Smaller than a grain of rice, but contains valuable information

With several people microchipping their animals, several of our viewers wanted to know if the chips actually work and if theyâ??re safe.

Yes, they work. And yes, they are perfectly safe for your animals

The microchip is a small, electronic chip enclosed in a glass cylinder that is about the same size as a grain of rice.

The microchip itself doesnâ??t have a battery; itâ??s activated by a scanner that is passed over the area where it was inserted. The radio waves put out by the scanner active the chip.

The chip transmits the identification number to the scanner which displays the number on the screen.

Itâ??s injected under the skin of the animal by a vet using a hypodermic needle.

Once the chip is inserted owners still need to register their animals.

â??The most important thing about microchipping is actually registering it with the right information,â?? said Missy Decker with the Adair County Humane Society. â??A lot of people forget to do that and when they animal goes missing, turns up at a shelter and gets scanned, the right information isnâ??t there.â??

Area vets charge anywhere from $25-30 to insert the microchip and feeâ??s to register the chip range anywhere from $15-35, depending on the microchip company.

The microchips presently used in pets only contain identification number. No, the microchip cannot track your animal if it gets lost. But, if the microchip is updated with the correct information, once a lost animal is scanned for one, the owner can be contacted.

â??Local vets have microchip readers, most humane societies and shelters have them as well,â?? Decker said. â??A lot of animal control officers also carry those readers, so if they find a stray animal, they can scan for a microchip.â??

A microchip doesnâ??t replace identification tags issued by the city or rabies tags; theyâ??re just another way to help locate the owner if an animal is lost or stolen.

There is no maintenance required for microchips themselves, although pet owners need to keep contact information up-to-date in the microchip database.

At this time, there is not a central database in the U.S. for registering microchips; each manufacturer maintains its own database.