Dog with a microchip.

As a general rule, pets adopted from animal shelters are already microchipped. Because the practice occurs prior to adoption, and the chip is hidden beneath the skin, it’s possible to forget that it exists. Until, that is, a pet’s chip is called upon to identify their owner. A practice with an enormous impact on both pets and people, microchipping your pet sets the standard for responsible pet ownership.

You Might Never Need It

While it’s possible that your pet will never get into a situation in which their microchip saves the day, the primary reason behind microchipping your pet is to guard against permanent separation. With millions of pets entering shelters every year, if your pet is unidentified and unclaimed, their situation could go from bad to worse very quickly. They could be adopted out to another family or face euthanasia. 

Be Prepared

If it’s best to have something and not need it (then need it and not have it), then microchipping your pet is a great example of this. All it takes is a quick bolt out of the front door, a hopped fence, or a zealous chase of a squirrel at the off-leash park, and your pet could be gone for good. Of course, most pets wear a collar and ID tag, but these can come off. Consequently, your pet’s collar/ID tag cannot be 100% relied upon to facilitate a reunion.

Simple Yet Remarkable

Microchipping your pet is as easy as administering a routine vaccination. Using a needle, we insert the chip between the shoulder blades, just beneath the outermost layer of skin. It does not move around, expire, or cause health problems.

Fully encased in a biocompatible glass capsule, and about the size of a grain of rice, microchips use radio frequency identification (RFID) technology to store identifiable information. It does not have a battery or power source; instead, when a handheld scanner is placed above the chip, the scanner picks up the unique identification number stored inside the chip. 

The scanner is equipped with an LCD screen that displays the chip’s ID number. This number is then entered into a database that, if registered and updated to reflect any changes, will reveal the pet’s owner and their contact information. 

What to Be Aware Of

Pet owners must register their pet’s unique chip with the manufacturer. Without this crucial step, a pet’s chip cannot help them get home. If a phone number, name or address changes, the registration should be updated.

It’s worth noting that not all microchip manufacturers use the same database, but may become streamlined into an umbrella database at some point. We can help pet owners register and navigate the steps required to ensure the efficacy of pet microchips. 

Microchipping Your Pet

If you are concerned about the potential pain or discomfort associated with microchipping your pet, we can add it onto a procedure that requires anesthesia, such as a dental cleaning or spay/neuter surgery

Our staff has seen first hand the positive impact of microchips, and can happily answer any questions about the process, technology, and long term effects. Please call us at (210) 681‑1391 or request an appointment online