It's a staggering statistic, but one in three pets will get lost during their lifetime. Without identification such as a microchip, 90% of them will not return home.

In fact, according to The Humane Society of the United States, only about 17% of lost dogs and 2% of lost cats ever find their way back to their original owners. However, according to pet microchip company HomeAgain, if a cat is microchipped, the return-to-owner rate is 20 times higher than if the cat was not microchipped.

Microchips for pets

There are different types of chips available from different manufacturers such as HomeAgain; your vet will be able to advise you on which chip is best for your pet.

Though there are many identification systems available to pet owners, microchipping and tattooing are the only real forms of permanent identification. The ‚Äúmicrochips‚ÄĚ used for pet identification are actually tiny RFID implants encased in a special type of plastic or surgical glass that's about the size of a large grain of rice.

The microchip can be implanted at your veterinarian’s office. The standard site for implantation is underneath the skin between the shoulder blades. This procedure only takes a few seconds and does not require anesthesia, but many young pets are chipped while undergoing their spay or neuter procedure.

If you adopted your pet, they may already have a microchip put in place by their shelter. Check your pet's adoption records or have your pet scanned at the next vet visit to find out. If you're not sure where your pet's microchip is registered, you can use the AAHA Universal Microchip Tool to see if it's listed by one of their 26 participating microchip companies (such as HomeAgain, 24PetWatch, 911PetChip and more). 

How long do pet microchips last?

Most of the microchips are active for at least 25 years. The chips are detected by special scanner that pick up a unique combination of numbers and letters that can be traced back to your pet.

In order for this trace process to be successful, make sure that any microchipped pet has been properly registered with the chip manufacturer. And be sure to update the information if your address or contact information changes!

May 24, 2010
Pet Care

Get covered with Petplan

An insurer who cares about your pets (nearly!) as much as you do.

Start quote

More from 

Pet Care


View All

Join Our Newsletter and Get the Latest
Posts to Your Inbox

By subscribing you agree to our terms and conditions.
No spam ever. Read our Privacy Policy
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.