Should Your Dog Use a Microchip?

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dog microchip

Microchips are small devices implanted under the skin that contains a unique code to identify your dog. In this article, we will explain how dog microchips work and if they are right for your dog.

Why Should You Consider Getting A Dog Microchipped?

You never know when a dog can run away or get lost. Some reasons dogs get separated from their owners can include things you would never imagine. For example, over the years I’ve seen dogs separated from their owner for reasons that include:

  • A door was left open by the cable guy and the dog ran out.
  • A window was left open after a burglar and both the cat and dog escaped.
  • Halloween trick-or-treaters came to the door and scared a dog that ran out. I’ve also seen this happen to cats.
  • This was unexpected as it was a dog that would never normally run out the door.
  • A dog and owner going for a ride in the car were hit by another car. When the door opened at the accident scene, the scared dog ran off.
  • A terrified cat ran out of the house when the fireman broke down the door during a house fire.
  • You really never know.

How A Dog Microchip Works

Here is a common scenario of how a microchip works. Your dog escapes the yard and is found a few miles away by an animal control officer, who takes the dog back to the shelter and scans the dog in hopes of finding a microchip code. When a code is found and displayed on the scanner, the shelter employee is able to determine which database to contact for further information. Once the database is contacted, the microchip code is given. Learn more about What is a Pet Microchip Scanner?

At this point, there are two outcomes. If the owner did not register his name and telephone number with the database, the veterinary clinic that purchased the microchip is listed. Unfortunately, the dog must stay at the shelter until the veterinary clinic can be contacted, usually the next business day, in order to determine the name and telephone number of the owner.

The other potential outcome is based on owner’s paying an additional fee and registering his name, address and telephone number, including alternates, with the database. In this situation, the database is able to supply your telephone number to the shelter employee. The shelter can then contact you directly, resulting in reuniting you with your dog that night.

Microchips can help you reunite with your lost dog. Learn more about How Pet Microchips Work here.

Dog Microchip Recommendations

Recommendations for microchips in dogs include:

  • It is recommended that all dogs are microchipped. Even those dogs that are well supervised and spend very little time outside and are mostly on a leash may escape one day. The chip is small, compact and easily inserted under the skin.
  • Register your dog to you. Pay the additional fee and have your name and telephone number listed with the microchip code.
  • Place the microchip identifier on your dog’s collar indicating that he or she has a microchip and what kind.
  • Confirm the microchip is working during your annual visit to the veterinarian. Have your veterinarian scan your dog to determine if the chip is still transmitting data.
  • Annually confirm your dog’s information with the microchip database and ensure that all contact information including your address, home, and cell phone numbers, and email address are all current.

How Accurate Are Dog Microchips?

Microchips are a popular method to permanently identify dogs. The chips are considered reliable, accurate, and an effective way to identify lost dogs. Collars can be helpful but dogs can lose their collars. Dog microchips are permanent.

Do Microchips Cause Cancer?

There have been some reports of tumors caused by microchips in laboratory mice and rats. There is also a report of a dog that had a tumor removed that was next to the microchip, however, no definitive proof suggested it was from the microchip. The manufacturers of the microchips claim they are safe and they do appear to be safe without complications. For more discussion on this topic, go to Do Microchips Cause Cancer?

How Are Dogs Given Microchips?

Microchips are embedded under the skin with a hypodermic needle. Learn more about the exact step-by-step procedure. Go to: All About the Pet Microchip: Is it Worth it?

Should You Microchip Your Dog?

Should you microchip your dog? Absolutely Yes! Microchips are the best way of permanent identification of dogs. The chips are considered reliable, accurate, safe and an effective way to identify lost dogs. At this point in time, we believe that the likelihood of a dog being lost and possibly euthanized because he cannot be identified is way higher than the chance of having an issue with the microchip.

What is the Microchip Database?

Even if your dog has a microchip and is properly scanned, it is critical that you register the chip to you. Without that accurate information in the database, this information will not return your dog to you. These microchip databases are usually available 24 hours a day and are even accessible via the Internet.

Additional Articles that May Be of Interest About Dog Microchips

All About the Pet Microchip: Is it Worth it?
How Do Pet Microchips Work? 
What is a Pet Microchip Scanner? 
What is Pet Insurance?
Do Microchips Cause Cancer?
How Does Pet Insurance Work?
Questions To Ask When Choosing A New Vet
Pros and Cons of Spaying and Neutering in Dogs
Is There Pet Insurance That Covers Pre-Existing Conditions?
How Much Should You Expect For Dog Vet Costs?
Does Medicaid Pay for Your Pet’s Costs?
Are Pet Wellness Plans More Affordable than Insurance?
How Does Pet Insurance Work?
One Dog, Three Vet Visits – Pet Insurance Helps!
Pet Insurance: What It Covers & What It Doesn’t
A Major Investment: The Costs Associated with Dog Ownership

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