For 35 years, Cedar Mill Veterinary Hospital has helped keep the pets in our community happy and healthy. While there have been some exciting advances in surgical technology over our 35 years serving the community, easily one of the best procedures to be developed is microchipping.

We understand that some pet owners are a bit uncomfortable with the idea of microchipping their pets, so we have put together a FAQ that we hope will help quell some of those concerns.

Is microchipping safe?

Microchipping is an incredibly safe procedure, and almost all veterinarians agree that the benefits outweigh the (very insignificant) risks. The chip itself is non-toxic, and never needs to be replaced, reducing the risk associated with needing any future procedures to maintain the microchip.

What types of pets should be microchipped?

Almost any pet can benefit from being microchipped. However, we particularly recommend microchipping dogs and cats, as they have the greatest tendency to get lost, or “roam” around the neighborhood.

How does microchipping work?

Microchips contain a unique radio frequency identification (RFID) identifier. When a pet is scanned (at a pet hospital or animal shelter) by an RFID scanner, their unique number will show up on the scanner. That number is linked to a centralized database which has the pet owners information.

What are the biggest benefits of microchipping?

Perhaps the biggest benefit of microchipping is the fact that your pets will be identifiable even if they lose their collars. Since the microchip itself is planted inside their body, it is essentially impossible for them to ever become unidentifiable. In addition, every microchip is linked to a central database which contains your personal contact information, allowing whoever finds your pet to get them safely back to you.

What is the microchip made out of?

Microchips are actually fairly simple devices. They consist of a an antenna coil, a tuning capacitor, and the actual silicon microchip with unique identifier. The entire device smaller than a grain of rice, and is enclosed in a non-toxic, hypoallergenic, biocompatible glass, which ensures that the device will not upset your pet’s immune system.

Does a microchip work like a GPS?

It is important to note that microchips are not the same as a GPS system. With GPS, the location of the device can be determined at any time and in real-time. However, GPS requires a power source, which would be impractical given the surgically-implanted nature of the microchip.

Microchips do not have a power source of any kind. Instead, they give off a unique radio frequency when a scanning device activates the chip. While this means microchip must be scanned to be effective, it also means that there will never be any need to replace the microchip itself.

With over 35 years of experience helping our local pet community, we look forward to helping protect and take care of your pets. If you have any additional questions about microchipping, or for any general pet health questions, be sure to call us at 503-941-0995.