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Top 3 Reasons to Microchip Your Horse (Or Goat or Alpaca)

While microchipping is routinely performed on the family dog and cat, microchipping horses and farm animals has not been considered routine until recently. Increased use of microchip technology is due in part to USEF requirements for competing horses, animal separations in the wake of increasing natural disasters, and the ever-present fear of losing one’s beloved animal to unintended escape or theft.

  1. Microchip implantation is safe, easy, and affordable.

Microchip implantation is no more invasive than administering an injection.  The procedure is simple: First your EquidDoc veterinarian disinfects the injection site, then using a specialized needle and syringe, the rice-sized chip is inserted into your animal.  Microchip insertion is done in a unique location depending on the type of animal you have.

  1. Microchips provide reliable proof of ownership.

After you have your animal microchipped, you may register the microchip number into an online database. It is common practice for any animal found without an owner to be scanned for a microchip if they come into contact with local shelter or animal care professionals. The unique number on the microchip can be searched in online databases to retrieve your, the owner’s, contact information and animal identity. If you sell your animal, that’s not a problem—the animal keeps their microchip number and the new owner can update their information to be linked to the microchip.

  1. Microchips serve as a permanent form of identification.

Since the microchip remains for the life of the animal, this digital technology is a favored form of permanent animal identification.  Bands and tags can be altered or switched, and tattoos and brandings can become difficult to read over time. Microchips, however, cannot be removed from the animal once inserted and when scanned show up as an unmistakable and unique combination of digital numbers and letters. For this reason, microchips are becoming the preferred ID method of farms, breed shows, equestrian competition, and state and federal documentation used to track animal movement and contagious disease.


There are numerous benefits to having your animal microchipped, and in a world full of unpredictable events, it is a simple and effective step to minimize the chance of prolonged separation from your animal.  August 15th is national “Check the Chip Day” as a reminder to have your microchipped animal scanned to ensure the proper functioning of your pet’s microchip.  Just ask any EquidDoc veterinarian next time you see us! Interested in getting your beloved horse, goat, sheep, or alpaca microchipped?  Call EquidDoc today to schedule your microchip insertion appointment, 508-885-4205!  See you on the farm!


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