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Should You Microchip Your Pet?

By Michele C. Hollow of Pet News andViews

Microchips are tiny in size, and will increase the odds of a lost pet being returned home.


We recently  adopted two kittens from the pound, and decided to get them microchipped.  They are indoor cats, but if they do get out, and it can happen, I want to make sure that they will be returned to me.

A lot of shelters have machines that scan for microchips, so microchipping pets is essential. Too many lost cats and dogs enter animal adoption centers every year, and pets with microchips have a higher chance of being reunited with their owners.

If your pet has a microchip, you should also make sure he has an ID tag on his collar. ID tags should include your pet’s name, your name and address, and telephone numbers (day and evening).

While collars and ID tags are essential, you should consider microchipping your pet because collars and ID tags can fall off and get lost. Microchipping involves implanting a tiny capsule under the pet’s skin, usually between the shoulder blades. Microchips can be used on dogs, cats, ferrets, birds, and other companion pets. The tiny chip is about the size of a grain of rice.

Once your pet is microchipped, you would send the information to a registering agency along with current contact and alternate contact information in the event your pet becomes lost . When a pet is found, any agency with a scanner, including many animal care and control agencies, veterinary clinics, and research labs, can quickly identify a code that links the pet to its owner through a national database.

A Caution about IDs and Microchips

All information should be kept up to date. If you move or change phone numbers, make sure the data on your pet’s ID tag is current. The same goes for your pet’s microchip. Contact the registering agency with your new contact information. You want to make sure your pet is returned to you.

Also be aware that microchips can move. At your pet’s next visit to the vet, make sure the microchip is in the right place.

Does your pet have a microchip?

23 comments to Should You Microchip Your Pet?

  • Toni

    Congrats on your adoption! And yes, you should microchip your pets!

  • Cathy

    We are considering it. It can be expensive, but knowing that your pet has a higher chance of being reunited with you is a good reason to do it.

  • Heidi

    Good luck with your kitties. You need to post photos, and yes, getting them microchipped is a good idea.

  • Sybil

    Glad you mentioned they should have tags too. I have found pets with tags, and was able to return them to their owners.

  • Mary

    All of our pets are microchipped. It is a bit of an expense, but well worth it.

  • Rob

    Yes, my dogs have microchips.

  • Amy

    I also have indoor cats that are microchipped for the same reasons.

  • Ellen

    My dog has a microchip, a collar with a tag, and a QR code on his collar. The code is filled with a lot of info on where and how to reach me. It also details my dog’s medical history.

  • Is there any low cost way to microchip pets. Vets visits are expensive.

  • Yes he does and I highly recommend it. I just blogged about a lost dog who was reunited with his mom because of the microchip. Congrats on this, Michele!

  • Rhonda

    My two rescue dogs and rescue cat (indoor only!) have all been microchipped. My dogs’ collars have tags with all of my contact info. I volunteer for a local rescue that microchips all of their dogs and cats on intake. It’s so important!

  • Linda, A lot of people don’t microchip because of the cost. I am going to get my two new kittens microchipped when I take them in to be spayed. Since I adopted them from a pound in NJ, I was told(and I have the paperwork) that I can get them spayed for a low rate of about $35. Microchipping would cost an extra $50-$65 per cat. –Michele

  • Michele, congrats on the new additions!! We need to see pictures of the kittens.

  • Thanks Karen, I know. I just have to get the camera out. –Michele

  • Microchipping should be a “no-brainer” for anyone with a pet. Veterinarians, technicians, shelter workers and rescue volunteers can all tell far too many stories of how lost pets never make it back to their families because of lack of ID. In my mind, microchipping should be as common as vaccination. Yes, there is a cost associated, but many shelters/veterinary clinics will do specials on microchips throughout the year.

    As Michele pointed out, keeping up with the registration is vital. I think the stats are that less than 50% of pets who are microchipped have accurate contact information in the various databases.

  • Congrats on the kittens, Michele!! What are their names? I’d love to see pictures!

  • Jeanne ODell

    My older Dog BabyGirl is not microchip but Midnight my younger dog is.Both are of leashed trained and they are not wanderers and I never have them outside without supervision. I do leash them when we go for walks. I never in my lifetime had a lost, or a dog go wondering. I take responsibility for their safety and I take it seriously.To much bad can happen to them without supervision.

  • Jessica Sala

    Ours both our. Our local humane society offers it for $15 per pet. 🙂

  • Check around. Our local pet shelter offers Microchipping for only $15.

  • Thanks Daniela, Chai is a tortoiseshell cat that is black with a creamy tan. Chai is my favorite tea. Karma is all black. They are sisters. And I tried again to take photos, they just keep on moving around. I promise to put photos up soon.–Michele

  • That is a great price Jessica!–Michele

  • With the way storms and other disasters have left people apart from their pets, it’s definitely a good idea to microchip! I also like that tags are encouraged, too: a kind person picking up a “stray” might never think to check for a microchip, but they’d see and hopefully follow up on a tag. Then again, my mom’s kitty always finds clever ways to get rid of her collar and tags (but she is microchipped!). Any ideas?

  • Ace

    My cats are microchipped– even though they are indoors.