Small Animal

What is a Microchip?
A microchip is a small (about the size of a grain of rice), electronic chip that is placed under the skin of an animal that can be activated by a handheld scanner to transmit a unique identification number to the scanner. This unique identifier can then be used to look up the animal’s name and any information that the owner wishes to provide, such as their name and contact information in the event that their animal is found and scanned.

What is a Microchip NOT?
A microchip is not a GPS locator nor a replacement for a current Rabies tag.

Why should I consider microchipping my pet?
The number one reason to microchip your pet is to improve the chance of reuniting you with your pet if it becomes lost or stolen. When animals are found and taken to shelters or veterinary clinics, the first thing that is done in the event that identification tags are unreadable, lost or not found is to scan the animal for a microchip. They can also be used to prove ownership in an effort to recover a stolen animal.

Microchipping is considered a form of permanent identification that can be used for registering animals with breed associations and organizations like the AKC (American Kennel Club) and OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals).

How is a Microchip implanted? Does it hurt?
The microchip is placed under the skin by injection with a hypodermic needle. Although the needle is slightly larger, it typically is no more painful than those used for your pet’s vaccinations and can be done at any time, either during a routine visit or while they are under anesthesia for another procedure, such as neutering or spaying.

What sort of information is stored on the microchip? Do I need to worry about my private information?
The only information that is stored directly on the chip is the unique identifier. This number can then be used to look up the animal on the microchip registration database. Each microchip manufacturer’s database is different in what additional information can be stored. At Potlatch Veterinary Clinic, we use Datamars 15 digit microchips. This manufacturer uses a database (www.petlink.net) that allows the owner to very specifically choose what information they wish to provide, about themselves and/or their pet.

Does it cost more money to register the microchip?
No, the registration cost is included in the microchipping fee.