Los Angeles cat in the grass with microchip

There are loads of little things that we acquire and then quickly forget about. We may not immediately need a box of 250 paperclips or rubber bands, but when we actually need them we’re pretty happy to have them on hand. 

Pet microchips are not unlike a collection of oddities that may (or may not) serve a purpose someday. Some chips are never scanned. But that’s good! That means that those pets were never separated from their people. Most importantly, when a pet gets lost or goes missing, it’s usually their microchip that leads to a joyful reunion at home. 

Microchips Just Makes Sense

In short, microchips protect pets from being permanently separated from their families. Inserted just beneath the outermost layer of skin (typically between the shoulder blades), these chips are about the size of a grain of rice. 

A special handheld scanner reveals it’s unique number that is attached to pet owner information in the national database. 

Peace of Mind

Most veterinary hospitals and animal shelters have the capability to scan pet microchips (if present). They do not give global positioning or hold any owner contact information (that is, until the number is loaded into the database). In these ways, pet microchips do not jeopardize privacy. Instead, they simply offer pet owners peace of mind when it comes to the safety of their pet. 

It Can Happen to Anyone

Pet owners usually do everything they can to provide long, healthy, happy lives to their pets. To that end, disease prevention is a huge priority. Spaying and neutering, maintaining vaccinations, and dental cleanings are all part of this proactive approach. 

Similarly, pet microchips are an added layer of protection if your pet ever jumps the fence, slips out of their collar, or runs off in pursuit of prey (did someone say “squirrel”?). Many times, pets respond to a flight or flight impulse and run away during thunderstorms, fireworks, or other frightening stimulus. 

Pet microchips aren’t just limited to cats and dogs, either. Microchipping your exotic pet – birds included – is also advised. Even though these critters don’t often get out, accidents can and do happen, especially if you are traveling. Please talk to us about microchipping your exotics, if you have questions. 

Wave of the Future

It’s possible to implant pet microchips during a routine teeth cleaning or spay/neuter procedure. But we can just as easily insert the microchip while they’re awake. It’s not without certain sensation, but inserting a chip is akin to what a regular vaccination feels like.

Amazingly, once implanted, pet microchips remain without the need to remove or replace it. It will stay in the same place just below the skin’s surface. If you happen to change your name, address, or phone number, you’ll have to update the national database. We can help you register at the time of microchipping so you’re familiar with your chip’s manufacturer.

Pet Microchipping

Almost all animals adopted through a shelter or rescue are already chipped. If you did not receive any paperwork, let us know. We can help you try to track down the maker of your pet’s chip and move toward registering your name/contact information.

Pet microchips are part of an essential defense against loss or separation. While they cannot substitute a collar and ID tags, microchips are crucial if your pet shows up without them.

At Shiloh Veterinary Hospital we’re always happy to answer your questions or address any concerns. Please let us know how we can help!