Starting January 1st, 2019, microchips for both cats and dogs will become mandatory in Laval. On the Ville de Laval’s Adopt-a-Pet Day last April, 300 pet owners got to take advantage of this new service at an affordable price.

What is microchipping?
Microchipping is when an electronic chip is implanted beneath the surface of an animal’s skin. The chip is placed between the shoulder blades by an animal health technician. “It’s like an injection,” explains Danny Ménard, Director of Development for the Association des techniciens en santé animale du Québec (ATSAQ). “It’s very similar to a vaccine. For an animal health technician, it’s a very common procedure.” Though it is always performed under the supervision of a veterinarian, like Dr. Ludivine Lionnet, who was present during the Adopt-a-Pet Day microchipping procedures last April.

The microchip itself is about the size of a single grain of rice. It doesn’t have a battery. Instead, it has a microscopic transceiver that is activated when scanned by a microchip scanner. “It’s not a GPS. It’s like the bar code on a cereal box,” says Ménard. When the chip is scanned by an animal shelter or vet clinic, the tiny transceiver transmits a unique code associated with the animal owner’s contact information. A simple search in the database will allow whoever has found the pet to locate the owner.

Is it painful for the animal?
According to Ménard, the procedure is both safe and painless. “It’s not invasive. The chip is about 12 millimetres. It’s most often the context of the situation that is more frightening to the animal than the implantation itself,” he explains. “The nervousness of the animal’s owner really affects the pet.” If the owner is nervous, the animal probably will be, too. On the bright side, cases of chips being rejected or the area of implantation swelling are very rare. The microchip doesn’t move around on the animal’s body after it has been placed.

Once implanted, the microchip is good for life. If your contact information should change, like your address or telephone number, you will need to have it changed in the database so that you can be easily contacted in the event you lose your pet.

Starting January 1st, 2019, every domesticated dog and cat in Laval will need to be equipped with a microchip. The actual implantation of the chip is an affordable procedure. With an unlimited life span, the microchip is the most durable and reliable way to identify your pet.

In an effort to help its citizens, the Ville de Laval has been offering microchipping clinics since 2012. At any one of these clinics, microchipping is available for only $25. This year, due to overwhelming demand, the Ville de Laval is also teaming up with the ATSAQ to offer extra clinics throughout the city. Laval residents can get their pet’s microchip implant for $35 at these supplemental clinics. For more information about microchipping clinics, visit

Translated by Maria Barillaro