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5 Reasons To Microchip Your Pet

April 1, 2023

Has your furry friend been microchipped yet? If not, we strongly urge you to reach out to your vet and get that appointment on the books. Microchips may be small, but they really can make a big difference in your pet’s life. A Lasalle County, IL vet lists some reasons to microchip Fido and Fluffy in this article. 

Invisible LIfeline 

Microchips don’t eliminate the need for tags. ID tags are still the easiest way for people to match lost pets with their worried humans. They are also required by law. However, tags can be easily removed. Microchips, on the other hand, are permanent, so they form an invisible link that ties you and your four-legged friend together. 

One-Time Procedure 

Getting your furry best friend microchipped is very quick and easy. Your vet will inject the chip beneath your pet’s skin, using a hypodermic needle. That’s it! This is often done along with spay/neuter surgery, but can be scheduled separately. You’ll need to fill out your records, but as far as the physical end of things, it’s a one-and-done procedure. 

Real-Time Updates 

Microchips don’t transmit or contain your data. They only contain a single piece of information: a unique identification number, which can be read with special scanners. This number is linked to your account in the manufacturer’s database. You can—and should—update those records any time your personal information changes. (If you haven’t checked your furry pal’s information for a while, try the AAHA Universal Pet Microchip Lookup here.)


Technology is really developing rapidly these days. While microchips do not currently have GPS capabilities, there are products, such as pet doors and food bowls, that can work with Fido or Fluffy’s individual chips. That could come in really handy! 

Helping Pets Come Home

Microchips definitely increase the chances of a lost pet being reunited with their worried humans … sometimes after being missing for years or being separated by hundreds—or even thousands—of miles. You may have seen some of the amazing stories about people being reunited with beloved furry friends that they had given up hope on. One recent example of this just happened last week, when Sophie, a pooch that had gone missing from Cincinnati, was reunited with her original owner, a truck driver from California.

Our Advice on Reasons To Microchip Your Pet in 2024

Why should you microchip your pet?

Microchipping your pet offers a permanent, invisible lifeline, significantly increasing the chances of reunion if they get lost. Unlike ID tags, which can be removed or lost, a microchip is a one-time, simple procedure providing a secure link back to you through a unique identification number. This number, when scanned, accesses your contact information in a database, which you can update as needed. Additionally, emerging technologies can interact with your pet’s microchip, offering further convenience and safety. Essentially, microchipping is a crucial step in ensuring your pet’s long-term safety and your peace of mind.

How is a pet microchipped?

A pet is microchipped through a quick and minimally invasive procedure where a veterinarian uses a hypodermic needle to insert a small chip, about the size of a grain of rice, beneath the pet’s skin, usually between the shoulder blades. This one-time procedure doesn’t require anesthesia and is similar to administering a vaccine. Once the chip is in place, it carries a unique identification number linked to the owner’s contact information in a national database, making it a reliable form of permanent identification for the pet.

Are there any health risks associated with microchipping a pet?

Microchipping a pet is generally considered safe with minimal health risks. The most common side effect is temporary discomfort at the injection site, similar to any vaccine. Rarely, there can be instances of microchip migration, where the chip moves from its original placement, or an infection at the injection site. However, these complications are uncommon and typically efficiently managed. The benefits of being able to reunite with a lost pet significantly outweigh the minimal risks associated with the microchipping procedure.

Can a microchip migrate or malfunction?

Yes, a microchip can migrate from its original placement site, typically between the shoulder blades, to another part of the pet’s body. This migration, while relatively rare, is usually harmless and does not affect the functionality of the chip. Malfunctioning of microchips is also uncommon, but it can occur, leading to issues with scanning or reading the chip. Regular veterinary check-ups can include scanning the microchip to ensure it is in place and functioning correctly, maintaining its role as a reliable form of identification.

How does the microchip recovery process work?

The microchip recovery process begins when a lost pet is found and brought to a shelter, vet clinic, or rescue organization. There, the pet is scanned for a microchip using a special reader. If a chip is detected, the reader displays the microchip’s unique identification number. This number is then used to look up the owner’s contact information in the microchip registry’s database. Once the owner is identified, they are contacted and informed about their pet’s location, facilitating a reunion. It’s crucial for pet owners to keep their contact information in the registry up to date to ensure a successful recovery.

Do you need to schedule microchipping? Contact us, your local Lasalle County, IL pet hospital, today! 

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