Debunking microchip myths


Microchips are like a GPS for your dog.

They transmit signals that allow you to track your dog’s movements online.

Right? Wrong.

In reality, microchips aren’t that high-tech. Invented 30 years ago, few upgrades and improvements have been made to this technology. But while it doesn’t transmit satellite signals or allow you to follow your dog’s movements on an app, it has saved the lives of millions of companion animals.

Comparable to a scanner at a grocery store, microchipping involves injecting a small electronic chip (the size of a grain of rice) just under the skin of an animal’s neck. If a pet wanders away from home and eventually ends up at an animal rescue, the shelter staff will be able to scan the chip for his family’s contact information using a microchip scanner. But this only works if your pet’s microchip is registered.

As soon as a microchip is injected into a companion animal, the chip can be scanned and his family can be located.

Right? Wrong.

When an animal’s chip is scanned, it displays your pet’s identification number on a screen. But this identification number is useless if it hasn’t been registered. And because animals don’t have thumbs, that’s where you come in! After your animal receives his microchip, or when you adopt an animal with an existing microchip, it’s your job to register it on an online database. There are multiple different websites that offer this service at no cost, including Michelson Found Animals, whose recently improved registry is free to all users no matter how many times you change your contact information.

Debunking common microchip myths like the ones above, this national non-profit has launched a new campaign called #Bullchip. As part of their ongoing mission to save pets and enrich lives, they’ve embarked on a journey to set the world straight about pet microchips, and help keep companion animals safe in their homes.

According to the American Humane Association, 1 in 3 pets gets lost in their lifetime and microchips are the most reliable way to find them. If you’re unsure of your pet’s number, ask your vet to check, or head to a local animal shelter and ask them to scan the chip. Once you know the number, register it… and tell all the pet-parents you know to do the same!

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