FAQ's About Microchipping Your Pets


Microchipping Your Pets

3 min read
Jan 17, 2022

If your pet isn’t microchipped, now is the time to consider getting the job done.  Ultimately, there can be many benefits to microchipping your pets.

If you aren’t quite sure how microchipping works, read through these frequently asked questions to get a feel for the process. 

Does Microchipping My Pet Require Surgery?

No, microchipping does not require surgery or any sort of anesthesia. The process of implanting a microchip is fast and mostly painless. Your vet can implant the microchip during an office visit by using a needle that won’t hurt your pet any more than a vaccination would.

Do Microchips Need Ongoing Maintenance?

No, microchips do not require maintenance. However, after the chip is implanted, be sure to keep an eye out for any swelling at the site. Additionally, it is important that you change your contact information in the microchip registry if you move.

Do Microchips Cause Cancer?

There is no sufficient evidence that microchips can cause cancer. In a few cases, tumors were reported in dogs and cats that may have been linked to microchips — but the direct cause of the tumors could not be proven. In general, microchips are safe, and very few animals have adverse reactions.

Where Do I Register My Microchip?

You can choose from multiple different registries to register your pet’s microchip. There isn’t one database that encompasses the entire U.S.; instead, manufacturers each keep up their own databases. Once you’ve chosen a registry, you’ll need the microchip number, microchip brand, and your personal contact information to complete the registration process online or via your phone.

Should I Be Worried About My Privacy?

When you give your personal information to a microchip registry, that information should be protected. The only time anyone should have access to the information is if they find your pet and scan the chip. Be sure to double check that your personal data is correct so you can be reunited with your pet if they should get lost.

Is My New Pet Registered?

If you just adopted an animal from a shelter, you might be wondering whether it has a microchip and is registered. Your animal shelter can help you figure this out by scanning the animal (your vet’s office can do this, too). Keep in mind that even if there is a microchip, you’ll need to register that chip with your name and address.

Can Any Scanner Read My Pet’s Microchip?

If the scanner is a universal scanner, then yes, it should be able to read any microchip. Different microchip scanners use different frequencies. No matter what pet your country is in, any scanner should be able to read its microchip if your pet has an ISO standard chip. If you’re traveling or moving to a different country, do some research on what sort of guidelines or rules that country has about microchips and frequencies. 

Do Microchips Always Work?

Even if your pet has a microchip, that doesn’t create a 100% guarantee that you’ll find your pet if it becomes lost. Very occasionally, microchips might fail, or someone may scan the chip improperly. However, giving your pet a microchip can increase the chances of your pet returning home if found.  Investing in a pet insurance plan can also help to keep your pets safe.

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Nothing in this article should be construed as financial, legal or veterinary advice. Please consult your own advisors for questions relating to your and your pet’s specific circumstances. 

1 Pet Insurance offered by MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, and Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, in those states where MetGen’s policies are available. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator authorized by IAIC and MetGen to offer and administer pet insurance policies. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC was previously known as PetFirst Healthcare, LLC and in some states continues to operate under that name pending approval of its application for a name change. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois), and such other alternate, assumed, or fictitious names approved by certain jurisdictions.

2 Provided all terms of the policy are met. Application is subject to underwriting review and approval. Like most insurance policies, insurance policies issued by IAIC and MetGen contain certain deductibles, co-insurance, exclusions, exceptions, reductions, limitations, and terms for keeping them in force. For costs, complete details of coverage and exclusions, and a listing of approved states, please contact MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC.