Pet Microchips 101

Why should I microchip my pet? What is a microchip? How do microchips work? They’re basically a GPS, right? All these questions and more might be swirling around your head. Pet microchips are commonplace these days, but there are many misconceptions about them. And it’s too bad, because if your pet ever slips out of their collar and gets lost, microchips are the best way for the two of you to reunite.

Should I Microchip My Pet?

Yes. Absolutely, yes. Pets get lost all. the. time. Even well behaved or strictly indoor pets sometimes get separated from their families. Maybe the pizza guy leaves the door open too long and the cat slips out of the house. Or maybe your normally very obedient dog gets spooked by fireworks. All of these are common scenarios and happen to even the best of pet owners. Plus, microchipping is inexpensive, your pet won’t feel it after a second and it’s good for life.

What Is a Microchip?

The most common piece of misinformation about a pet microchip is that people think chips are a GPS. They’re not. Microchips don’t emit any kind of signal. They’re a tiny piece of tech, about the size of a grain of rice, that is implanted between your pet’s shoulder blades. After implantation, your pet can’t even feel it. The chip stays there for the life of your pet. Only very rarely does a pet need to be “re-chipped.”

How Does a Microchip Work?

So how does a microchip work? Even though a microchip can’t be traced by a satellite, it can be scanned by another device. Pet professionals use a microchip scanner to read numbers off of microchips.

These professionals then look up the microchip’s number to see if it’s registered. This is why it’s so important to register your pet’s microchip! The registry contains your contact information so you can be reunited with your lost pet!

Your pet’s microchip number is one of a kind. Only one microchip matches one microchip number. When your pet is microchipped, it’s important that you sign up for a registry account. You can find our microchip registry at It’s completely free for the life of your pet. You don’t have to pay a fee to sign up or update your account. This is handy, because you need to update it every time you change addresses or phone numbers.

Don’t know your pet’s microchip number or are unsure if your pet is microchipped at all? Head to Adopt & Shop and we’ll do the work for you!