A microchip is used as a form of permanent identification for your pet. They are tiny, about the size of a large grain of rice, and are passive. This means that they passively store a unique identification number and do not actively transmit any information. The microchip implanted in your pet has no battery and no internal power source, so it sits inertly until it is read by a special microchip scanner.
Before insertion, the sterile microchip is scanned in the package to confirm that the identification code of the transponder is the same as that shown on the package bar code label. For cats and dogs, the standard site for microchip placement is just below the skin between the shoulder blades. The loose skin between the shoulder blades is gently pulled up, and the needle is quickly inserted. The applicator trigger is squeezed, injecting the transponder or microchip into the tissue. Although the needle is large, it is sharp enough that it provides minimal pain or discomfort for your pet. After insertion, the pet is scanned to make sure that the chip is reading properly.
The procedure is fast, taking about the same amount of time it takes to give any other injection. It actually takes more time to do the registration paperwork than it does to implant the microchip.
Although the procedure is routinely done at the time of spaying or neutering, this is not a necessity, and the microchip can be implanted at any time.
Even the most responsible pet owners cannot ensure that their pet won’t get lost. Although most indoor pets tend to stay indoors, there is always a possibility that they can escape if somebody opens a door at the wrong time, if they manage to push through loose window screen if something catches their attention outside, or if there is an emergency situation where the home has to be evacuated. Indoor pets that are not familiar with the great outdoors can become very frightened in these situations and may not be able to figure out how to get back home.
We currently carry HomeAgain microchips, which have the added benefit of a 24/7 hotline staffed by lost pet specialists, lost pet alerts, veterinary assistance through ASPCA's pet poison control hotline, and pet travel assistance if your pet needs to be flown home. Best of all, if your pet is enrolled in our CareClub plans, this service is included as part of your membership.