Many dog owners wonder if dog microchipping is necessary for their pets and if it's worth the expense. At Countryside, we can help assist you with taking steps to ensure your dog has at least some means of identification should he or she unexpectedly go missing.
Dog microchips and tracking chip devices have more benefits than pet owners realize because they are effective ways of locating lost or stolen pets. Statistics reveal that one in three pets will go missing in their lifetime and that ten million pets are lost annually. It is estimated that up to an unfortunate ninety percent of these pets will never be reunited with their owners. However, according to the ASPCA, more than fifteen percent of lost dogs are returned to their owners because they had a tracking chip implanted under their skin or attached to their collar.
As a result, dog microchipping has become an important means of identifying your dog. Still, many dog owners are either fearful of the procedure or are unaware of what a microchip actually is and its benefits.
Benefits of Dog Microchips
Dog microchips are small, approximately the size of a grain of rice. The implants consist of passive radio frequency devices, so they do not transmit a continuous signal. These dog microchips are stored with useful information, including the dog's breed, name and description, vaccination schedule, owner and veterinarian’s contact information, etc. The microchip can be scanned using a special microchipping scanner at an animal shelter or veterinarian office. Since dog microchips do not transmit continuous signals, unlike the comparative GPS device, the microchip will not identify the current location of the dog, but rather will store information to be scanned.
In addition, dog microchips differ from GPS microchips in that the GPS microchips are large devices worn externally on your canine's collar. GPS chips operate via an internal battery and function like a car's GPS system. While these have benefits over dog microchipping; for example, the exact location of the dog can be identified, the disadvantages include the potential for the GPS collar to be removed purposely (by theft, in the case of a stolen dog) or for smaller breeds to not be able to wear the weighty device.
Dog Microchip Implants
Many pet owners are hesitant to pursue dog microchipping for their pet. However, the actual microchipping process is not any more involved than a vaccination. A microchip ID implant comes inside a syringe with only a slightly bigger needle. With a certified vet, the side effects of microchipping are minimal and very rare. Your vet will implant the microchip under the skin of your dog ‐ the procedure itself is brief and like a vaccine shot, relatively painless.
In addition, the vet will need to have a scanner that can match the same radio frequencies as the microchip implant. Some dog microchips can be more universal, so if it is a concern that your dog will escape, inquire about getting a more universal dog microchip implanted. This may especially be of importance if you plan on taking your dog on a trip with you across the country or even internationally.
Other Questions Regarding Dog Microchips
The estimated cost of dog microchipping is around twenty-five to fifty dollars. If you are concerned about the cost or when the procedure will take place, please inquire with one of our vets.
Dog microchipping's only major downside is that if your canine runs away or gets lost or stolen, and if he or she is found, the only way a shelter or clinic will be able to identify the dog is by using the microchipping scanner. In this case, we still recommend that all dogs wear collars with ID tags having your phone number to contact you.
If your dog goes missing, reach out to your microchip provider to inform them and they will also alert animal shelters and clinics in the area of your lost pet. The certified veterinary team at Countryside Vets is willing to answer any questions or concerns you have regarding dog microchipping, GPS microchips, and other means of identification should your beloved dog disappear at any point.