Microchipping 101

You’ve probably heard of getting your pet microchipped. But what exactly does this mean? We’re here to break down the ins and outs of microchipping for pets and why it’s so important. Here’s our short but informative manual on microchipping 101!

What is a microchip?

A microchip is a small device (the size of a grain of rice) that is inserted under a pet’s skin. They usually go in the back of the pet’s neck. A microchip contains contact information similar to what you engrave on your pet’s tag, should they ever get lost. As tags often fall off and pets accidentally escape without wearing a collar, a microchip ensures you can be located if your pet is found. Microchips are painless and go undetected by your pet!

A common misconception is that a microchip is like a GPS tracker. GPS will track the path your missing pet takes every step of the way. While this is not the case, a microchip is still a crucial part of a swift reunion for a lost pet. Once they’re found, the beloved family’s information is immediately known upon scanning for the microchip. Microchips are the fastest and easiest way to be reunited with your lost pet!

How does a microchip work?

A microchip contains your contact information electronically. Though a linked website, you can keep your information up-to-date. All animal shelters, most veterinarians, and many police departments have special microchip scanners. When an unidentified pet comes into the facility, a quick scan will reveal if there is a chip under their skin. If a chip is found, the contact information will pop up and a reunion can be facilitated immediately.

Where to get a microchip?

Microchips can be inserted at a veterinarian’s office into almost any domesticated animal. It’s a painless procedure that takes only a few minutes! All dogs and cats adopted from AWS, for example, already have a microchip thanks to the vets at our Community Clinic. This is also part of the pet’s adoption fee. At adoption, AWS counselors instruct the pet’s new owner on how to enter the proper contact information. That way, if their pet becomes lost, their information will be listed rather than ours.

If you are unsure if your pet has a microchip, you can contact your regular veterinary office to check. AWS is also hosting a FREE microchip and rabies vaccine clinic this Sunday, April 21 at Waggerstown Pet Nutrition & Supply Store in Wells, ME. Open from 9:00 am – Noon, cats or dogs over 12 weeks of age may receive a microchip, a rabies vaccine, or both. This clinic is free, but we ask that you please register in advance. We hope to see you there!