Dogs are so loyal that we always expect them to remain by our sides. Sometimes, though, dogs do go missing. Luckily for their owners, there is one device that can help dogs find their way back home: microchips. Read this guide to learn more about what dog microchips are, why you should get invest in one, how much it’ll cost you, and more.
What are dog microchips?
As defined by the American Veterinary Medical Association, a microchip is simply what its name implies: a small electronic chip. Contained in a glass receptacle no bigger than a grain of rice, this chip helps quickly and easily identify lost dogs.
An activated microchip will transmit a unique identification number when a scanner passes over it. Veterinarians, dog shelter staff, or animal control officers typically have these scanners on hand.
It’s important to note that transmitting this number is the only function of a microchip. This chip is a transponder, not a GPS. Microchipping your dog will not allow you to track them if they get lost.
After retrieving a chip’s ID number, making a simple call to the microchip’s registry is all there is left to do. The registry will provide a caller with the contact information of a missing dog’s owner after checking its database for the given identification number.
How are dog microchips inserted?
Although inserting a microchip beneath the surface of the skin doesn’t sound pleasant, microchipping your dog is a surprisingly uncomplicated procedure.
Using a large-bore needle, which sounds a lot scarier than it actually is, a trained professional will implant a microchip between the shoulder blades.
This procedure requires no anesthesia and is quite similar to other immunizations. This method is less painful than other means of identification, such as branding, tagging, and tattooing.
Any veterinary office and some animal shelters can provide microchipping services.
What are the benefits of dog microchips?
There are several benefits to microchipping your dog that you should definitely consider if you haven’t yet already. A microchip will:
- Remain permanently within your dog, unlike collars (although this doesn’t mean you should stop having your dog wear one)
- Increase your chances of finding your dog significantly if they do get lost
- Last nearly 25 years after insertion, according to The Humane Society of the United States.
How much does it cost to microchip a dog?
The cost of giving your dog a microchip spans anywhere from $40 to $50, which is fairly inexpensive.
This is always a one-time fee; considering they last for 25 years, your investment is really only $1.60 to $2.00 a year. Most microchip costs will also cover your dog’s registration to a pet recovery database.
Before paying for a microchip, make sure your dog doesn’t already have one. As silly as this sounds, it can happen, especially for dogs adopted at a shelter or dogs purchased from a breeder. If either of these happen to be the case, don’t remove the original chip; simply pay a visit to your veterinarian and have the old ID number registered with your contact information.
Why do I have to register my dog?
It’s not enough just to microchip your dog. To fully protect your dog when lost, you must send your contact information to a registry so that staff on-call there can notify you if they’ve found your pet.
Update this contact information as necessary over the years, and always do so when you move or change your phone number.
Want to know more about other dog-related technologies? Read our post on dog-walking apps next! For even more ways to keep your dog safe and healthy, check out our blog. And for treats and chews your dog won’t refuse, visit our website.