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The Benefits of Microchipping

Petmate Academy

June 4, 2018

The unthinkable happened.  You thought you closed the back gate, but it didn’t latch all the way and now Fido has gotten out of the backyard.  While most pets will have on a collar that has all your important contact information on it, there is a possibility that it can fall off. This is where microchipping technology can come in, provide peace of mind, and hopefully, save the day.   


A microchip is a small electronic chip that contains a unique preprogrammed number that is used to identify your pet.  The chip is implanted just under the skin of your cat or dog, right at your vet’s office without the need for anesthesia. 

The microchip is no bigger than a grain of rice and contains an ID number for the specific registry of the chip. A scanner will read the chip, activate it, and transmit a unique identification number that can be compared against a database of owner information.


1. When a lost pet is found and taken to either a vet or shelter, one of the first things they will do is scan the animal for a microchip.  Once the chip is located and scanned, they can search the microchip registry to quickly locate the owner's contact information, saving time for everybody involved.

 2. The microchip technology is designed to last your pet’s lifespan so there is no need to replace it after a certain amount of time.

3. The implanting of the microchip can be done right at your vet’s office for your convenience.  The process is quick, done with a hypodermic needle, and is similar to giving your pet a vaccine.

4. Microchips are often inserted with a variety of anti-migration features to ensure that the chips stay securely in place throughout your pet's lifetime.

 5. If your pet was adopted from a rescue shelter, there is a high possibility that they were already microchipped.

6. Pets with microchips are more likely to be returned to their owners.  One study has found that dogs with microchips are returned 52.2% of the time, while dogs without will be returned only 21.9% of the time. As for cats, cats with microchips were returned 38.5% of the time, while without the microchip only about 1.8% of the time.


  1. Microchips aren't GPS units. As helpful as microchip technology is, it won't help you locate or track down your dog or cat.
  2. Microchip registry information is not proof of ownership. While microchips can offer a plethora of information to whoever scans them (information such as spayed/neutered status, species, breed, and more), they do not serve as proof of ownership. Dogs and cats are routinely microchipped by animal shelters, rescue groups, veterinary offices, and other groups. If your pet was microchipped prior to joining your family, it is your responsibility to make sure that all registry information is correct and up to date.
  3. Microchips have different frequencies. When it comes to picking up the registry information, the type of scanner used matters. 134.2 kHz is the ISO standard (International Standards Organization) that is primarily used worldwide. However, not all scanners are universal, and some may read certain microchips better than others.
  4. While the microchipping technology is incredible, your pet should always wear a collar with tags on them. All information should be regularly updated, especially after a change in address or phone number. It's also important to ensure your dog's collar is equipped with any licenses required in your area (such as rabies).

After your pet has been microchipped, you need to make sure that it is registered with the correct database and regularly confirm that all ownership and contact information is up to date so that in case of an emergency, your pet can be returned to you as quickly as possible.

August 15th is also known as "Check The Chip Day" as a reminder for pet parents to update the registry information and to ensure the chip is in working condition.

Contact your veterinarian for more information about how to get your pet microchipped today!



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