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Microchipping Your Dog

Getting your dog a microchip can greatly increase the chances that they are reunited with you if they get lost. Today, our Pflugerville vet team shares more about the benefits of microchips for pets.

A license tag was once the only option for identifying a dog, and it remains an effective way to determine which dog belongs to which family. Unfortunately, tags and collars can fall off (or are removed), making it difficult to locate lost or missing dogs.

For many years, veterinarian-applied medical tattoos were the preferred solution, but this required owners to register the tattoo with a national database, different vets tattooed different symbols, and dogs with dark skin pigments barely showed the marks. Enter the microchip.

What is a microchip?

Microchips are tiny radio-frequency identification (RFID) chips. They are approximately the size of a grain of rice. In dogs, they are usually placed under the skin on the back, between the shoulder blades.

The implant procedure is minimally invasive; the chip is implanted using a needle, and surgery is not required. The procedure is also relatively painless, and most dogs respond well to it, with little to no discomfort. 

You will register the chip number with the chip manufacturer so that you can trace your dog back to your home.

What about dog collars and tags?

Collars and tags can also help find lost dogs and return them to their owners. Anyone can read a tag and call the number on it to reach the owner. For this reason, your dog should always wear a collar with your name and phone number.

As previously stated, collars and tags are easily lost, leaving the dog with no identifying information. Microchips, on the other hand, are permanent and irreversible. If you keep your registered information up to date, any veterinarian or rescue organization with a microchip scanner can contact you and reunite you with your dog.

Microchips should not be used in place of license tags and collars because they do not provide an external signal that your lost dog belongs to a family. Instead, having your dog microchipped and wearing a tag and collar increases your chances of reuniting with them if they become lost or separated from you.

How Microchips Work

Most veterinarians and shelters have a special scanner that can read microchips. Previously, different brands of chips required different scanners; however, modern universal scanners can read all modern types of chips, regardless of brand.

When the scanner passes over the dog's back and sides, the microchip transmits its identification number to the scanner.

The rescuer will then contact the national database, which will contact the dog's owner (you!) and proceed with the reunification process.

Microchips are useful not only for returning lost dogs, but also for proving ownership.

Are there risks to microchipping my dog?

Some pet parents may be concerned about pain, allergic reactions, or internal microchip migration. This method of identification has been in use for many years and has been safely implanted into millions of pets. Newer microchips, in particular, have improved significantly, making rejection or allergic reactions extremely unlikely.

Thanks to microchips, dogs can be reunited with their loving families even years after being separated from them. Speak to our Pflugerville vets about having your canine companion microchipped as soon as possible!

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Grant yourself the gift of safety of mind! Get in touch with our Pflugerville vets to have your dog microchipped and increase their likelihood of returning home safely if they get lost.

New Patients Welcome

Pfennig Lane Animal Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Pflugerville companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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