How and Why You Should Microchip Your Dog
Dogs like to run and if there is a distraction that finds their fancy poof… they are gone. 10 Million dogs are lost every year. That’s a staggering number. Over the life of a dog – 1 in 3 dogs gets lost from its owner.
If you ever lost a dog – we did once , believe me, you never ever want to go through that trauma again (but were blessed to find him rather quickly but those few minutes were tense – like losing your child).
If that is not bad enough, dog thefts have been on the rise. One of our previous posts addresses this issue and details what you can do about it.
So, what can you do about it?
Prevention is better than cure! You can be proactive and take several actions that will help you prevent your dog from running away.
If you happen to own an escape artist for a pet or fall victim to the unscrupulous pet thieves – Placing a microchip in your dog will help you locate your dog quickly and if need be – help you establish your lawful ownership.
How effective is a microchip to reunite the dog with his owner?
AKC – The American Kennel Club reports that a dog with a chip is 20 times more likely to be reunited with its lawful owner than one without a chip. The chip also expedites the process as explained below.
What is a microchip?
Microchip is a small semiconductor device with a transponder – the size of a grain of rice. Your vet will insert the microchip in the loose skin between shoulder blades of your dog. The chip does not need a battery, has no moving parts and generally will last the life of your dog. Unlike a collar id tag, there is no possibility of it falling off.
“a dog with a chip is 20 times more likely to be reunited…”
How does it work?
It constantly transmits a unique id number. An appropriate scanner in its vicinity will read and display this unique id of the chip and the associated phone number of its owner.
Be sure to register this id and your contact info with a pet recovery database like AKC Reunite that has access to different microchip databases.
AKC Reunite has a Lost pet alert system that sends an alert to all vets, shelters and registered volunteers in your area. We suggest that as soon as you find out that your pet is lost – you call your vet’s office and your local shelters and let them know to call you if they should get an alert about your dog.
When registering your pet’s microchip id – give as much of your contact info as you can – e.g your landline, cell phone, your spouse’ or bac up person’s cell phone etc to increase your chances of getting that call, should you ever need one.
“Register your pet’s chip id and your contact info with a pet recovery database”
Side tip: Whenever you move or change your phone number, be sure to update this info with the Pet Recovery database as well so you can get a a call if your pet ever gets lost and is found by a stranger.
How much does it cost?
The process of putting the microchip is akin to giving your dog a flu shot. It does not even require an anesthetic. The average cost of inserting a chip by a vet runs around $45 and often includes registering it in a Pet Recovery database.
How stressful is this procedure for my pooch?
The entire procedure can be done in a matter of a few minutes and will not stress your dog any more than when s/he gets a vaccine shot. The video below may help put your mind at ease.
If you adopted your dog from a shelter or got it from a reputed breeder, there is a good chance that he/she may already have a chip – just ask, it could save you a trip to the vet and $45
Does the microchip help track my dog?
No – it is not a GPS tracking device. However it does increase your probability of finding your lost pooch by as much as 20 times than if you did not microchip him/her. It also simplifies and expedites the job of finding your loved one much faster and simpler by getting the word around in the right places.
It is a very simple device that transmits its unique ID. The owner of the pet registers this ID along with his/her contact info with a national pet Recovery database.
How does microchip expedite the process of finding your dog?
The registry puts all the loose pieces together into a simple 5 step process:
- You call your registry where your chip has been registered.
- They will send an alert to all the vets, shelters and registered volunteers in the 25 mile radius (this may vary from registry to registry) of your location.
- Shelter or vet that scans your dog for the chip – scanner displays the phone number for the registry.
- Shelter or vet’s office calls the registry.
- Registry calls you – the owner with the GREAT news.
What can you do to expedite the Reunification process?
- You call the registry as soon as you know your dog is lost
- Spread the word of the missing pet with a picture if possible and the registry phone number to call.
- Keep your phone line accessible and be ready to answer the phone when the registry calls.
As always, Wish you and your pup the best!