To Chip or Not to Chip?



Microchipping your pet can save its life. Many people choose not to microchip their animal because it seems like an "unneccessary expense." We often hear excuses such as, "My dog never leaves the house," "He wears our phone number on a tag on his collar," "He knows better than to wander off," or "I always keep him on a leash." We have seen too many situations where the first time that the animal gets loose is the last. Many people do not keep their dog’s collar tight enough, allowing enough room for a panicked dog to slip free. Spaying or neutering your animal will decrease the desire to roam, but realistically, some dogs cannot be completely broken of this bad habit. So if your dog gets away from you just once, wouldn’t you like the person that finds him to be able to get him back to you? This is especially true if the dog is picked up by an animal control officer, since animal shelters can often only hold a dog for a specific number of days before they must get put down. Without a permanant microchip, your dog can easily get stuck in the system. It is not uncommon for outdoor cats to also get picked up and taken in by neighbors, not realizing this was your pet.


To explain how a microchip works, a small electronic chip (roughly the size of a grain or rice) is inserted under the skin by the shoulder blades with a syringe. It is then your responsibility to submit the form to the microchip company so the information can be registered in your name. Each chip has a unique identifying number that can be picked up by a microchip reader when waved over the general area. Most shelters and veterinary hospitals carry these readers on the premises so that dogs and cats that are brought in as found can be scanned. Once the number has been identified, we simply call the microchip company where all your contact information is stored. For the animals that have microchips that have not been registered, finding the owner can prove more difficult. Microchips that are sold to veterinarians can be traced to the particular clinic. It is the clinic’s responsibility to keep a record of the patient receiving the chip. Microchips that are sold to breeders are harder to trace. Breeders don’t always keep adequate records of who bought the dog that matches that particular microchip number. Its is for this reason that you should register your microchip immediately upon purchase.


If you have any questions about microchipping your pet, please contact us.