What it is: Each microchip contains an electromagnetic transponder and is given a unique code that is registered with a recovery program. A scanner is needed to read the codes. The microchip is injected under the skin near the neck and between the shoulders. You can read more about how they work at HowStuffWorks.com.

Price: On average, the microchip will cost between $30-$50 for the implant and an additional $20 to register your information.

Pros:

  • The pet cannot simply lose their ID.
  • Microchips are a standard method of identification. A lost pet brought to any vet clinic or even the animal shelter will automatically be scanned for at least the two most common brands, HomeAgain and Avid.
  • Some pet doors can be programmed to recognize the ID chip already implanted in your pet, allowing access to your pet and not unwanted visitors. (See http://www.sureflap.ca/)

Cons:

  • The pet must be scanned with an appropriate scanner and then the company must be contacted to get any information.
  • There are 9 chip companies and not one scanner that scans all chips.
  • Microchips can move within the body and be difficult to locate with a scanner.
  • The chip MUST be registered after insertion to be of any benefit.
  • If your information changes you will need to contact the company to change your records with them.
  • Very little protection against pet kidnapping.
  • Microchips are implanted with a needle (making it inappropriate for small animals) and there is a small amount of pain associated with any injection.
  • In rare instances your pet’s microchip can be affected by MRIs.