The Importance of Having A Microchip For Dogs

For many people, their dogs are members of the family. When a dog becomes lost, everyone suffers until they are returned home safely. Sadly, many dogs do not make it home, simply because their owners cannot be identified. Collars with tags can get caught and be removed, leaving a dog with no identification and no way to contact owners when he is found. A microchip for dogs can change all of this.

Welsh Corgi doggy, Taipei, Taiwan by Luke,Ma, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License  by  Luke,Ma 


What Is A Microchip For Dogs?

A identification microchips are the latest technology for reuniting lost pets with their owners. These chips are roughly the size of a grain of rice, and are inserted by a veterinarian under the skin of a dog’s neck. Nearly all veterinarian offices and shelters now have microchip readers. When a new dog is brought in, employees can run a scanner across the dog and instantly detect the presence of a microchip. This microchip will transmit a number, which can be used to look up the owners information on a national database.

Why Is A Microchip Better Than A Dog Collar Tag?

The primary benefit of having a microchip inserted into a pet is that it guarantees that the identification will always be with the pet. While tags are useful because they can be read by anyone, they also have the ability to be lost. Collars can easily become snagged on branches, fences, and all manner of obstacles a dog may come across. Dogs can travel a surprisingly long distance, especially if they are friendly and are picked up by a well-meaning stranger. Having a microchip ensures that no matter how far a dog travels from home, all it takes is one veterinarian or shelter worker with a scanner to reunite him with his family.

What Are The Disadvantages?

Like everything in life, microchips are not perfect. There is a slight chance that a chip may travel under the skin, away from the initial placement. This may make detection more difficult if the scanner does not pass over the area the chip has traveled to. In addition, some dogs may not respond well to the chip, and can develop a cyst or abscess around it. However this complication is rare, as most dogs are able to take a microchip with no problem. The most common problem comes with the different chip manufacturers. While many work together to try to ensure that chips are universally readable, there are no rules or regulations requiring it. This means that if a dog has a chip from one company and the shelter has a scanner from a different company, the microchip may not be detected.

The benefits of having a microchip for a beloved family pet far outweigh the cons. There is no better way to ensure that a dog’s family contact information is always with them, making it much more likely that a happy reunion is in their future should the dog ever become lost.