Microchips are a form of identification that emits a unique identifier when activated by a small radiofrequency field. The chips are implanted under the skin, in the fat and tissue over the shoulders, and are biologically inert. The advantage to microchips is that, unlike collars and ID tags, the microchip can never be inadvertently lost or removed from the pet.

The doctors and staff at Beverly Oaks Animal Hospital and Emergency Animal Clinic strongly support the use of a microchip as a way to identify your pet, and a way for shelters and rescues to return your pet back to you, should your cat or dog ever become lost.

The microchip itself is about the size of a grain of rice, and it is inserted under the skin, generally between the shoulderblades, with a large bore needle. To reduce pain to the pet as the chip is inserted, and resultant fear of procedures at the veterinary clinic or hospital, we often recommend that the chip be placed when the pet is under anesthesia for his neutering procedure, or her spay procedure. If that is not feasible, we distract the pet by feeding him or her something really tasty as we implant the chip. Microchipping should be done by an experienced individual, as there have been reports of microchips being inserted improperly and causing trauma to the spine and vertebrae of the neck, when implanted improperly and by inexperienced individuals.

We use ISO compliant microchips that operate on a radiofrequency that is recognized in Europe, Japan, Israel, Australia and New Zealand, and the United States. For pet’s traveling internationally under an International Health Certificate, the pet is scanned multiple times during the process of obtaining the health certificate, as a means of verifying the identity of the pet designated for travel.

The animal shelters within Los Angeles County DO scan pets with the scanner and DO return pets back to their owner when the pet is found. Animal clinics are obligated to scan found pets and contact the owner identified in the centralized database.

The legal owner of the pet is the person identified in the database.

For more information on Microchipping your pet, as well as finding your pet’s microchip registry for some of the earlier placed microchips –check out our blog article at pet microchip registry.