Why is it Important to Microchip Your Pet?

21 February 2019

Why is it Important to Microchip Your Pet?

You might be wondering if microchipping is right for your pet? As a pet parent, you want to do everything within your power to protect your dog or cat. Microchipping your pet is an extra step that you can take to ensure your furry friend’s safety. In some parts of the world, such as Ireland, Scotland, and England laws have been put in place that requires microchipping as part of responsible pet ownership.

What Is Pet Microchipping?

A microchip is a small electronic device that is about the size of a piece of rice. A veterinarian implants the microchip just beneath your pet’s skin between the shoulder blades at the base of the neck. The microchip has a unique encoded number that is easily detectable using a microchip scanner. The number on the microchip is recorded in a database with the name and address of the pet’s owner. Animal shelters, animal control, and veterinarians all have access to a microchip scanner to check all lost pets for chip identification. If you keep your information current with the pet registry database, officials can easily locate you if your pet becomes lost or stolen using the microchips number.

Will Microchipping Hurt My Pet?

As a pet parent, you never want to hurt your fur baby, so you might be worried that microchipping could be a painful process. Microchipping is fast. The process takes only seconds. The veterinarian will use either a 12- or 15-gauge needle (depending on the brand of the microchip) to insert the microchip just beneath the skin’s surface. The safe and simple procedure causes little discomfort. Young puppies or kittens may yelp or flinch during implantation, but the pain is short-lived (much like a vaccination). Adult animals rarely exhibit any signs of discomfort or pain during the microchipping process. Just like with a life-saving vaccination, the benefits far exceed the minuscule discomfort.

The Benefits of Microchipping Your Pet

Here are several reasons why you should consider microchipping your furry friend:

1. Permanent

Historically, pet parents have purchased a collar with a tag that contains the pet’s name and contact information such as an address and phone number. However, the tag can quickly break off the collar or the engraved information can wear off over time. A microchip is a permanent identification method that can never be separated from your pet.

2. Ownership Proof

As a pet parent, you do not think of yourself as your cat or dog’s ‘owner’ but more as a parent. Unfortunately, pets are stolen daily. Many times, you might have no proof that the pet is yours and it becomes a ‘he said, she said’ situation. However, a microchip can definitively prove that you own your furry friend.

3. Return of Your Furry Friend

The odds of having your pet returned to you if they become lost increases if your dog or cat is microchipped. In a study reported by Science Daily, It found that cats with microchips were 20 times more likely to be returned to their families than felines without the device. Dogs were also found to be 2.5 times more likely to be returned than canines without the chip.

4. A Lifetime of Protection

Microchips last a lifetime. Once installed, you no longer have to worry about pet identification. You will only need to keep your personal information, such as address and phone number, current with the microchip registry.

Microchip FAQ  

Here are a few questions and answers that you might have about microchips:

Are microchips tracking devices?

Pet microchips are not tracking devices. They use what is known as radio-frequency identification (RFID) to function. When a microchip scanner is passed over a pet’s body, the scanner transmits power to the microchip. The energized microchip receives enough power to transmit the microchip’s unique ID number to the scanner. There is no battery or moving parts inside of the microchip, so you do not have to worry about the microchip ever dying or breaking. The microchip will easily last a lifetime.

Won’t the microchip float around my pet’s body?

Modern microchips come equipped with anti-migration technology, so the device stays exactly where it is implanted.

Are microchips only implanted between the shoulder blades of the dog or cat?

Typically, all pet microchips are inserted under the skin right between the dog or cat’s shoulder blades. Horses are microchipped only on the left side of the neck. Pet birds can be microchipped directly in the breast muscle.

Will you be able to feel the microchip beneath your pet’s skin?

You will only be able to feel the microchip if your pet is exceedingly small or thin.

Can a pet microchip cause any side effects?

Pet microchips are completely sealed. Each chip has been encased in a biologically compatible soda lime or glass. Once the microchip is beneath your pet’s skin, the pet’s body will start to naturally react with the microchip. Over time, the body will form a fibrous capsule that encases the entire microchip. It is an extremely rare occurrence for any pet to ever experience a side effect to the chip. Some reported side effects include a localized infection where the microchip was implanted or inflammation in the spot. On rare occasions, tumors have been reported at the site of injection.

Pet Microchips are Becoming Very Common Around the World

Nowadays, virtually all dogs and cats who are adopted from animal shelters come with a microchip implant at the time of adoption. Many breeders have also started to microchip their puppies before they go to their new homes. If you adopt a dog or cat that has a previous microchip, then you will need to contact the microchip’s registry to change the registry’s information on your newly adopted furry family member.


Microchipping is a simple and safe procedure that can help ensure your pet finds its way back home if they ever get lost. If your pet has never been microchipped, you can make an appointment with your veterinarian at FetchMyVet to have the microchip effortlessly implanted in the comfort of your home.

Category: Pet Safety

Schedule a Visit

Book an appointment with one of our highly-trained veterinarians today.