Microchip Misconceptions that Get Under Our Skin

dog with vet reading microchip

We already know that properly identifying your pet is a bare necessity when it comes to being a responsible owner, but a lot of people fall short when it comes to their due diligence. Don’t get us wrong, tags are a terrific way to identify your pet should they ever get lost – they’re immediately visible and can yield quick results – but, tags and collars can fall off; their real ticket home is a microchip.  A microchip is the size of a grain of rice and painlessly inserted beneath the skin between your dog or cat’s shoulders; the chip can be scanned and registered with the all information needed to reunite you with your buddy. But there are a few common micro misconceptions floating around that we’d like to debunk to ensure your pet has the best chance of coming home.

Micro Myth #1: A microchip is a GPS device.

While it would be awesome if a chip could tell you where your pet is, that’s not how it works. It’s an electronic chip with a radio-frequency identification number that’s linked to your information when scanned; it requires no charging (wouldn’t THAT be weird.) and will last the lifetime of your pet.

Micro Myth #2: Having my pet chipped requires surgery.

Completely untrue; it’s an outpatient procedure that most pets react to much like a vaccine. It’s important to avoid any rigorous activity for 24 hours after insertion, as the chip has an anti-migration coating that needs a chance to adhere to the skin. 

Micro Myth #3: My pet’s chipped, so we’re all set.

Whether you’re the one who gets your pet chipped or they already had one when you adopted them, your pet isn’t automatically protected. You have to register your information to chip. You can do this through the company that manufactured the chip or the international database. Without this step, the microchip is useless.

You feed your pet a premium diet, make sure their water bowl is fresh and clean, walk them, and take them to routine vet visits – why wouldn’t you take the extra step to ensure they’re properly identified and claimed as yours? If your pet isn’t chipped, consider having it done. If they are, make sure the information is up to date. And if you’re not sure, have your vet or shelter scan your pet and they’ll give you all the info you need.

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