!Header Logo

Richmond Veterinary Clinic

!Call Today!

Identifying Your Pet With a Microchip

February 1 2016

Have you heard of microchips for pets? They’re the best way to keep your four-legged companion properly identified for a lifetime. Below, your McHenry, IL veterinary professional answers a few of your questions about pet microchips.

What Exactly is a Microchip?

It’s important to understand exactly what a microchip is and how it works. A microchip is a tiny computer chip housed inside of a small capsule; the whole unit is about the size of a large grain of rice. Implanted electronically on the chip is a number which corresponds to the chip manufacturer’s database. In the database, your pet’s contact information is stored.

When a lost pet is returned to an animal shelter or vet’s office, specialized scanners there can read the number on the chip. In this manner, the pet can quickly be returned to the rightful owner.

Why Does My Pet Need a Microchip?

Microchips are advantageous for several reasons. First, they keep your pet constantly identified—there’s no way for your pet to remove it, the way they may be able to chew, rip, or slip off a collar containing ID tags. Even if your pet escapes unexpectedly, you’ll have peace of mind knowing they’re identified.

Another benefit of microchips is that you don’t have to get a new one when you move or have a change of telephone number. Simply contact the chip manufacturer; they’ll update your pet’s information electronically, without the need for you to even leave your home!

Can I Track My Pet?

No—it’s important to realize that microchips are not GPS devices. You cannot use one to track your pet’s movements in real time. This type of technology is available in other devices, but not in pet microchips at this time.

How Does the Procedure Work?

The microchip capsule is inserted just under your pet’s first few layers of skin with a special syringe, and it’s usually placed between the shoulder blades. All your pet will feel is a momentary pinch, and then the procedure will be over. All things considered, it’s just like a regular vaccination! Ask your vet for more specifics on the microchipping procedure.

How Can I Get Started?

Our Advice on Identifying Your Pet With a Microchip in 2024

What is a microchip, and how does it work for pet identification?

A microchip is a small electronic chip enclosed in a glass cylinder, roughly the size of a grain of rice. It’s implanted under a pet’s skin, usually between the shoulder blades, through a quick and relatively painless procedure. Each microchip contains a unique identification number. When a microchip scanner reads the chip, it displays a unique number. This number can be used to access the pet owner’s contact details from the chip manufacturer’s database. This system increases the chances of reuniting lost pets with their owners through permanent identification.

Why is microchipping considered a reliable form of identification for pets?

Microchipping is considered a highly reliable form of pet identification due to its permanence and resilience. Microchips are embedded beneath a pet’s skin, providing a lifelong form of identification, unlike collars or tags that might break, get lost, or be taken off. When scanned, the unique identification number on each chip links to a database with the owner’s contact information, facilitating quick reunification if the pet is lost. This method is effective because it’s tamper-proof and not dependent on external accessories, making it a dependable solution for pet identification.

Can a microchip track a pet’s location like a GPS device?

No, a microchip cannot be used to track a pet’s location like a GPS device. Microchips are passive identification tools that do not have real-time tracking capabilities. When scanned with a microchip reader, these chips store a unique identification number that can be used to access the owner’s contact information from a registered database. However, they do not emit a signal or provide location data. For real-time location tracking, a separate GPS-enabled device attached to the pet’s collar is required, offering a different layer of security and peace of mind for pet owners.

What is the process of implanting a microchip in a pet?

Implanting a microchip in a pet is straightforward and similar to a routine vaccination. The microchip, about the size of a grain of rice, is enclosed in a sterile capsule. A veterinarian inserts the microchip under the pet’s skin using a specialized syringe, typically between the shoulder blades. The procedure is quick and causes minimal discomfort – often compared to a slight pinch or a regular injection. No anesthesia is required, and the entire process takes just a few seconds. After implantation, the microchip remains under the skin for the pet’s lifetime, providing a permanent form of identification.

What are the steps to get a pet microchipped at an animal hospital?

The steps to get a pet microchipped at an animal hospital are simple. First, schedule an appointment with the veterinary clinic. The veterinarian will explain the procedure during the visit and answer any questions. The microchip implantation is quick and typically doesn’t require sedation; it’s similar to administering a vaccine. After the microchip is implanted, the pet owner must register it with the manufacturer and provide their contact information. This step is crucial to ensure the microchip serves its purpose. Regularly updating this information is also essential, especially after moving or changing phone numbers.

Would you like to get your pet a microchip? Do you have further questions on the microchipping procedure? Set up an appointment at your McHenry, IL animal hospital today to get your pet the identification he or she needs.