Why Microchip Your Dog?

If your dog went missing, how would you try to find him? Post “lost” notices on electrical poles and on Facebook (and all the other social media you can find)? Comb the neighborhood calling for your dog and looking at your phone every three seconds in case someone found him? Call and visit your local shelters to ask if anyone had found him and taken him to there?

While all of these are important ways to find your lost furry friend, there are a couple of other ways you can increase the odds that you'll be reunited with your pooch should the unthinkable happen (we strongly recommend both):

  • Have up-to-date ID tags on your dog's collar.
  • Microchip your dog. That way, if your dog gets loose and the tags or collar are missing, s/he can still be found and identified.

 

While you may be thinking that your dog would never get lost, experience states otherwise. You’re distracted for a second, there’s an open gate or door and a fast, curious (or startled) dog, and now you’re roaming the sidewalks, calling for Fido.

 

Why Microchip?

There are some shocking statistics when it comes to lost pets. For example, did you know that only about 15-20% of lost dogs are reunited with their people? Did you also know that 1 in 3 pets are lost in a pet’s lifetime? (Source) However, according to the American Animal Hospital Association, microchipping your dog greatly increases your odds that you'll be reunited: up to 52% of microchipped dogs find their way home. This is because collars and tags can be lost, but a microchip is permanent, and a database records your dog's chip number paired with your contact information.

Microchipping your dog is fast, easy, painless, safe, and inexpensive. It can also more than double your chances of being reunited with your dog according to the American Veterinary Medical Association.

 

What is a Microchip?

A microchip is a tiny electronic (RFID) chip about the size of a grain of rice. It’s encased in glass and implanted in your dog, usually between the shoulders. It has an identification number which you may think of as the canine version of a social security number. A scanner activates the chip when it’s inserted into your dog. Unless your dog is being scanned, the chip is dormant.

 

Is Microchipping Safe?

We’re asked this a lot, and the answer is, “yes.” Microchipping is safe and can be done within minutes during almost any veterinary visit. The procedure does not even require anesthesia. Just a quick injection, and you’re done!

 

Is It Like a GPS?

No. A microchip is not a GPS. There is no way to use it to track you or your dog, and there is no private information housed on the chip, only its ID number (which is unique).

But HOW does it work? We’re glad you asked. The chip is electronic and activated when radiowaves emitted from the scanner pass over the implantation site. The chip sends out radio waves which can then be read by a compatible microchip scanner. The scanner will display the chip's ID number. That information can then be used to find your contact information in an online database (see below).

 

We Travel Internationally: Will My Dog’s Microchip Work in Another Country?

Great question. Unfortunately, there’s no guarantee of that. However, the International Standards Organization (ISO) that has created an international standard for the radio frequency. This standard is 134.2 kHz. So if your dog was implanted with a chip that can be read at this frequency, it doesn’t matter where s/he is. Any scanner that uses this frequency will be able to read it.

A Microchip Makes Reunions Possible!

How Does the Microchip Help to Reunite Me with My Lost Pet?

Once your pet is microchipped, the number on the chip goes into an online database, and you'll need to register your pet. Your veterinarian will tell you which database they used and give you instructions. It’s your responsibility to go to the database once you get home from the veterinarian’s office and input your contact information.

If you move, you’ll need to re-visit the database and update it with the correct information. After all, it’s only as good as the information you give it! Then, if your pet is missing, you can contact the local shelter and let them know your dog has a microchip. If the shelter, or even an equipped veterinary practice, finds your pet, they’ll contact the microchip registration database company. In turn, the microchip company will contact you to let you know how to reunite with your best bud.

 

The quick, easy, and effective process of having your pet microchipped is simply invaluable. And if you're not sure if your dog is already microchipped, you can ask your veterinarian to check. If you need to get your dog chipped, bring him/her on in or fill out our online form for an appointment!

 

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