Microchipping Basics

Has your pet been microchipped yet? If not, you’ll want to see to this right away. This is a small, simple procedure that can have huge ramifications. It could even save your pet’s life! A Valley Center, KS veterinarian goes over some basics of microchipping in this article.

Meet The Chip

Microchips are very small devices that are used to link pets with their humans. They have facilitated the reunions of thousands of lost pets with their worried owners. That’s a big job for something as tiny as a grain of rice!

The Process

Pets are often microchipped at the same time that they are spayed or neutered. (This makes sense, as pets are already under anesthesia.) However, you can also schedule this separately. It’s a very quick and simple process. The chip is placed beneath the pet’s skin, usually between their shoulder blades, with a hypodermic needle. Complications are extremely rare, and there’s really no recovery or aftercare needed … aside from perhaps some extra cuddles and maybe a new toy or special treat.


Once your pet’s chip has been ‘installed,’ you’ll need to fill out your records in the chipmaker’s database. This is crucial! If your pet ever ends up at a shelter, that chip won’t be of any help at all if your contact information is missing or outdated. Remember to update this information whenever you move or change contact info.


Microchips don’t need any sort of maintenance. However, we do recommend having your vet check your pet’s chip during their regular appointments, just to make sure it hasn’t slipped or malfunctioned.


Microchips unfortunately won’t reprogram your cat to stop scratching your sofa, and they won’t keep your dog from chasing the neighbor’s cat. (Tip: if your pooch is a bit of an escape artist, get Fido a collar that is equipped with GPS technology.) Each chip contains only a unique ID number, which can be read with special scanners. In case you are wondering why they are still so simple, it’s because there’s really no way to provide the power a chip needs to perform more complex functions. However, that doesn’t mean microchips won’t evolve. It will be interesting to see what happens with them in the future!

Do you need to get your pet microchipped? As your local Valley Center, KS animal clinic, we can help. Call us anytime!