Microchipping is a routine, non-invasive procedure where a veterinarian inserts a microchip that contains a unique identification number under a dog or cat’s skin using a hypodermic needle. This procedure is becoming increasingly widespread across the world, and is even required for cats and dogs in some counties.


A microchip is a small, electronic chip enclosed in a glass cylinder that is about the same size as a grain of rice. The microchip itself does not have a battery—it is activated by a scanner that is passed over the area, and the radiowaves put out by the scanner activate the chip. The chip transmits the identification number to the scanner, which displays the number on the screen.


When an animal is found and taken to a shelter or veterinary clinic, one of the first things they do is scan the animal for a microchip. If they find a microchip, and if the microchip registry has accurate information, they can quickly find the animal’s owner. The microchip does not act as a GPS to find your pet, but can greatly increase the chances that they are returned to you.


Injecting the microchip is relatively pain-free for your pets. It is injected under the skin using a hypodermic needle, and has the same pain level as a typical injection. The chip can be implanted during a routine veterinary office visit.