Michael Hamilton By Michael Hamilton • April 19, 2017

Microchips have no health or privacy risks.

If you're a pet owner, why would you NOT want your pet to have a microchip?


I'm writing this because, the girl that was cutting my hair the other day said, "she seen" me on facebook and told me the reasons why everybody hates on microchips.

I was not aware that anyone “hates on” microchips, but if there were any reasons to be apprehensive about having a microchip implanted in your pet, 2 reasons could be supposed privacy issues or health related risks.

Beginning with the former, microchips are not tracking devices. They are not GPS. They are RFID implants that can only be read by one specific microchip brand’s scanner and the range in which they are read is very short. Regardless, the only information that is read is a string of digits that can be then input into whichever corresponding database that brand of microchip is registered to and if a match is found that registry then needs to be called and the people employed at that registry will then call the rightful pet owner. Private information is never revealed. That being said, microchips are about as much of a threat to your privacy as the license plate is on your car-actually less, because your license plate is in plane view. There is NO privacy issue.

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Suspicion over health risks are actually a derivative of the former and can be tracked down to the the initial fake news sources that broke rumors of microchips causing cancer. One of those sources came from a self proclaimed “privacy expert” - Dr. Katherine Albrecht on her  antichips.com blog.

Of equal credibility (irony) dogs natural magaizine mentions "published scientific studies and adverse microchip reports recorded by the British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA) prove otherwise.” However, they failed to footnote this and I didn’t find anything online of the sort. I did, however, find that the AVMA- totally states the opposite.

"Tumors associated with microchips in two dogs and two cats have been reported, but in at least one dog and one cat the tumor couldn’t be directly linked to the microchip itself (and may have been caused by something else)." AVMA's literature review on Microchipping of Animals.

Lastly, the research I did and primary sources I asked about these two topics, all told me that any foreign material introduced to an animal- albeit an antibiotic, vaccination, or cactus needle can cause an inflammatory reaction that can RARELY transform into cancer. A simple search will lead you to a blog article written by a Dr. Casey McDowell that literally says the exact same thing before going on to mention that 3 of his pets are all microchipped.

Government paranoia or religious hokum? Possibly the subject of another blog post, but not one I will be taking any more than 20 minutes to write anytime soon. Until then keep in mind there are 164 million dogs and cats in the U.S., one third of them will wind up reported missing, and nearly 80% will NEVER be found. As a pet owner- wouldn’t you want your pet’s chip to be scanned if he were to ever wind up missing?