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Is Microchipping Your Dog Recommended?

Cane Bay Summerville - Microchipping Your DogIs microchipping your dog recommended? While some people advise against it, most veterinarians and animal welfare organizations across the nation encourage it. Below we’ll discuss the details of a microchip, potential risks, and the benefits of having your dog microchipped.

What Is a Microchip?

A microchip is a form of identification that allows you and your pet to reunite should you ever get separated. Essentially, it is a doggy ID tag that can’t get lost.

Most veterinarians and animal shelters have microchip scanners. This means if Fido runs away, the local shelter can scan Fido’s microchip to ultimately identify his owners and their contact information.

It’s important to note that a microchip is not a GPS, and you will not be able to track your microchipped pooch. It is an inactive device that simply provides information when scanned to reunite man and man’s best friend. 

How Do Microchips Work?

A microchip is a small cylinder – about the size of a grain of rice – that contains an identification number and is generally implanted in the loose skin between a dog’s shoulder blades. When scanned, the microchip transmits the identification number to the scanner.

Once a microchip is inserted, it is the owner’s responsibility to register the microchip to provide contact information. Your veterinarian will give instructions on how to do this. Registering allows the ID number to be matched in the database with your name, phone number and any other relevant contact information.

Microchips do not require batteries or other sources of power. They do not actively transmit any information until they are scanned.

How Are Microchips Implanted?

Microchips are inserted through a large needle, similar to a vaccine. This minimally invasive procedure can be done at any normal vet appointment, though some owners find it convenient to complete this process while their furry friend is being spayed or neutered.

Canines of any age can be microchipped, including tiny puppies and adult dogs.

Are There Risks Associated With Microchipping Your Dog?

There are very few risks associated with microchipping your dog. Though PetMD points out that there have been instances of tumor growth at the injection site or other complications, they stress that this is exceptionally rare.

To help avoid any such complications, it is highly recommended that a trained professional, namely your veterinarian, complete the procedure.

Is Microchipping Your Dog Recommended?

By and large, most veterinarians recommend having a microchip inserted into your pooch for their overall protection and well-being. Other organizations that support the use of microchips include The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), the Humane Society, VCA Hospitals, and the American Kennel Club (AKC).

Overall, statistics show that microchipping, in addition to a collar with doggy ID tags, is the surest way of finding and being reunited with your fur baby.

Unfortunately, dogs may stray from home far more often than a rare complication from the microchip placement, and animal welfare organizations insist that the benefits of microchipping far outweigh the risks.

If you are considering microchipping your dog, always consult your veterinarian first about any questions or concerns you may have, including any complications. Your veterinarian will be able to thoroughly answer your questions and guide you in the right direction.

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