microchipping importance

Homeward Bound: The Importance of MicrochippingHomeward Bound: The Importance of Microchipping


In the bustling world we live in, the fear of losing a beloved pet is a nightmare many of us have experienced or dread experiencing. Every year, thousands of pets go missing, leaving their owners devastated and frantic. However, there is a simple yet effective solution that can significantly increase the chances of a lost pet finding their way back home: microchipping.

At Rock Falls Vet Care, we understand the profound bond between pets and their owners. That’s why we advocate for microchipping as an essential part of responsible pet ownership. Let’s delve into why microchipping your pet is not just a precautionary measure but a lifesaver.

The Heartbreaking Statistics

According to the American Humane Association, approximately 10 million pets are reported missing each year in the United States alone. Shockingly, only around 22% of lost dogs and less than 2% of lost cats that enter animal shelters are reunited with their families. These statistics are a stark reminder of the harsh reality faced by many pet owners who experience the anguish of losing a furry family member.

The Power of Microchipping

Microchipping offers a beacon of hope in the face of such distressing numbers. A microchip is a tiny, rice-sized device implanted under the skin of your pet, typically between the shoulder blades. It contains a unique identification number that can be scanned by a vet or animal shelter using a handheld scanner.

Why Microchipping Matters:

  1. Permanent Identification: Unlike collars and tags that can fall off or be removed, a microchip provides permanent identification for your pet. This means that even if your pet loses their collar, they can still be identified and reunited with you.
  2. Increases Chance of Reunion: As mentioned earlier, the statistics for lost pets being reunited with their families are dishearteningly low. However, studies have shown that microchipped pets are significantly more likely to be returned to their owners, with some reports citing a return rate of over 50%.
  3. Global Recognition: Microchips are recognized worldwide, making them invaluable if you travel internationally with your pet. Whether you’re relocating or simply going on vacation, a microchip provides a reliable means of identification that transcends borders.
  4. Peace of Mind: Knowing that your pet has a permanent form of identification can offer immense peace of mind. It’s a proactive step towards ensuring the safety and well-being of your furry friend, even in the face of unforeseen circumstances.

The Procedure

Microchipping is a quick, simple, and relatively painless procedure that can be performed during a routine visit to your veterinarian. The microchip is inserted beneath the skin using a sterile needle, much like a vaccination. Most pets tolerate the procedure well and experience minimal discomfort.

Frequently Asked Questions About Microchips

As advocates for pet safety and responsible ownership, we understand that you may have questions about microchipping. Here are some frequently asked questions to provide you with more information:

1. What exactly is a microchip?

  • A microchip is a small electronic device, about the size of a grain of rice, that is implanted under the skin of your pet. It contains a unique identification number that can be read by a special scanner.

2. Does the microchip track my pet’s location?

  • No, a microchip is not a GPS tracking device. It only contains a unique identification number that is linked to your contact information in a pet recovery database. If your pet is found, the microchip can be scanned, and the database can be used to reunite you with your pet.

3. Is microchipping painful for my pet?

  • The microchipping procedure is quick and relatively painless, similar to a routine vaccination. Most pets tolerate it well with minimal discomfort. Your veterinarian will use a sterile needle to insert the microchip under the skin, typically between the shoulder blades.

4. Can a microchip be removed or fall out?

  • Once implanted, a microchip is designed to stay in place for the life of your pet. It cannot be easily removed or fall out on its own. However, it’s essential to keep your contact information up to date in the pet recovery database to ensure that you can be reached if your pet is found.

5. Do I still need to use a collar and tags if my pet is microchipped?

  • Yes, we recommend using a collar and ID tags in addition to microchipping your pet. Collars and tags provide visible identification that can quickly alert others to your pet’s ownership status. Microchips offer an extra layer of protection in case the collar is lost or removed.

6. Is microchipping only for dogs and cats?

  • While microchipping is most commonly associated with dogs and cats, it can be done for a variety of pets, including rabbits, ferrets, birds, and reptiles. Any pet that you want to ensure has permanent identification can benefit from microchipping.

7. How do I update my contact information if it changes?

  • It’s crucial to keep your contact information current in the pet recovery database associated with your pet’s microchip. You can typically update your information online or by contacting the microchip manufacturer directly. Be sure to update your information promptly if you move or change phone numbers.


Microchipping is a small investment that can yield invaluable returns by safeguarding your pet’s safety and ensuring their swift return home if they ever go missing. Don’t wait until it’s too late – microchip your pet today and provide them with the gift of permanent identification. After all, a microchip isn’t just a chip – it’s a lifeline for your beloved companion.