For animals that get separated from their owners, proper identification is essential to reuniting that pet with their family. It is their ticket home and we as pet owners need to take the responsibility of taking these measures to ensure our pet is properly identified and can be reunited with us if the unthinkable happens. As a veterinary office, we see quite a lot of pets that do not have microchips placed and we encourage all owners to consider microchipping their animals. 

According to a statistic, 1 in 3 pets become lost at some point in their life, and the reunification percentage for animals with microchips is over 52%! 

We hope that after reading this blog and learning more about microchips, you will consider this step of responsibility for your pet if they do not have a microchip in place. 

The following information comes from the American Veterinary Medical Association (

What is a Microchip?

A microchip is a small device, about the size of a grain of rice, that is placed under an animal's skin - much like giving the animal a shot. The microchip contains a unique identification number that matches up with the owner's contact information maintained in a database. When a scanner is passed over the chip at the shelter or vet, the scanner displays the number. If the owner's contact information is up to date in the microchip database, the owner can be located quickly. 

What are the benefits of Microchipping and Proper Identification?

Permanent identification of animals can be a challenge. Identification tags are an important and effective means of identification, but only if they are in place on an animal when it becomes lost. For animals that don’t wear collars or easily escape their collars, microchips are the best option for that pet. The ideal situation of proper identification for an animal is a microchip that is registered and up to date with the owner's information, a collar and identification tag with the owner’s contact information included as well. Both are essential in reuniting lost pets with their family. 

How do microchips work? 

Microchips contain four components:  a capacitor, antenna, connecting wire, and a covering.  They are battery-free and sealed in biocompatible glass or polymer covered by a sheath to attempt to prevent them from moving around once implanted. Microchips are activated by a low-power radiofrequency signal emitted by scanners. Electromagnetic induction generates electricity in the antenna and transmits the information stored in the microchip.  When scanned, the microchip transmits a unique, preprogrammed identification number.  Some microchips also collect and transmit body temperature data which is super helpful at the vet to avoid the stress of a rectal temperature! 

The use of standard microchip implantation sites makes it easier to detect an implanted microchip. Veterinarians know how and where to implant microchips to optimize their effectiveness.

If your pet is microchipped - Here’s what to do:

  1. Make sure your pet has a collar and identification tag first

  2. Make sure the microchip is placed & reading accurately - this can be done by your veterinarian

  3. Call the microchip company and make sure your contact information is registered correctly

If your pet is not microchipped - Here’s what to do:

  1. Make sure your pet has a collar and identification tag first 

  2. Call your veterinary office to discuss placing a microchip for your pet

  3. Make an appointment for the microchip to be placed

  4. Once the microchip is placed, the veterinary clinic or yourself will register your pet with the company. 

Now we hope this never happens, but if your pet ever gets lost you have just increased your chances of reuniting with them!!


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