Microchips are tiny computer chips, about the size of a grain of rice. They are implanted under your pet’s skin by a veterinarian using a large bore needle without anesthesia, similar to a simple vaccination. Each microchip carries a registration number that is associated with the owner’s name and contact information.
This information is added to a pet registry service offered by the chip manufacturer.
The registry information on the chips can be read using a handheld reader that displays the information so that the owner can be identified. Most shelters and veterinarians have these readers and can scan the pet and contact the owner if the pet is lost. One limitation is that the readers are not universal, so it’s best to get your pet chipped with a common brand so the likelihood that the chip can be read is increased.