In recent years, microchipping pets — in order to increase the chance of finding them if they get lost — has become hugely popular. And for good reason! A recent study done at an animal shelter showed that dogs without microchips were returned to their owners only 21.9% of the time, but dogs who were microchipped were reunited with their owners 52.2% of the time. By the same token, cats without microchips were reunited with their owners only 1.8% of the time, whereas microchipped cats went back home 38.5% of the time. Read on to learn everything you need to know about the benefits of microchipping your dog or cat to keep him or her as safe as possible.

What is a microchip for a pet?

A microchip is a small electronic chip injected under your pet’s skin between the shoulder blades. It’s enclosed in a glass cylinder that’s only about the size of a grain of rice (12 mm). The microchip is activated by a scanner, and the radio waves put out by the scanner activate the chip.

As a responsible pet owner, you’ll need to register the microchip and keep your contact information up-to-date in the microchip registration database. If you move or if any of your contact information changes, make sure you update your microchip registration in the manufacturer’s database as soon as possible. You can talk to your veterinary office with any questions about how to do this.

hand holding syringe for introduction of chip

How is a microchip injected under the skin?

Microchipping is a very simple procedure. The microchip is injected under your pet’s skin using a hypodermic needle. Many pet owners worry that it’s a painful procedure, but it’s actually no more painful than a typical injection. It takes only a few seconds. Plus, no surgery or anesthesia is required. However, if your pet is already under anesthesia for another procedure, such as a neuter or spay, the microchip can usually be implanted at the same time.

Girl in Field With Kitten and Affectionate Puppy

Will a microchip help reunite lost pets with their owners?

Definitely. When any animal is found and taken to a shelter or veterinary clinic, one of the first things they do is scan the pet for a microchip. If they find one, assuming the microchip registry has accurate information, they can quickly find the animal’s owner.

Microchipping keeps pets safe!

The truth is that you never know if your dog or cat will get lost or stolen. If this does happen, having your pets microchipped significantly increases the chance that you’ll be joyfully reunited with your pet. Talk to your veterinarian about getting your pet microchipped today.

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