microchipWhat:  A microchip is a computer chip about the size of a grain of rice. Each chip is enclosed in biocompatible glass and is programmed with a unique identification number.
Microchips are implanted beneath the skin between the shoulder blades with a lancet or syringe. Animals do not need to be sedated to have the chip implanted, and once implanted the chips cannot be seen or felt.


Who:  Just about any animal, small (even mice!) or large (your horse), can be microchipped. Puppies and kittens can be microchipped as early as 6 to 8 weeks of age. Every owner of a pet should consider microchipping.


Why:  The primary reason to microchip is if your animal is ever lost. Indoor cats sometimes sneak out, and dogs that are never off of a leash sometimes get away. All shelters and almost every veterinary office scans found pets for a microchip.


How:  With the identification number the vet or shelter can contact the national registry for the owner’s contact information. The information is permanent, so if you move from Wisconsin to California, the number and your contact information will still be available. Getting your contact information quickly is imperative if your lost pet is injured. Many veterinary clinics will do what they can to stabilize the pet, but will not perform procedures necessary to save the pet, such as surgery, without the owner’s permission.