The Water Bowl
Breed & Health Resources

Microchipping Your Dog or Cat

By Dr. Jacqueline Brister


What is a microchip?

Microchips are small electronic devices, about the size of a grain of rice, known as a radio frequency identification device (RFID).

What does a microchip do?

When a microchip scanner is used near the microchip, the RFID chip is activated and transmits a unique identification number back to the scanner, which identifies the microchip. This number is searchable in microchip databases online to identify the pet registered with the microchip. Every microchip has its own individual number.

How much does microchipping cost?

Microchipping your pet costs between $30-50 depending on which microchip company is used and where you go to have the microchip inserted/implanted. In some cases, the cost to register your pet and his or her microchip is not included with the insertion or microchip implantation fee. This additional registration fee averages $20. Some microchips also require a yearly registration fee which also averages about $20 per year.

Pro Tip: Wellness Rewards from Embrace Pet Insurance reimburses for microchipping along with lots of other routine veterinary, grooming and training costs.

Do I need to register my pet’s microchip?

Yes, your pet will need to be registered so that the microchip’s specific identification number is connected to your pet. Sometimes places that implant the microchip will register for you, but it is very important that your keep your address and phone number up to date within the registration database. The facility that inserts the microchip will give you instructions on how to register your pet and stay up to date.

Is microchipping my pet safe?

Microchipping is very safe. The process is relatively painless as it is applied via a syringe and injected beneath the skin, similar to administering a vaccine. The microchip is only activated while a scanner device is being used. The microchip itself is very small and remains in place, unnoticed by the pet, after it is implanted.

Where are pets microchipped?

Microchips are implanted with a sterile needle and syringe beneath the skin of a dog or cat. The most common site for implantation is between the pet’s shoulder blades.

Where can I get my pet microchipped?

Veterinary offices and animal shelters are the most common place to have your pet microchipped. Many animal shelters will microchip a new pet just prior to the adoption.

How do I use a microchip to find my lost pet?

Microchipping does not work like a GPS device, so you cannot use it to track your pet. If your pet is lost, he or she must be found by someone first. If your pet is taken to an animal shelter, veterinarian’s office, or animal control office, one of these facilities will be able to scan your pet with a microchip scanner. They will then look up your pet’s information in an online microchip database using the microchip identification number. If your registration is up to date, the facility will then call you and let you know that your pet has been found.

When can I microchip my puppy/kitten?

You can have your pet microchipped at any time. The process is very quick and often relatively painless beyond the initial needle insertion to implant the microchip.

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Pet health insurance is administered by Embrace Pet Insurance Agency, LLC and underwritten by one of the licensed insurers of American Modern Insurance Group, Inc., including American Modern Home Insurance Company d/b/a in CA as American Modern Insurance Company (Lic. No 2222-8), and American Southern Home Insurance Company. Coverage is subject to policy terms, conditions, limitations, exclusions, underwriting review, and approval, and may not be available for all risks or in all states. Rates and discounts vary, are determined by many factors, and are subject to change. Wellness Rewards is offered as a supplementary, non-insurance benefit administered by Embrace Pet Insurance Agency in the United States. © 2020 American Modern Insurance Group, Inc.  Wellness Rewards not available in Rhode Island.