About Dog Microchiping and How it Works

A dog microchip is a small, electronic transponder housed in a tiny glass cylinder that’s the size of a grain of rice. When a microchip is placed in your pet, it’s activated by a scanner that is passed over it, and the radio waves put out by the scanner activate the chip. The transponder in the chip transmits an identification number to the scanner, which displays the number on an LED screen. So when veterinary staff or shelter staff scan a dog with a microchip, a number will display on the screen of the scanner, and that number can identify the pet as well as the owner.

Information in the Microchip

Dog microchips are transponders (a device that emits a signal when scanned) that contain identification numbers. A microchip is not a GPS and does not track your dog’s location or movements. When a microchip is implanted in your dog, your veterinarian or shelter will enter all of your contact information into a database so that should your pet get lost, any scanner will be able to obtain the chip number and your contact information.

How a Dog Microchip is Placed

Microchips are injected under the skin using a needle, and it’s no more painful than a routine vaccine injection, although the needle is slightly larger than those used for vaccines. Dog microchips are injected under the loose skin between your pet’s shoulder blades. Anesthesia or sedation is not usually needed for microchipping, and it can be placed during a routine veterinary office visit. But, if your dog is already under anesthesia for a surgical procedure, the microchip can often be implanted while during that procedure.

Benefits of Dog Microchips in Pasadena, MD

When a pet is found and taken to a shelter or animal hospital, one of the first things the staff will do is scan the dog for a microchip. If a microchip is found, and if the microchip database has accurate owner information, the owner can be located and contacted.

Dog Microchipping Helps Lost Pets Get Home

A study of over 7,000 stray pets at animal shelters in the United States showed that dogs without microchips were returned to their owners 21.9% of the time, whereas microchipped dogs were returned to their owners 52.2% of the time. This study also found that in cases where microchipped animals were not returned to owners, most of the time it was due to incorrect owner information or non-registration on the part of the owner. According to the American Kennel Club, one in three pets gets lost at some point in their lives, so it’s always a good idea to microchip your dog because a lost pet is a beloved family member.

Microchips Are Safe and Inexpensive

Microchip technology has been around for many years, and different registries offer different services. Some registries such as AKC Reunite, offer a Lost Pet Alert service that broadcasts your dog’s information to a network of vets, shelters, and volunteers in your area. According to AKC Reunite, dogs with microchips are up to 20 times more likely to be reunited with their owners than unchipped pets. Microchipping is a routine procedure, and inexpensive with minimal risks to your dog. Having your dog microchipped is always a good idea because the thought of losing your best friend forever would be both stressful and painful.

Dog Microchipping in Pasadena, MD

Register Your Dog’s Microchip

The unique identifier in your dog’s microchip only works if it’s registered in a national pet recovery database. If you have your dog mircochipped at a shelter, you may have to register it yourself, and shelters do offer clients instructions as how to do this. However, animal hospitals may enter the information for you and get your dog registered, so you won’t have to worry about registering your dog. Depending on the brand of microchip that’s implanted in your dog, the good news is that the chip can be read by any scanner in the nation or the world. Also, microchip lookup sites such as AKC Reunite, or the AAHA (American Animal Hospital Association) LookUp service, can check against hundreds of registries and databases using the AAHA Universal Pet Microchip Lookup Tool and retrieve your dog’s information.

When you register your dog’s microchip, it’s important to enter all relevant contact information, and it’s a good idea to include both landline and cell phone numbers, or contact information for anyone else in your household who is part of your dog’s family. You definitely don’t want to miss a call telling you that your pet has been found. Losing a pet can be a very traumatic event, and although using collars and ID tags are useful in helping identify your pet, collars and ID tags are not always reliable as dogs can still get lost, and collars and tags can fall off.

Dog microchips have reunited hundreds of pets with their owners, and of course, for a microchip to work, it needs to be registered and owner contact information needs to be kept up-to-date. Microchips are very reliable and use nationwide databases and registries. So remember to update your information and provide multiple emergency contacts in case your pet gets lost.

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About Lake Shore Pet Hospital

You want only the best for your family and you always keep their best interests in mind. We understand your pet is a part of that family. Our veterinarian's mission at Lake Shore Pet Hospital is deeply rooted in treating you and your pet family how we'd like ours treated. We take great satisfaction in giving back to and developing strong bonds with the communities we serve, including Pasadena, Riviera Beach, and Lake Shore.