Should You Microchip Your Pet?

PET CARE

Should You Microchip Your Pet?

2 min read Jan 24, 2022

Millions of dogs and cats are lost or stolen in the U.S. every year.

It’s something you hope will never happen to you, but unfortunately, it’s entirely possible that it might. Let's discuss some reasons you may want to consider microchipping your pet. 

What Is A Microchip and How Does It Work? 

Microchips are small computer chips (the size of a grain of rice). Microchips are implanted under your pet’s skin, right between the shoulder blades; a vet performs the procedure, which is very similar to a vaccination.

Each microchip has an individual registration number that’s added to an official registry service. That number can be detected using a microchip reader that displays the owner’s name and contact information; most animal shelters and vet offices have a microchip reader on hand. Microchips do not require batteries or power. 

It’s your responsibility to make sure your information in the database is always up-to-date. Be sure to contact your registry and update your personal information as necessary. 

It’s not enough to just know that your pet has a microchip — your contact information has to be in the database and it has to be correct, or the microchip won’t help you and your pet reunite if your pet should get lost. 

Why Should I Microchip My Pet? 

Microchipping is the best way to ensure that your pet will return safely if lost. 
Collars with name tags can be helpful, but aren’t the best solution because they are not permanent — name tags can become outdated, fall off, or your address might rub off over time. Microchips are also helpful if you become caught in a stolen pet case, as microchips serve as proof of ownership. Plus, microchips can last for a lifetime as they typically don’t require any upkeep or additional costs after the initial implant. 

Microchip FAQ’s 

Is implanting a microchip painful? 
No — not more so than any other injection. Your vet can perform the implant at any routine checkup and no anesthesia is required. 

Can a microchip track my pet? 
No. A microchip is distinct from a GPS tracking device. The only function of a microchip is to store information.  

I just adopted a new pet. How can I tell if it’s already microchipped? 
Ask the shelter if they scanned the animal to see if it’s microchipped. If you adopted your pet from another individual instead of from a shelter, have your vet scan for a microchip at your pet’s first checkup. 

My pet has a microchip. Does it still need ID tags? 
Yes. Up-to-date ID tags (and rabies tags) are just as important! A microchip should be a last resort; it gives you peace of mind to know that a permanent solution is always there. But if your pet simply runs down the street, whoever finds it can easily read the tags on its collar and bring your pet home within just a few minutes. 

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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.

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