FAQ about Microchips for Pets

  • What does it do and how does it work?
  1. A microchip permanently identifies your pet by transmitting a unique number that can be searched in a database to locate your contact information. The microchip contains a computer chip that uses radio frequency identification (RFID) technology. A special RFID reader is required to retrieve the number.

  • How will it help me find my lost pet?
  1. If your pet is found and brought into a veterinary clinic or shelter they will be scanned to check for a microchip. Once the microchip is read the number will be searched using an online database where your contact information will be found and your pet can be returned to you.
  2. There will also be an external tag provided for your pet’s collar that contains a unique number. This allows anyone to search for your contact information using the microchip company’s website without the need for an RFID scanner.
  • Does it hurt? Will my pet be bothered by it?
  1. The only pain your pet should feel is the initial injection of the microchip. The process is similar to when a vaccine is given but a larger needle is used. Your pet should not feel the microchip after it has been implanted. It is about the size of a grain of rice and will be under the skin between your pet’s shoulders.
  • Is it a GPS locator?
  1. No. The microchip does not contain tracking information or GPS locating technology. It only contains the number/barcode that is unique and registered to your pet. It does not directly contain any of your personal information.
  • Can I change the information that the microchip was registered with? What happens if my pet is re-homed?
  1. The contact information can be changed at any time. Usually, this is done by emailing or calling the company that manufactured the microchip. You will need the actual barcode/number to change any information. If you had your pet microchipped you should have been given some documentation that will have instructions on how to complete any changes. If you need your pet’s microchip number you can contact your veterinarian who may have the information on file or will be able to scan your pet to retrieve the number.
  2. Pet ownership can be changed on the microchip as well but each company has different requirements and will usually require a written release of the original registered owner before transferring information. This is to prevent pet theft.
  • My pet was microchipped by the breeder/rescue group. Can I have the registration changed to my information?
  1. Yes. The steps required to do this is different depending which company the microchip is registered with. Some companies require the breeder or rescue to contact them to transfer the registration. Others will update the information once you provide the microchip number and original registration information (breeder or rescue group name).

If you have any other questions or would like to have your pet microchipped please contact the clinic at (306)373-3500.

Written by Kaila Montgomerie, RVT