to make sure it is still working.
  • On an annual basis, make sure the microchip company has your correct information. People move, change jobs, get different emails, and phone numbers. Make sure this information is up to date!

Have you wondered how much it costs to have a microchip placed in your dog or cat? All About the Pet Microchip: Is it Worth it?

What Kind of Pet Microchip You Should Choose

Several companies offer microchips with the two most common being AVID® and HomeAgain®. Ask your veterinarian for their recommendation.

Additional Articles that May Be of Interest About How Pet Microchips Work

All About the Pet Microchip: Is it Worth it?
Should You Use a Dog Microchip? 
Microchipping for Your Cat’s Safety
What is a Pet Microchip Scanner? 
What is Pet Insurance?
How Does Pet Insurance Work?
When is the Best Time to Get Pet Insurance for Your Cat?
Questions To Ask When Choosing A New Vet
How to Have a Trauma-Free Veterinary Visit for Your Cat

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All About the Pet Microchip: Is it Worth it? https://www.petplace.com/article/general/pet-behavior-training/all-about-the-pet-microchip-is-it-worth-it/ Mon, 17 Sep 2018 14:19:03 +0000 https://www.petplace.com/?p=19230 Pet identification is important. There are various ways you can identify your pet including a collar, tag, tattoo, and/or pet microchip. Pet microchips are especially useful because many lost pets can also lose their collars. A pet microchip is a small implantable device that when scanned identifies a unique code that can identify the pet […]

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Pet identification is important. There are various ways you can identify your pet including a collar, tag, tattoo, and/or pet microchip. Pet microchips are especially useful because many lost pets can also lose their collars.

A pet microchip is a small implantable device that when scanned identifies a unique code that can identify the pet and the owner. They are permanent methods of identification that can reunite lost pets back with their owners.

How Pet Microchips Work

A microchip is small (about the size of a grain of rice), compact and easily inserted under the skin. When a microchip scanner is used to scan a dog or cat with a microchip, a unique number will come up which identifies your pet and ultimately you.

Here is a recent example of how a pet microchip works. Recently a dog in my community ran out of the house when the neighbor’s child left the front door open. The owner could not catch their dog. So about two hours later, the dog was picked up by a Good Samaritan and brought to the local veterinary clinic where I was working. Somewhere in this dogs adventure, he lost his collar. The dog was scanned and a microchip was found. We called the microchip company, gave them the microchip number, and the company gave us the owners name, address, and phone number. We called the owner and within 30 minutes, the dog “Buffy” was reunited with his very anxious and happy owner. Learn more about How Do Pet Microchips Work? 

How Much Does a Pet Microchip Cost?

The cost of placing a microchip in a dog or cat varies with the hospital or clinic, type of chip, and your location in the country. The cost range most often is $45 to $150. The microchip fee may be included in the adoption or purchase fee. Some pets are sold or adopted with microchips already in place such as from various humane societies, shelters, and/or breeders.

The cost associated with the microchip generally includes registration in the microchip recovery database and varies by company.

How Long Does a Microchip Last?

According to most sources, the microchip will last at least 20 years and most chip companies will guarantee the chip for the life of the animal.

Are Pet Microchips Worth It?

A pet microchip is worth it if there is ever a chance your dog or cat could be separated from you, lost or get out. Things do happen. Here is one example.

A client that I knew had their dog come up missing last year. They looked everywhere. They posted on social media, had signs up in the neighborhood, contacted shelters, and local vet clinics. They didn’t know what happen. They thought either the dog was injured and died or ran off and got lost.

Seven months later, they received a call that a shelter had their dog. This shelter was 800 miles away! They came to find out a neighbor up the road, one they didn’t even know, took the dog with them when they moved 6 states away. The dog ran away from their house and ended up at the shelter, was scanned for a microchip, and the true owner found. The dog was reunited with its true owner back in Ohio. Unbelievable!

So are pet microchips worth it? I believe they are. Learn more in these two articles – Should You Use a Dog Microchip? and Microchipping for Your Cat’s Safety.

Can You Feel Your Pet’s Microchip?

Some clients ask if you can feel a microchip. The answer is that it depends. It is related to where the microchip is placed and the confirmation of your pet.

You can sometimes feel a microchip in some small dogs and cats that are thin with short hair coats. The pet microchip is generally placed over the shoulder blades and is about the size of a grain of rice. When the microchip is placed in slightly deeper tissues, you cannot feel it. When placed more superficial, you can feel it. Some pet microchips will migrate and move to areas over the chest wall. There can be less fat in these areas making them easier to feel on small dogs.

How and Where Are Pet Microchips Placed?

Pet microchips are most often placed using a large syringe over the shoulder blades. This is just behind the head, over the scruff of the neck. Placement generally causes very little pain and is very well tolerated by most pets. The procedure varies with the clinic but may include these steps:

  • The microchip packet is opened and the contents are evaluated. This generally includes a tag and clip that can go on your pet’s collar that indicates that your pet has a microchip and the kind of chip, several stickers that include the chip number, registration form, instructions for registration, and the syringe and chip.
  • The chip is scanned to confirm that it works and the number is accurate.
  • The area where the microchip is to be placed is disinfected with alcohol.
  • Some clinics use ice packs to cool the skin over the area where the microchip will be placed to help numb the skin to minimize discomfort.
  • A technician restrains the pet briefly while the chip is inserted. It is inserted like a routine vaccine injection in the subcutaneous area (an area between the skin and muscle). The needle on the syringe is bigger than a routine shot when the needle goes in, the plunger is pressed which pushes the microchip. Any discomfort is brief and just a little more than a routine vaccine shot.
  • After the procedure, the pet is scanned to ensure the chip is present and working. Learn more about the scanners in What is a Pet Microchip Scanner? In general, this is a very quick and easy procedure.
  • Once the microchip is injected, over time a thin layer of connective tissue will form around the chip, and anchor it in place.
  • The final step is getting the chip registered to you! The company needs to pair the chip number with your information so if your pet is found, they can also find you. Many veterinary clinics will help you with this process or even do it for you. It is critical to provide your name, address, and best contact number. A cell phone number works best, as you can be more easily reached 24/7. Note: If at any time your contact information or cell phone number changes, please be sure to contact the microchip company with the new contact information.

