Microchipping Your Pet

One statistic that shows the importance of having your pets microchipped is that 

one out of three pets

will go missing. However, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), microchipped dogs are returned to their owner around 52% of the time, while dogs without a microchip are returned 22% of the time. That staggering statistic widens even further when looking at cats. Only about 2% of lost cats are reconnected with their owners if they aren’t microchipped. That number jumps up to nearly 39% for microchipped cats. 

As you can see, microchipping your pet will increase the likelihood of their being returned home by a huge margin. In fact, HomeAgain Microchips has already reconnected over 2 million lost pets with their owners! Not only does it help you reconnect with your pet, but it also helps prevent pet homelessness! For each that is returned home, that’s one less homeless pet!

At the end of the day, pet owners want the peace of mind, knowing that if for some reason they get separated from their pet, they’ve done everything they can do to increase the odds of reconnecting with them. That is the biggest reason we recommend pet owners have their furbabies microchipped.


We know you love taking your pet on adventures. The only single drawback of having your pet join you is the possibility of them running away or getting loose. Sometimes being outside can bring a whole new set of emotions to your pet. The excitement of new smells and their curiosity can sometimes get the best of them. But not to worry, we gathered a few tips to ease any worry that you may have to help keep your pets safe.

Pet Identification

Your pet should always have a tag attached to their collar that includes the pet’s name, your phone number, and proof of vaccinations. Not only does that information make it easier for someone to contact you, but it also allows them to call the pet by its name, which could help keep it calm, and be assured that your pet is safe to handle, as it’s been vaccinated. An even better idea is to have your pet microchipped. This is a very simple procedure to ensure that your pet can be identified, and you can easily be contacted. While both options are great, to maximize your ability to reconnect with your pet if lost, just do both!

Correctly Sized Collars and Leashes

Your pet’s collar and leash size will play a huge part in keeping your pets within your reigns, but it also directly ties into your pet’s identification. That said, it’s obvious that a collar left too loose will allow your pet to slip out. But how tight is too tight? The general rule to follow is that you should be able to fit two fingers between the collar and your pet’s neck. This leaves adequate room for comfort, but enough tension to keep the collar on. Lastly, some pet owners don’t consider the width of the collar, but it is important that bigger pets have wider, stronger collar and leash.

Proper Training

This one can be tough. It requires that you as the owner stay calm and direct your pet, and your pet to comply. With that in mind, if you plan to take your pet out and about with you, they should know a few commands and be able to react to them without regard to what may be going on around them. For example, if your pet has an instinct to follow a smell, a simple “come” command should override this impulse they have. This is much easier said than done, which is why proper training is crucial.

Be Prepared

If the unthinkable, and horrid situation does arise, and your pet happens to get loose, you’ll need a plan. Many neighborhoods have message boards or Facebook groups. This is a great place to start. After all, the more eyes and awareness, the better chance you’ll have of finding your pet. Make sure you have pictures of your pet, that way people know exactly what to look for.

Common Microchipping FAQs

Your companion is a loyal, loving and irreplaceable friend – one that may have an urge to wander and explore and runs the risk of getting lost. Unfortunately, it is all too common for dogs and cats to lose their way back home and end up in a shelter. It is easy to think that it won’t happen, but the reality is that a staggering number of pets are lost in the shelter system each year because they lack reliable means for identification once they are found. At Park Veterinary Hospital, we feel that pets are part of the family, yours and ours, and that is why we recommend every dog and cat receives an identification microchip.

Traditional ID tags that hang from a collar are a common sense line of defense, however ID tags can easily become separated from your dog or cat. In cases of pet theft, an ID tag is the first thing a thief will discard. However, a microchip for pets is a permanent solution that ensures your pet can be properly identified by a veterinarian or animal shelter, and reunited with you.

A microchip comes preloaded in a sterile applicator and is injected under the loose skin between the shoulder blades. Although there is no universally agreed upon location, a microchip is usually implanted between the shoulder blades. At approximately 12mm long, it is about the same size as a grain of rice. When performed by a veterinary professional, implanting a microchip takes a few seconds and is relatively painless. Once the microchip is implanted under the skin, it will remain for the entirety of your pet’s lifetime.

It is important to understand that a microchip is not a GPS device providing real time tracking capabilities. Rather, a microchip is a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) device. Unlike a GPS device, a microchip doesn’t require power, and it is easily identified by an animal shelter or veterinarian waving an RFID scanner across a pet’s body where the microchip is embedded. The scanner simply identifies the company who made the chip and provides an account number. Once the veterinarian has this information, they will contact the ID company, provide the account number, and then the company or the veterinarian will contact you based on the information they have on file. Your information is never directly released anyone else.

This brings us to an incredibly important part of microchipping: Registration! An RFID chip itself is useless if your registration isn’t submitted and then kept current. Don’t hesitate to ask our veterinarian or client service representative any questions about the registration process, in order to ensure your dog or cat can be accurately identified by it’s pet microchip.

ID tags are the first line of defense in locating and identifying a lost animal. However, microchipping is the second and in some ways more important line of defense for your pet. This is because microchipping ensures that your pet’s identification is never lost, stolen, removed or compromised in any way.

To our knowledge, just about every animal shelter and veterinarian in the United States has the RFID devices to perform a pet microchip lookup. However, there are various dog and cat microchip manufacturers, and because of this not all RFID scanners can detect every microchip. Therefore, shelters and veterinarians may keep several different scanners on-hand to perform a pet microchip lookup.

A microchip cannot compromise your personal privacy. When the RFID scanner picks up the chip, the chip only provides an identification number that correlates to the chip’s manufacturer. That number is called into the pet microchip lookup and recovery service, and you will be contacted by the veterinarian or the recovery service using the contact information on file. This is why it is essential to make sure your registration information is accurate.

A microchip for pets hurts about as much as having blood drawn or that of a vaccine. The needle required for the injection causes a pinch during microchipping procedures. Because it is only a momentary injection, no local or general anesthetic is required.

Since it is quick and non-invasive, microchip cost is very reasonable. Contact us for current pricing.

Microchipping is considered very safe. As with any medical procedure, there is always a risk of side effects. These include:

  • Swelling at the site of the injection (temporary)
  • Migration of the chip under the skin (rare and usually within an inch of initial location)

It is important to note that side effects have occurred in a very small portion of pets and are minor. We recommend a microchip to every pet owner because any risks far outweigh the potential rewards.

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