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Advantages of Microchipping Your Dog or Cat

Technology changed the way that we do everything in the 21st century — including the way that we care for our pets. Microchipping is the process of inserting a tiny electronic chip (about the size of a grain of rice) under the pet's skin. A microchip for dogs or cats contains important personal data with a unique id number that links your pet back to you, ensuring that you can easily reclaim them if they are lost.

In this article, you'll learn:

  • How microchips work
  • How microchips are implanted
  • Advantages to microchipping your pets
  • Potential reasons not to microchip your pet
  • Cost of microchipping your pet

How They Work

So how does a microchip work? The pet microchip is placed underneath the skin between the shoulder blades. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, a hypodermic needle is used to implant the chip. Experts believe that implanting a dog or cat microchip is about as painful as a typical vaccination. Most pets will not even notice the injection!

How do microchip implants work? When necessary, the pet's microchips can be read by special scanners, and then the microchip number looked up in an online database. Most veterinarians, shelters, and rescue organizations have these scanners, but they will only be able to find you if your contact information is up to date!

a happily microchipped dog

Tip: If your pet is already microchipped, have your vet check to make sure the chip is still in place. They do occasionally fall out soon after being injected, so it doesn’t hurt to double check!

What are the Advantages of Microchipping Your Dog?

Why should you microchip your pet? The biggest benefit of investing in a microchip tracking device for your dog or cat is that you increase the chances of reuniting with your pet in the event that you are separated. Thousands of lost pets will end up in animal shelters each year and only about 15 percent of those pets are reunited with their original owners. Dogs with microchips were reunited with their owners about 52.2 percent of the time. Microchipping dogs and cats increases the likelihood that you will be able to bring your pet back home, because animal care organizations find them on the microchip registry to read any necessary information for identifying who the animal belongs to. Once the organization retrieves your contact information using a microchip scanner, they can get in touch with you and reunite you with your beloved friend.

a pet microchip - pet chips can vary, but cat microchips tend to be smaller and carry similar info

Microchipping also helps protect your pet against theft. It is a way to identify you as their rightful pet parent in the case that they are stolen. This keeps your pet safe and puts your mind at ease.

Microchip Pet Doors

Some pet doors even work with your pet’s unique microchip! You will also have peace of mind to allow your dog the freedom they deserve. They can come and go as they please through the pet door, and roam the yard for some outdoor exercise. SureFlap makes pet doors that work with a microchip and allow your pet to come and go, without worrying about other animals or intruders coming in. While it is still important to contain and protect your dog with a physical fence, electronic fence, or leash, you at least know that your dog is properly identified in the case of an unforeseen escape.

The Cost

How much does it cost to microchip a dog? Alternatively, how much does it cost to microchip a cat?  It is a relatively affordable procedure (for dogs and cats!). It generally costs a pet owner $15- $50 to microchip their pet. This is a small price to pay for the reassurance that your pet can easily be reconnected with you in the event of an emergency.

Consult Your Vet

Talk with your veterinarian about the advantages and risks of microchipping your dog before deciding if this is the right choice for you and your pet. Microchipping has never been easier, and many veterinarians can perform the procedure that same day if you decide that you want to protect your pet in this way. You’ll even find easy, mobile clinics that do microchips at reduced rates. Next time your dog walks out the pet door and heads out for some fun in the sun, you can relax knowing your dog is as safe and secure as possible.

Nick Pullano

Written by

Nick Pullano

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