Maple Leaf Veterinary Care Center is a full service veterinary practice located in the Maple Leaf neighborhood of North Seattle.

Our mission is to provide veterinary care in a relaxed, professional, welcoming setting.

We look forward to meeting you and your pet, earning your trust, and exceeding your expectations!

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Microchips: Questions and Answers


What is a microchip?

The microchip is a rice size chip programmed with an identification number unique to your pet and can be placed by your veterinarian during an office visit. Once a chip is placed, it can be used to identify your pet throughout its life with this one-of-a-kind number.

What’s the benefit of microchipping my pet?

Microchips are permanent and can’t be lost, altered, or destroyed. Statistics show 1 in 3 pets get lost in their lifetime, an estimated 10 million in the US each year. Pet owners have been reunited with chipped  pets that have been missing for months or that have traveled thousands of miles. In fact, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association, dogs with a microchip are twice as likely and cats are 20 times more likely to be reunited with their owners, compared to those without microchips.

How does microchip identification work?

A microchip scanner is used to read the identification number in you pet’s microchip. The pet feels nothing when the scanner is placed over it. The number is displayed on the scanner, and the person reading the scanner is able to contact the national registry to find out who the pet belongs to.

How is the microchip implanted?

Microchips are implanted with a needle beneath the skin between the shoulder blades in a process similar to a vaccine administration.

How early can puppies or kittens be injected with a microchip?

Pets can be microchipped anytime after 8 weeks of age. It is often done at the time of spaying or neutering or during any of your pet’s office visits.

How long does the microchip last?

The microchip has no power supply, battery or moving parts and it’s designed to last the life of the pet.

Does implanting the microchip hurt my pet and does my pet have to be sedated to be implanted with a microchip?

Most pets react the same way to this shot as they do to any other. The microchip does not sting or irritate.

Could my pet be allergic to the microchip?

The microchip is inert, smooth, nontoxic, and non-allergenic.

If a veterinary clinic or animal shelter finds a microchip, how will they know who to call?

Animal shelters and veterinarians routinely microchip pets and are aware of the national registries to contact to obtain owner information regarding the pet. They then contact owners to advise them their pet has been found.

How do I update information in the registration?

After your pet is chipped, you will be given information about how to contact the national registry to update your information. Remember to do this whenever you change your address or telephone number.

Are there ongoing costs of having my pet microchipped?

No, once the microchip has been placed and registered into the national database by Maple Leaf Veterinary Care Center there are no additional costs. However, you may receive offers for additional optional services offered have no effect on the functionality of your pet’s chip.

My pet stays in the yard or is kept on leash or indoors at all times. Why would my pet need to be microchipped?

If your household is like most, there are times when your pets slips out the door accidentally- whether there are latch is left open, guests coming and going or whatever the case may be. Escapes from fences occur and collars and leashes sometimes slip off. A microchip reduces the risk and helps your pet return to you safely, giving you peace of mind.


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