A microchip is a small radio-frequency identification (RFID) implant the size of a grain of rice that serves as a permanent ID for your pet. Microchips are implanted under the skin and between the shoulder blades of dogs and cats.
When properly registered, microchips are the most reliable method of pet identification. Unlike ID tags they can’t be lost, removed or deteriorate over time. When an animal is found without a collar or ID tags and taken into a shelter, the first step in locating the animal's owner is to scan the pet for a microchip.
How to get your pet microchipped
It doesn’t take much to help ensure your lost pet’s safe return. All you need to do is:
1. Come to one of our Microchip clinics or any Veterinary Clinic. Check out our Event Calendar for the next clinic date.
2. Register the chip. Follow registration instructions. To register MHC chips, visit the SmartTag* website by clicking here.
*We use SmartTag microchips because they don't charge a separate registration fee or annual fees and there is never any cost to update owner information.
We’re sure you still have a few burning questions about microchips. We can’t blame you —they’re pretty fascinating.
Will a microchip tell me my pet’s location?
No. Pet microchips are not tracking devices and do not work like global positioning devices (GPS). They are radio-frequency identification (RFID) implants that provide permanent ID for your pet.
How old/ does my pet have to be to get a microchip?
It’s best to wait until after your pet is weaned at 8-10 weeks before having a microchip implanted. MHC now carries mini-microchips which are pre-loaded in a smaller 15 gauge needle, ideal for small dogs, cats, birds, and small animals.
How long will my pet's microchip last?
A microchip will last your pet’s lifetime because it’s composed of biocompatible materials that will not degenerate over time. Since microchips require no power source and have no moving parts, there’s nothing that can wear out and need to be replaced.
Will it hurt?
A: We aren't going to lie — it’s going to sting a little, but no more than a routine vaccination. The microchip comes preloaded in a sterile applicator and is injected under the loose skin between the shoulder blades. The process takes only a few seconds and your pet shouldn’t react any more than he would to a vaccination. No anesthetic is required for a microchip implant. The SmartTag microchip has a anti–migration feature to help ensure the chip stays where it’s implanted.
Why do I need to register the microchip?
You must register your pet’s microchip in a national pet recovery database with your contact information, so you can be notified when your lost pet is found. Also, remember to keep your contact information up to date whenever you move or change phone numbers. Our SmartTag microchips include a lifetime registration that requires no fees to update any of your contact information. To register, visit the SmartTag website by clicking here.
How do I make sure my pet's chip information is up-to-date and working?
If you know the brand and chip number of your pet's microchip call the chip manufacturers number and ask or look it up on their website. If you don’t know your pet's microchip number, have your pet scanned at Midland Animal Services, your veterinarian's office, or at our Adoption Center.
Remember: keeping your contact information up-to-date is vital if you want to find your lost pet.
Do you have any more questions?
We will be happy to answer your questions! Please don't hesitate to reach out to us. For your convenience, here is our Contact Form.