All About Microchipping

What is a microchip?

The microchip is a tiny computer chip, about the size of a grain of rice, programmed with an identification number.  The chip is enclosed in biocompatible glass and is small enough to fit into a hypodermic needle.  Once an animal is injected with a microchip, it can be identified throughout its life with its own individual number.

Is sedation required to implant a microchip?

No.  Injecting a microchip is just like injecting any other injection or vaccination.  The needle is slightly larger but is well tolerated by our patients.  Anesthesia is not required.

What is the benefit of microchipping my pet?

Microchips are permanent and can’t be lost, altered, or destroyed.  Thanks to Microchips, pet owners have been reunited with their pets that have been missing for years or that have traveled many of miles from home.

Could my pet be allergic to the microchip?

The microchip is inert, smooth, nontoxic, and non-allergenic according to the manufacturers.

How does microchip identification work?

A special scanner is used to send a radio signal to the microchip to read the identification number.  The pet feels nothing when the scanner is placed over it. The number is displayed on the scanner.  The person reading the scanner can contact a national registry to find out who the pet belongs to.

If my pet is found how am I contacted?

If your pet is found, local animal shelters and veterinarians are able to use a special scanning devise that can detect the microchip under the skin.  The number read off the microchip can be called into the national registries (AVID, HOMEAGAIN, etc.) where your contact information will be stored.  The owner can then be contacted with their pet’s location.

How is the microchip implanted?

The microchip is implanted with a needle beneath the skin between the shoulder blades. They are so small it is virtually impossible feel them.

I have tiny toy breeds.  Can I still have them implanted?

Absolutely.  The same size microchip and needle are used in pets even smaller than puppies/kittens and toy breeds.

How early can puppies or kittens be injected?

Young pets can be microchipped as early as 6 to 8 weeks of age.

How do I update information in the registration?

After your pet is received a microchip, you will be given information about how to contact the national registry to update your information.  Remember to do this whenever you change your address or telephone number.

How long does the microchip last?

The microchip has no power supply, battery, or moving parts, and it’s designed to last the life of your pet.  Once injected, the microchip is anchored in place as a thin layer of connective tissue forms around it.  It requires no care and will not migrate through the body.

Do shelters scan pets for microchips?

Yes, scanning pets for microchips has become standard practice in animal shelters.  Some municipalities, such as Los Angeles County in California, are even requiring pets to be microchipped so local governments can cooperate with shelters to reunite pets and their owners.

Does implanting the microchip hurt my pet?

Most pets react the same way they do to any injection.  The microchip contains nothing that will burn or irritate the skin.


Contact Us

Animal Medical Center
229 N. US Hwy 31 South
Traverse City, MI 49685

(231) 943-8500

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Our Hours

Monday: 7:00am – 5:30pm
Tuesday: 7:00am – 5:30pm
Wednesday: 8:00am – 4:30pm
Thursday: 7:00am – 7:00pm
Friday: 8:00am – 5:30pm
Select Saturdays: 8:00am – Noon
Sunday: Closed

After-Hour Emergency?

Please call Bay Area Pet Hospital

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