What is it?
A microchip is about the size of a grain of rice, and it is implanted under the skin between the shoulders. Many animals don’t like to wear collars and they can fall off, so this is an extra precaution that can help get your pet back home to you in the event they are lost.1
How does it work?
If your pet is lost and they are brought to an animal shelter, sheriff’s office, vet clinic, etc, they are scanned for a chip. The scanner brings up a number. That number can be put into the microchip company’s system and the owner can be contacted that their pet has been found.1
This is why it is SO important to keep your pet’s microchip information up to date!
What information is stored on the microchip?
Microchips only contain identification numbers. Your information is stored in the microchip company’s database.
Can I track my pet with it?
Unfortunately you cannot track your pet with it. In order to do that you would need a GPS collar.
Does it hurt when it’s done?
It is put in using a slightly larger needle than a vaccine. They might feel a small pinch, but often animals don’t even notice!
Are there any risks associated with it?
The chances that your pet will have an adverse reaction are very low. The British Small Animal Veterinary Association keeps track of adverse reactions to microchips and since 1996 over 4 million animals have been microchipped with only 391 adverse reactions. There have been reports that mice and rats have developed cancer associated with their microchips, but they were being used in cancer studies and these strains were more likely to develop cancer to begin with.2 You can read more about this on the AVMA’s website.
Is there anything I need to do after the microchip has been implanted?
Keeping your information up-to-date is the biggest thing you need to worry about. It isn’t a bad idea to have your vet scan for the microchip at their annual checkup to make sure it is still in place and working. If you notice any problems at the injection site (which is not common), contact your vet ASAP.2
I want to get my pet microchipped! Where can I do that?
CCHS offers microchipping for $20 on Monday, but it is greatly appreciated if you call ahead to let us know you are coming for one. You can also have it done at a vet clinic.
Fun fact: CCHS started microchipping all our cats and dogs in 2014.