Detailed view on Microchipping for Dogs

Detailed view on Microchipping for Dogs
February 25, 2019

Almost everyone is familiar with those awful ‘my animal is missing’-posters you see every now and then in your neighbourhood. Because the sad truth is that animals really do run away! 

And it happens more than you think. Hundreds of pets go missing each year in America alone, leaving their owners heartbroken and miserable. And if the animal doesn’t have a microchip, it’s almost impossible to find them unless you’re incredibly lucky.

Lost dogs usually end up in animal shelters, and everyone knows that some shelters have very unfair rules for dogs which go unclaimed after a certain amount of time. Some dogs only have two weeks to get claimed. There are many other undesirable consequences of your dog getting lost and never coming home. This can include your dog falling into the hands of people who like to fight dogs or depending on the breed and if they are neutered or not, they might end up in a puppy breeding farm. The consequences are almost too awful to think about. While it brings us no great pleasure to make you imagine this happening to your pet, it will open your eyes to the benefits of getting your pet microchipped as soon as you welcome them into your home! 

And not just because it will be easier to find said pet when they get lost. Microchipping has many benefits that pet owners should seriously consider! But what is a microchip, and how does it work?

What does a microchip look like?


A microchip is placed in a little tube made out of polymer, usually around half an inch long and it is extremely thin. The microchip within this tube is comparable to a minuscule antenna. The reason it is placed in this tube is to protect it from moving around in the body of the carrier, in this case, the dog. The little tube can be inserted in a few seconds and will remain in the same spot as long as your dog is alive. It’s 100% invisible unless you are an expert and know what it is you’re looking for. But even then, it’s impossible to see with the naked eye. The antenna is provided with a barcode, which can be read after insertion with a special barcode scanner which any vet or reputable dog warden should own. This barcode contains information which makes it possible to identify the dog and the owner. Once the chip has been inserted and read, the barcode will be given to the owner and registered in a national databank. It will also be recorded in the dog’s passport. So when a dog is found somewhere, it only takes a few moments to find out who the owner is and therefore where to return the dog. Fast and easy! Along with providing your name and address for the database, you will also want to give the best contact number for yourself. 

Always make sure that you update your dog’s chip whenever you move or change your contact details! 

The many benefits of microchipping a dog

Apart from the already mentioned reason number one (making it easier to track down your lost dog), microchipping has many more advantages that shouldn’t be overlooked. To name but a few:

  • Identification of the dog. As previously mentioned, this makes it easy to track down the owner which might come in handy in a variety of situations, i.e. when the dog goes missing, but also when the dog is found tied to a tree in the woods. Unfortunately, cruelty like this still happens.
  • The dog is unable to lose the chip, as opposed to loose objects like collars and little bells hanging from the collar. The barcode in the microchip can’t be erased or changed and
  • A microchip is safe from fraudulent use because it can only be inserted and removed by a certified surgeon or veterinarian.
  • When travelling abroad with your dog, you can feel safe about your dog because due to the chip, he or she won’t get lost there either. A lot of countries even consider chipping your pet as mandatory, so it’s important to check national regulations before you leave for your holiday and make sure that you (and your pet) meet these regulations!
  • Because of the easy process of identification, a lot of veterinarians are lobbying for obligatory microchipping of pets as well. So microchipping your dog would be considered wise if you want to be able to offer your dog the necessary aid when your dog might get sick.

As you can see, microchipping is actually becoming the rule rather than the exception. It’s fast, easy and seemingly safe as well.

Are there any negative side effects to microchipping dogs?

Up until now, no one has discovered any negative consequences to chipping pets. The procedure is absolutely safe and non-invasive. Next to that, the implant doesn’t contain any harmful substances so there’s no risk of poisoning your beloved dog.  Before microchipping, there was a 90% chance your dog would be lost forever. Now, that number has been reduced to a staggering 15%! (Source: ASPCA) All in all, it’s simply a risk-free way to make sure your dog will be returned to you if you ever lose each other. Nothing more and nothing less!

Your dog may not thank you all too much for their trip to the vets, but if you make sure you have plenty of treats waiting for them at home, they will definitely forgive you in little to no time! Your dog won’t need any recovery time after the chip has been inserted, they may be in a little sulk with you, but they will definitely thank you for it if they happen to get lost or stolen!