Microchips for your pet: Myths busted!

Myth #1 – It will hurt my pet to get the chip implanted.

The truth:  The procedure is simple, routine, and relatively painless. Your pet simply gets an injection just under the loose skin between the shoulder blades, much like getting vaccinated. Most animals don’t react to the injection. While a microchip can be easily implanted without anesthesia, many pet owners will chose to have this done while their pet is already asleep for a surgery such as a spay or neuter.

Myth #2 – My cat never goes outside, so he doesn’t need a microchip.

The truth:  No matter how carefully you watch your pet, there is always a chance that he/she could get outside accidentally – for example, a guest or a repair person could easily leave the door hanging open, or a screen could come loose from an open window. And if your pet does get out without a microchip, the chances of finding him/her are slim.


Myth #3 – The microchip will wear out over time and it will have to be replaced.

The truth:  There are no batteries or moving parts involved with a microchip – there is nothing to wear out or replace. The microchip will last throughout your pet’s lifetime.  Shortly after implantation, there is a very small chance the microchip could fall out. Therefore, we recommend having the chip scanned 2 weeks after implantation to ensure it is still where it needs to be.

Myth #4 – My pet always wears a collar with tags so they don’t need a microchip.

The truth:  A secure collar with tags indicating a name and contact information is always a good start. The issue is that collars come off. Collars are often designed to “break-away” in case the collar gets hung on a fence or tree limb, or if a dog pulls too hard on their leash. Collars are also removed for grooming or bathing which can be prime time for a fearful pet to run away. A microchip is a permanent form of identification and will not come off of your pet.

Myth #5 – Animal rescues, shelters and vets all use different scanners so only some will be able to read my pet’s microchip.

The truth:  Most microchip scanners are universal now and can detect microchips from many different companies.

Myth #6 – A microchip is a GPS device for my pet.

The truth:  Microchips are about the size of a grain of rice. They have a unique number assigned to them which is connected to an online database with your contact information. They will NOT give you your animal’s location. They are used as a permanent form of identification.


Myth #7 – A microchip doesn’t increase the amount of pets re-united with their owners.

The truth:  Pets with microchips are 30% to 50% more likely to be returned to their owners compared to pets without microchips. The times where microchips fail is when owners have not kept their contact information up-to-date with the microchip company. If you move or change your phone number, remember to update information so your pet can be re-united with you quickly!

Check out the video below!

For more information, please visit the AAHA website (American Animal Hospital Association)

Looking for a microchip? Check out the Universal Microchip Database Look-up