Even though placing a microchip in a dog or cat is easy and fairly painless, many pets get their microchip during spay or castration procedures. This is nice because your pet is already sedated and they feel no discomfort.

Who Implants Microchips?

Most veterinary clinics and shelters will provide microchip service. Call your local vet or shelter to determine if they do this procedure and the cost.

What Care Does a Microchip Require?

The pet microchip requires no care or maintenance.

What are the Side Effects of Getting a Pet Microchip?

Side effects are very uncommon. After implanting the microchip, there can be some bleeding at the site of injection (just as you would with any injection). It would be possible to have hair loss or an infection but these are very uncommon and this author has never seen a problem with a microchip implantation.

Which Companies Offer Microchips?

Several companies offer microchips with the two most common being AVID® and HomeAgain®.

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Puppy Diaries #7: First Year Costs – Myths vs. Reality (6-7 Months) https://www.petplace.com/article/dogs/pet-care/dog-care/puppy-care/puppy-diaries-7-first-year-costs-myths-vs-reality-6-7-months/ Wed, 29 Aug 2018 15:35:17 +0000 https://www.petplace.com/?p=19195 Dear Diary, This month, after I had gone through the exercise of tallying Sommer’s medical expenses, I was inspired to further torture myself (haha) by adding up the full costs of Sommer’s first year, including the medical expenses. I began by thinking through where and how I spent money this year. Fortunately for this exercise, […]

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Dear Diary,

This month, after I had gone through the exercise of tallying Sommer’s medical expenses, I was inspired to further torture myself (haha) by adding up the full costs of Sommer’s first year, including the medical expenses. I began by thinking through where and how I spent money this year. Fortunately for this exercise, we had relied on a handful of vendors for the majority of our needs, so I found it easy to simply call each place, whether the pet store or our groomer, to find out how much we had spent. Again, as with medical expenses, I had relied on the wisdom of the Internet and also casual friends for ballpark figures of the first-year costs. Guess what? I experienced another shock when I saw the numbers in black and white. Dogs are known to lower stress, but they also demand fiscal responsibility.

Myth: You can easily get a puppy and spend under $1,000 the first year.

Reality: Sommer’s First Year, By the Numbers

  • Healthcare: $2,440
  • Fence: $1,700
  • Pet store expenses, including food, treats, and chewy sticks; toys; collars and tags, harnesses and leashes; heartworm and flea and tick medications; crate and playpen; dishes; beds: $1,270
  • Boarding and daycare: $700
  • Grooming: $425
  • Training: $450
  • Carpet cleaning (due to housetraining accidents): $260

TOTAL $7,245

If I set aside medical costs and fencing, we would have cut our costs by more than half – down to not much more than $3,000. And to be honest, that amount is more in line with what I expect to spend on an annual basis going forward.

Many of the one-time costs, such as the fence, and medical procedures such as spaying and vaccinations, are behind us now. A lot of rookie pup mom errors are behind me. I have learned my lesson about leaving things lying around the house within pup’s reach, and I fervently hope that will reduce the likelihood of any further emergency hospital visits!

Even some of the larger purchases from pet stores are behind us as well. We should be set for a while regarding a crate and bed, dishes, collars and leashes and heartworm and flea and tick medications. With any luck at all, the carpet cleaning expenses will also shrink – although that might be overly optimistic, as there is always the prospect of an occasional accident or even muddy-paws-in-the-house fiasco. As far as training, I plan to do a leash walking class before her first year is up, but after that, I expect that we will be done with most of the paid training, as I now have been trained in how to train her. Now the task ahead is to keep up with practicing what we learned in class.

I give myself a B- on my effort there, so far. Who knows, I might wind up deciding to do some additional classes this winter, to give us an activity during the long, cold months, and to make sure we don’t forget everything we learned.

What I Learned (The Hard Way)

Don’t rely on Internet estimates of first-year costs. They are myths! The reality is that you’re likely to spend double what you think, so take a look at my costs, and budget accordingly. Many of the costs were somewhat fixed, but one thing I wish I would have done was given myself a budget for discretionary items, such as treats, toys and chew sticks. It was far too easy to pick up an extra toy while browsing in a pet store or splurge on expensive chewy sticks when Sommer would be just as happy with a less expensive option. We pup moms love our pups! And that’s a good thing. So while an occasional splurge would have been completely fine, I could have cut back a bit if I had given myself the parameters of a budget.

Lessons Learned from My Vet

  • At this seven-month-old age, your pup may careen from one behavior extreme to the next. Sommer would be completely confident one moment and then jump at the sound of the mailman’s truck the next. This is normal!
  • Teaching your pup to deal with its fears and concerns is paramount at this age. You don’t want a dog that has permanent fears imprinted because of experiences at this age.

My Favorite Articles

Puppy Diary Series: Sit, Stay, Play

Join our resident Pup Mom on her puppy parenthood journey in our Puppy Diaries Series.

About Puppy Diaries

Puppy Diaries is an ongoing series that explores the journey of pet parenthood, from deciding to get a puppy, to bringing a puppy home, to the joys and struggles of training, and beyond. Laura Tiebert, our resident Pup Mom, is an experienced nonfiction writer and first-time puppy parent who lives in Minnesota with her husband, two sons and a new puppy.

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