Microchipping FAQ

When you adopt a pet from a shelter, it will likely have a microchip already implanted within the animal. You can also choose to have your pet microchipped if it doesn't have one already to help reunite you if it becomes lost. The veterinarians at Village Vet Baltimore Animal Hospital want you to know that chipped pets have more than twice the chance of being reunited with owners. 


What Is a Microchip?

A microchip is a small electronic chip enclosed in a small cylinder of glass that is so small, approximately the size of a grain of rice, that it can be implanted beneath the skin. The chip has no battery and only activates once it is scanned, which may happen if your pet becomes lost and someone takes it to an emergency vet.

Is a Microchip the Same as GPS?

No. The microchip is only active when it is scanned. It contains only an identifying number, which can be used to lookup owner information in a registration database.

What Does the Implantation Process Entail?

Our veterinarian injects the microchip beneath your pet's skin with a hypodermic needle in a process similar to a vaccination that does not require anesthesia.

Are Microchips Active?

Microchips must be registered before they can be used to look up your information. It's important to keep your information updated by contacting the company that manages the registry when you move or change your phone number. A microchip is only useful if the information is accurate. Some companies may charge to keep the information active.

How Do You Check a Microchip?

Chips are detected by scanners that use the same radio frequency of the microchip, In the United States, this includes frequencies of 125 kHz, 128 kHz, and 134.2 kHz. If the chip doesn't don't use the global ISO standard of 134.2 kHz, for example, it may not be detected by ISO scanners. However, many scanners commonly work with multiple frequencies.

Can Microchips Fail?

Yes, a microchip may fail. You might want to check with your vet to ensure your pet's microchip is still active at one of your pet’s wellness visits.

For more information about microchipping, contact one of our veterinarians at Village Vet Animal Hospital in Baltimore at (410) 367-8111. Microchipping your pet is just one more way to keep your pet safe and increase the odds of being reunited if your furry friend ever gets lost.