- $47 for $100 toward veterinary services
Pet Microchipping: Tiny Nametags
One brief procedure for your pet can give you peace of mind for a lifetime: microchipping. To learn how it works, read on.
Pet microchips are called micro for a good reason: each is about the size of a single grain of rice. The chips, which reside within tiny glass capsules, are injected using hypodermic needles between a pet’s shoulder blades. Once placed, they stay put for life, sometimes even aided by a polymer coating that helps connective tissue latch onto them.
Inside each chip lay the components of a radio-frequency identification (RFID) system encoded with a unique serial number. When the staff at a shelter or animal clinic scans a stray cat or dog, the radio antenna within the chip is activated. The scanner sends out radio waves that are intercepted by the chip. These are reflected back to the reader in an altered form, and the discrepancy between the signal the reader sends out and what it gets back conveys the chip’s serial number. Because the microchip uses the radio energy sent by the scanner, it never needs a battery or other power source of its own. Once a pet’s serial number is determined, a shelter can retrieve its information from a nationwide database and get it reunited with its family in a flash.