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Microchipping FAQ

What is a microchip?

A pet ID microchip is a small chip—about the size of a single grain of rice—that’s been encoded with a serial number. The chip and serial number are detectable with a scanner. If a veterinarian or shelter scans your pet and finds a chip, they can match the serial number with the contact information you provided when you registered the microchip and reunite you with your lost pet.

Is microchipping safe for my pet, does it hurt?

Placing a microchip is much like giving a vaccination. It may cause a slight pinch, but the whole process is over in just a few seconds. Just as with vaccines, many pets don’t even seem to feel it. Microchipping is often done during other procedures such as spaying or neutering, but anesthesia isn’t necessary to place a chip. Microchipping can be done during a regular wellness exam or a special appointment.

At St. Francis Animal Hospital, your pet’s health and safety is our top priority. It’s estimated that up to 60% of all lost pets are euthanized because they lack proper identification. Microchipping your pet may save its life and turn a tragedy into a happy reunion.

Does the chip work as a tracking device?

No, a microchip doesn’t work like a GPS device. It doesn’t track your pet or contain any other information except the serial number. The only way to locate your lost pet with a microchip is if a shelter or veterinarian’s office scans the animal and contacts you through the chip manufacturer’s database.  In order for the process to work, you must keep your personal contact information updated in the database.

My pet already wears an ID tag, does it still need a microchip?

Yes. Tags and microchips together create the best chance to be reunited with your lost pet.  Tags can fall off or the information can become unreadable. Your pet may go missing at a time when it is not wearing a collar or ID tags. Also, you may be fined by local authorities if your pet is found without proof of licensing or rabies vaccination.

In many cases, the information on an ID tag is not current. With a microchip, you can easily log onto the company’s database to update information whenever you need to—even when on vacation.

Who has access to my personal information?

The microchip contains only a serial number, no personal information. Authorized personnel at a shelter or veterinary hospital can access the database to match the serial number on the chip to the owner. Your personal information is safe and cannot be accessed by a random stranger who might find your lost pet.

Microchipping is safe for you and your pet, and it is the best way to ensure you and your four-legged friend will find each other if the worst should happen. To learn more about microchipping or other ways to keep your pet safe, call St. Francis Animal Hospital at 702-675-8366.


Now accepting new clients by appointment only.

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Dr. Drake and CarolAnn are amazing! They have been caring for my dogs for over 10 years now and I have never had one complaint. They are always so happy to see my dogs and provide them with the most compassionate care. I recommend them to any seeking an honest, caring, loving, empathizing and helpful veterinarian!

Bob H.
Las Vegas, NV

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