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The microchip is a tiny computer chip, about the size of a grain of rice, programmed with an identification number. The chip is enclosed in biocompatible glass and is small enough to fit into a hypodermic needle. Once an animal is injected with a chip, it can be identified throughout its life with this one of a kind number.

A special scanner is used to send a radio signal to the chip to read the identification number. The pet feels nothing when the scanner is placed over it. The number is displayed on the scanner, and the person reading the scanner can contact a national registry to find out who the pet belongs to.

Microchips are permanent and can’t be lost, altered, or destroyed. Pet owners have been reunited with chipped pets that have been missing for years or that have traveled thousands of miles. In the heartbreaking event that your pet is lost or stolen, this microchip ID can be a way to get your pet back home.

The microchip has no power supply, battery, or moving parts, and it is designed to last the life of the pet. Once injected, the microchip is anchored in place as a thin layer of connective tissue forms around it. It requires no care and will not pass through or out of the body.

Injecting the microchip is just like any other injection or vaccine. Most pets react the same way to being microchipped as they do any other shot.  The microchip contains nothing that will burn or irritate tissue; it is completely biocompatible. The microchip is inert, smooth, nontoxic, and non-allergenic. Microchip companies say there is virtually no chance of the body developing and allergy or trying to reject the microchip. Microchipping can be done as early as 6 to 8 weeks of age and in any breed, even toy breeds.

After your pet is microchipped, you will be given information about how to register it with the national registry. It is important to register your pet’s microchip number and update your contact information as soon at it changes. Animal shelters and veterinarians are finding more and more pets that have been microchipped. They are able to contact the national registry to obtain owners information regarding the pet. They are able to contact owners and advise them their pet has been found.