All About Microchipping (May is National Chip Your Pet Month)

small dog with veterinarian

It sometimes happens that our four-legged friends wander a little too far for their own good or our liking. One good way to increase the chances of being reunited with pets that have run away or gotten lost or stolen is to have them microchipped.


What is microchipping?

Microchipping has grown increasingly popular in recent years because it’s a relatively inexpensive procedure that can help save a pet’s life. Microchipping involves implanting a device about the size of a grain of rice into the scruff of an animal’s neck. When scanned, it identifies the pet’s unique ID number, allowing them to be traced back to their rightful owner.


What are the benefits of having my pet chipped?

Many pet owners believe that having a fenced-in yard, electric fence, or a collar on their pet is enough to ensure their pet’s safety. But, collars can be easily removed or lost, and some hunting dog breeds simply can’t be stopped when following a scent! While microchipping can’t guarantee your pet will be found or returned, having them chipped is an extra safeguard that responsible pet owners often choose.


One of the first things a shelter or rescue will do when a pet is brought to them is check to see whether the animal has a chip. Studies show that microchipping greatly increases the chances an owner will be identified. (Fun fact: A study from 2009 showed that 74% of found dogs and  63.5% of cats turned in to shelters were reunited with their owners.)


Microchips also help to prove ownership of your pet in the event that he or she has come into the wrong hands.


What is the microchipping procedure like?

The microchipping procedure is quick and painless. The veterinary professional implants the microchip in the loose skin around the folds of the neck, or between the shoulder blades. Because it’s as painless as getting a vaccination or routine shot, no anesthetic is needed. There’s also no post-procedure recovery time or harmful effects. And, it’s relatively inexpensive.


Should I get my pet microchipped?

Of course, the decision whether or not to microchip your pet is ultimately up to you, the pet’s guardian. For most people, though, it is an affordable precaution they can take to ensure the safety and well-being of their pet. For more information on the myths and facts surrounding microchipping, check out this helpful article.