For July, the National Lost Pet Prevention Month, we decided to write about what you need to know about microchipping your dog. Did you know 1 in 3 dogs gets lost in their lifetime and according to a statistics by the American Humane Society, only about 17% of them are recovered? If your dog is ever lost, a microchip will hugely increase your chances of a happy reunion.
What Is A Microchip?
A microchip is a small computer chip – about the size of one grain of rice implanted between your pet’s shoulder blades to help your dog find its way home if it ever gets lost.
Each Microchip is Unique
Every microchip has a unique number that can be read by a scanner. A vet or animal shelter that scans your dog will be able to access easily all the information they need to reach you. They access your details registered with the microchip number in the international database.
Is Microchipping Your Dog A Permanent Means Of Identification?
Yes, a microchip should last for a pet’s lifetime, your only future responsibility is keeping the registry up-to-date of any changes in your contact numbers after your initial registration. While a properly implanted chip cannot be damaged or lost, sometimes in rare cases, a microchip can migrate. Have your vet scan your dog every year when they go for their annual exam, to ensure that the chip is still properly positioned.
Is Microchipping A New Practice?
No, microchipping has been a common practice in Canada, England, and Wales for several years and is becoming more widespread each year in the United States.
Will It Hurt?
No, microchipping is a simple and somewhat painless procedure, which does not require anesthesia. It’s like getting a vaccination, and most pets show no reaction at all.
How Much Does It Cost?
The average cost of a microchip implant is about $25 – $50 as at the time of this writing. Some vets discount this rate if it’s done at the same time the pet is placed under anesthesia for other routine procedures such as dental work. Sometimes, humane societies offer microchip clinics for as low as $10 – $15.
There could also be a little one-time fee to register your contact details with the database, but in the long run, it’s still much less expensive compared to the expenses of finding your pet if it was lost without any form of identification.
Are There Any Disadvantages To Microchipping Your Dog?
The only disadvantage to a microchip is that this form of identification won’t work except if your pet is taken to a place with a scanner such as animal shelters and vet clinics. If your pet is picked up by someone who is not familiar with microchips (and thus does not take your pet in for scanning) then, of course, your dog can’t be identified through their chip. It’s highly recommended that all dogs wear collars with ID tags as microchips are an addition, not a replacement for collars and ID tags.
The advantages of a microchip far outweigh any inconvenience or expense.
Should your pet become lost, notify your microchip provider immediately. Some will immediately send out an e-mail alert to animal shelters, and vet clinics within a 25-mile radius of where your pet got missing.
If you have a dog, does you dog have a microchop? If not, what is keeping you from microchipping your dog?