A microchip in the palm of a hand.

Microchipping is what we call permanent pet identification. This standard procedure is simple, safe, painlessand offers pets parents peace of mind in the harrowing event your pet is ever lost.

The best way to make sure your lost pet comes home is to microchip.

A microchip is a tiny chip, the size of a grain of rice, implanted just underneath your pet’s skin between the shoulder blades. Each microchip contains a unique identification number, which is registered in a national database with your name and contact information.

A microchip is easily detected with a special scanner.

When a lost pet’s microchip is scanned with a special scanner, his or her number pops up on the screen. Vets, animal shelters, and rescue organizations—anyone with the special scanner—can determine in a matter of minutes to whom the lost pet belongs.

All AHBC microchips are registered in the AAHA Microchip Database. Our microchipping service, for a flat $40 fee, includes lifetime enrollment in the AAHA database at no additional charge; some other microchip companies charge annual fees.

We recommend microchipping all your pets. Because cats are the best escape artists, and indoor cats are not street-savvy, it is especially important to microchip indoor cats.

Update your microchip info on AAHA’s national Check the Chip Day!

When your pet is microchipped, we will give you his or her identification number, which you can use to access your account in the AAHA database. If you move or change phone numbers, it is crucial to keep your contact information up to date in the AAHA database.

The American Veterinary Medical Association conducted a study of more than 7,700 stray animals at animal shelters. It showed dogs without microchips were returned to their pet parents nearly 22 percent of the time, whereas microchipped dogs were returned 52 percent of the time. Cats without microchips were reunited with their families at a rate of only 1.8 percent, whereas microchipped cats went back home 38.5 percent of the time.

If microchipped pets could not be reunited with their pet parents, it was generally because the registered contact information was out of date.