Statistically, one in three pets is lost at some point in their life, and yours could be one of them. that’s more than enough reason to microchip your canine companion (or your feline companion!). But how do microchips for dogs work? Here are the basics of pet microchipping, how it works, and why it’s so important.
what is a microchip?
A microchip is a radio frequency identification transponder that bears a unique identification number and is about the size of a grain of rice. when the microchip is scanned by a veterinarian or shelter, it transmits the identification number. there is no battery, no power is required and there are no moving parts. The microchip is injected under the loose skin between your dog’s shoulder blades and can be done in your veterinarian’s office. it is no more invasive than a vaccine.
so that’s it?
not quite. the unique identifier on the chip won’t do you any good unless you register it with a national pet recovery database. you’ll want to use a recovery service that has access to different databases and microchip technology. A service like AKC Reunite, for example, is a member of AAA Search, so you can check hundreds of databases of records using the AAA Universal Pet Microchip Search Tool. /p>
When registering your dog’s microchip, enter all relevant contact information. It’s a good idea to include landline and cell phone numbers for yourself and anyone else in your household who is responsible for the property. You don’t want to miss a call telling you that your canine companion has been found. remember to keep your contact information up to date with registration as well.
Although microchip technology is quite advanced, different registries offer different services. some, including akc reunite, provide a lost pet alert that relays your dog’s information to a network of veterinarians, shelters, and volunteers in your area.
a necklace is not enough
Collars, harnesses and tags can be broken or removed. Even if the labels remain on, they can become difficult to read over time. a microchip will permanently identify your pet when it is lost or if it is ever stolen. That said, all pets should continue to wear a collar and tags that include their owner’s contact information.
microchips are not a gps tracking device
gps devices and microchips are not substitutes for each other; they are complementary and each is useful for locating a lost dog in different ways. A GPS can tell you where your dog is, but it can’t provide your contact information to people nearby who would help you get home. it also requires batteries and can be lost, like a necklace or tags. microchips, because they are inserted into a dog’s skin, are permanent. while they can’t guide you to your dog’s location, they do provide a way for almost any vet or shelter to contact you if they bring your pup.
according to akc reune, “microchipped pets are up to 20 times more likely to reunite with their owners.” it is a simple procedure, it is not expensive and the risks are minimal. So take this opportunity to have your dog microchipped, because the thought of losing him forever is too much to bear.
It’s never too late to microchip your dog. sign up for akc meets today.