A microchip is about the size of a grain of rice. Photo credit: How Stuff Works

A microchip is about the size of a grain of rice. Photo credit: How Stuff Works

A microchip is about the size of a grain of rice — tiny! — but its benefits are huge:

  • It’s permanent identification. Collars can come off or break, tags can become illegible, but a microchip identifies your pet as yours for the rest of its life.
  • It’s universal. Virtually every animal shelter and veterinary clinic can scan a pet for a microchip. If your pet runs away, gets lost or stolen, he can be traced to you so you can be reunited.
  • It’s inexpensive. Having a microchip implanted costs less than $50 at most veterinary clinics, and may be quite a bit less if done at the same time as a checkup or other service. At BrightSide, microchips are implanted for $30 when done in conjunction with spay or neuter, or $40 as a separate service. Visit our spay-neuter page for details on our spay-neuter service.

Other things to know about microchips

  • You must register the microchip and keep it updated. While the chip itself is permanent, your location isn’t. Remember to update your microchip registration information if you move, or change your phone number.

  • To your pet, implanting a microchip feels like getting a shot or getting blood drawn. It’s an injection with a needle. It causes only seconds of minor discomfort for most pets.
  • A microchip is not a GPS tracking device. But if someone finds your pet and takes her to a shelter or vet clinic, she can be scanned and ownership can be traced to you.