What are microchips?
Microchips are tiny transponders, about the size of a grain of rice, that use radio frequency waves to transmit information about your pet. They're implanted just under the skin, usually right between the shoulder blades.
How they work
Each microchip contains a registration number and the phone number of the registry for the particular brand of chip. A handheld scanner reads the radio frequency of the chip and displays this information. The animal shelter or vet clinic that finds your pet can contact the registry to get your name and phone number.
Can a microchip get lost inside my pet?
Your pet's subcutaneous tissue usually bonds to the chip within 24 hours, preventing it from moving, although there's a small chance that the chip could migrate. But it can't actually get lost inside your pet.
How long do microchips last?
Microchips are designed to work for 25 years.
Can a microchip replace my pet's collar and tags?
Despite advances in universal scanners and registry procedures, microchips aren't foolproof, and you shouldn't rely on them exclusively to protect your pet. Universal scanners can detect a competing company's chip, but they may not be able to read the data. And if shelter or vet clinic personnel don’t use the scanner properly, they may fail to detect a chip.
What if I move?
You need to contact the company that registers the chip to update your information; otherwise, the chip will be useless. You may be charged a small fee to process the update.
What do I do if I adopt a pet who's already been microchipped?
If you know what brand of chip your pet has, contact the corresponding registry to update the information. If you don’t know what type of chip your pet has, find a vet or animal shelter that can read it.