Get the Facts on Microchipping

Separate Microchipping Facts From Fiction

Find out the truth about dog and cat microchipping from pet owners' most frequently asked questions and shared statements.

Fact

No anesthetic is required for a microchip implant. The procedure is performed at your veterinarian's office and is simple and similar to administering a vaccine or a routine shot.

The microchip injection comes preloaded in a sterile applicator and is injected under the loose skin between the shoulder blades. The process takes only a few seconds.

Fact

Pet microchips are not tracking devices. They are radio-frequency identification (RFID) implants that provide permanent ID for your pet.

Because they use RFID technology, microchips do not require a power source like a GPS. When a microchip scanner is passed over the pet, the microchip gets enough power from the scanner to transmit the microchip's ID number. Since there's no battery and no moving parts, there's nothing to keep charged, wear out, or replace. The microchip will last your pet's lifetime.

Fact

All pets should wear collar tags imprinted with their name and the phone number of their owner, but only a microchip provides permanent ID that cannot fall off, be removed, or become impossible to read.

Fact

If your pet was adopted from a shelter or purchased from a breeder, your pet may already have a microchip. Consult your pet adoption paperwork, or have your pet scanned for a microchip at your next vet visit to reveal the unique microchip ID number and register it.

Fact

Both cats and dogs need to be microchipped.

Cats often do not wear collars, and may not have any other form of ID. A recent study showed that less than 2% of cats without microchips were returned home. However, if a cat is microchipped, the return-to-owner rate is 20 times higher than if the cat was not microchipped.

Fact

Microchips carry only a unique identification number.

If your pet gets lost and is taken to a vet clinic or animal shelter, your pet will be scanned for a microchip to reveal his unique ID number. That number will be called into the pet recovery service, and you will be contacted using the contact information on file with your pet's microchip.

It is vital to keep your contact information up to date so that you can be reached.

Fact

A microchip will normally last the lifetime of your pet because it is composed of biocompatible materials that will not degenerate over time.

The HomeAgain® standard size microchips have the Bio-Bond™ patented anti–migration feature to help ensure the chip stays where it's implanted. Also, since microchips require no power source and have no moving parts, there's nothing that can wear out and need to be replaced. Pet owners can also check to make sure their pet's microchip is still working by asking a vet to scan it during their pet's next checkup.

Fact

A microchip is only the first step! You must register your pet's microchip to give your pet the best protection.

Register your pet's microchip in a database, such as the HomeAgain National Pet Recovery Database, with your contact information so you can be contacted when your lost pet is found. Also, remember to keep your contact information up to date whenever you move or change phone numbers.

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