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Understanding Pet Microchips

Understanding Pet Microchips
Posted on 01/16/2021
Microchip Needle and ScannerThe Aurora Animal Shelter is no stranger when it comes to microchips. Below are answers to the most commonly asked questions:

What is a microchip?
Microchips are a small electronic chip that are generally the size of a grain of rice. The chip stores a unique identification number that is assigned to each pet.

How is it implanted? Microchips are implanted with a needle and inserted under the skin usually between the animal's shoulder blades.

Microchip NeedleHow can I locate my pet? There is a misconception that microchips work as a GPS tracker. Unfortunately, microchips are not a GPS tracker and cannot locate your pet.

How does it work? When a pet receives a microchip, the chip has an identification number that is assigned to each pet. The microchip company keeps these numbers in their database along with the owner's information.

If a pet becomes lost and is taken to a veterinary office, animal shelter or humane society, staff at these locations will scan the pet with a microchip scanner to determine if an animal is microchipped. The scanner will pick up the microchip identification number. Once the identification number has been located, staff will need to contact the microchip company to receive owner information. Afterwards the owner can be contacted and reunited with their pet.

This is why it is extremely important to keep your microchip information up to date. If you move, get a new phone number or rehome your pet, notify the microchip company to update their records.

Microchip ScannerHow do I update my microchip information? If you have the microchip identification number are unsure whom your microchip company is you can use AAHA Universal Microchip Lookup to determine the microchip company. Please be aware AAHA is a universal tool for looking up microchip companies and is not for registering or updating microchips. AAHA should be able to provide the microchip company name, website and phone number. You can contact the company listed to update your information.

What if I don't know my pet's microchip number? If you are unsure of what you pet's microchip identification number is, call your vet's office and they should have the information in their records. If not, take your pet to your vet and ask them to scan your pet for its microchip number.

What if my pet is lost and I don't know the microchip number? Contact your vet or where your microchip was implanted and they should have the identification number in their records.

Where can I get my pet microchipped? Several veterinary offices offer microchipping. The Aurora Animal Shelter also offers microchips by appointment only at the shelter or during their quarterly vaccine clinics. Visit Vaccination Information to learn more about the quarterly vaccine clinics and pricing.
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